“Our song is a slamming screen door
Sneakin’ out late, tapping on your window
When we’re on the phone, and you talk real slow
‘Cause it’s late and your mama don’t know”
These words of wisdom from relationship guru Taylor Swift reflect the sugar-sweet traditions between picturesque teenage lovers of the past. With the arrival of Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Tinder and all the rest, high school relationships have begun to morph.
Senior Olivier Suter-Ternynck and his girlfriend of almost four years, senior Maddie Copeland, have endured highs and lows from the I-Search to college applications together.
“For me, Maddie has been the one thing that has stayed constant in high school,” Suter-Ternynck said.
Technology served as a useful tool in the early stages of their relationship.
“At the beginning it’s awkward but technology helps get you through those first few weeks where you’re like, ‘I have all these things I’d like to say to you but if I try to say them at your face it’s going to be really hard for me because you’re a pretty person,’” Suter-Ternynck said.
Despite the obvious use of keeping people connected, sometimes that connection can get out of hand to where it becomes less of a tool to communicate and more of a “crutch,” Copeland said.
“I feel like for us it was more like a substitute for communication that we knew was not really communicating,” Copeland said of her conversations with Suter-Ternynck over the summer.
People rely too much on social media these days, junior Mia Arthur said. Arthur had been dating junior Sam Williamson for one and a half years before they decided to just be friends two weeks ago.
“These days lots of people start to like someone on social media,” Arthur said. “They’ll think that they’re good looking and communicate over Snapchat, but they never talk in person.”
Media affects not only the relationship itself, but also others’ perceptions of it. With the large increase in photo sharing on Facebook or Instagram, conversations about relationships have increased as well, junior Sara Zuckerman said. Perhaps the higher visibility of relationships enforces traditional notions of what they should be, instead of revolutionizing them.
“I think [social media] is fun if we get a cute picture and share it, but I definitely think that there is a stigma around how a couple should be,” Zuckerman said.
Zuckerman’s boyfriend, junior Andrew Meredith, is already on the football team, so she might as well become a cheerleader. Then they’d complete the stereotype of a typical high school relationship, she joked.
“I think [having a long-term relationship] has made high school a lot better,” Zuckerman said. “It’s nice because I always have somebody to hang out with and just be there.”
Long-term relationships can be difficult to manage, especially when going through high school, but in order to continue a relationship communication is key, Zuckerman said.
“Make sure you talk a lot. If something is bothering you, tell them what’s going on because if you don’t, [the problem] is just going to continue,¨ Zuckerman said. ¨Just make sure you can be really honest.”