|Years:||I'm 28 years old|
|My sexual orientation:||Man|
|Tint of my iris:||Lustrous green|
|What is my Zodiac sign:||Taurus|
|What is my favourite music:||I prefer to listen easy listening|
In all of modern human history, it would be difficult to find a group of adults more serendipitously insulated from contact with strangers than the Millennials. Intwo years before the oldest Millennials were born, the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz while he was walking to a school-bus stop by himself gave rise to the popular parenting philosophy that children should be taught never to talk to strangers.
Seamless and food-delivery apps like it, which took most of the interactions with strangers out of ordering takeout food from restaurants, emerged in the mids. Today, Seamless entices new customers in New York City with in subway cars that emphasize that by using the service, you can get restaurant-quality meals without having to talk to anyone.
Smartphones, introduced in the late s, helped fill the bored, aimless downtime or waiting-around time that might induce strangers to strike up a conversation.
And inwhen the oldest Millennials were in their early 30s, Tinder became available to smartphone users everywhere. Suddenly dates too or sex, or phone sex could be set up without so much as a single spoken word between two people who had never met.
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In the years since, app dating has reached such a level of ubiquity that a couples therapist in New York told me last year that he no longer even bothers asking couples below a certain age threshold how they met. And less chatting with strangers means less flirting with strangers. The weirdly stranger-free dating world that Millennials have created provides the backdrop for a new book titled, revealingly, The Offline Dating Method.
In it, the social-skills coach Camille Virginia, who works with private clients and also holds workshops, attempts to teach young people how to get dates not by browsing the apps, but by talking—in real life, out loud—to strangers.
Read: The overprotected kid. It would be easy to mistake a of tips from The Offline Dating Method for tips from a self-help book about finding love in an earlier decade, when people were idle and more approachable in public, their energy and attention directed not into the palms of their hands but outward, toward other people. But later parts of the book mark it as a hyper-current artifact of the present—of a time when social-media skills are often conflated with social skills, and when the simple question of what to say out loud to another person can be anxiety-inducing for many.
In the second and third chapters, The Offline Dating Method could virtually double as a guide for how to talk to and get to know strangers, full stop. Read: Have smartphones destroyed a generation?
The very existence of a book like The Offline Dating Method could be used as evidence that smartphones and the internet are causing arrested social development for the generations that are growing up with them. So be ready, because it can happen fast. And to her credit, she offers numerous, concrete ways to do so without sacrificing the great things that smartphones and wireless internet access have made possible.
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