The world of dating is about to become very difficult for a new generation of teenagers. They have been raised in a world in which everything passes through social media, in real time. To their advantage, they will already know an enormous amount about someone before they go out with them. On the downside, dates will very much be a public, spectator event, with daters sharing everything through social media as it happens.

This will create opportunities for bullying, for indiscretions to become part of the permanent records, and for inconsequential embarrassments and foibles to be documented in a way that has never happened before. On the other hand, personal safety will be greatly increased, because it will be easy for concerned friends and family to track the daters and intervene if, say, one gets too drunk to drive.

For all its good and ill, this will be a generations whose first loves are unlike any that preceded them, and they will have to learn how to do it along the way.

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