OPINION: Where have those good old-fashioned values gone?

Shayla Lee Colon

Being old-fashioned today is considered being part of a dying breed. In a matter of decades, the splendid idea of good quality is losing its hold. Those old-fashioned values that we held dear to our hearts once upon a time are beginning to vanish.

Here, why don’t we take a quick trip down memory lane. It wasn’t long ago that people valued face-to-face interactions and simple things like writing a letter or men walking on the curb side. In this day-and-age, most of the old-fashioned values are nearing extinction. Instead, our generation values a text in under five minutes and speaking in terms that makes someone wonder what it means to be “lit?”

Personally, I am glad to say that I am a part of this dying breed. It’s funny because when I tell people I am not on social media platforms or would rather tell people news in person, as opposed to over the phone or via text, they immediately say, “You’re different.” Different? Another couple of things I get are “You’re wise beyond your years” or “You sound like a grandma.” Being compared to a grandma actually makes me feel really good considering I am barely grazing 20 years old, so thank you Millennials.

One area where these old-fashioned values have gone down the drain is during courtship. For most today, chivalry is dead. Back in the roaring ‘20s until about the late ‘50s, the courting game was played in a sophisticated manner. Women were wooed with courtesy and careful planning. In the words of folks today, “the chase was real.” Pursuing a woman involved wining and dining her over a steady period of time; slow being the pace of the game. Men had the obligation of coordinating dates and making sure everything went smoothly. He would arrive punctually, open every single door, buy flowers and pay for whatever festivities were at hand. Speaking of hands, the only action a man would really get on a date was kissing the lady’s hand. The goal was to build a relationship that would go long-term; men took out the women they thought would make a suitable wife in the future. On the flip side, women had to put their best face on. Allowing a man to court her meant she had to be polite and appreciative of the miniature show a man would put on for her. Everything that took place in a old-fashioned courtship was meant to spark romance and ignite true love.

Can you picture this? It’s a little harder to imagine this today, but it is not completely lost. It is a rare occasion to find yourself in the presence of a true gentleman with these values. The pursuit of a woman today cannot even be deemed as a courtship because it doesn’t come close to meeting those standards. The relations (notice how I cannot even call it a relationship) between a man and woman today begin with a picture on social media. You either like it, or better yet swipe to the right if you think this person is attractive. Fascinating right? You saw an attractive picture and are instantly acting by the fly of your pants (pun intended). Then you’re off to a three-day relationship over text, playing an intrusive game of 21 questions, with the goal of a one-night stand, if it even gets that far. That is unless you are part of that one percent in the world that may actually just be interested in getting to know the other person. The problem with today’s values is that we think we can establish genuine relationships by being able to relate to someone’s Snapchat post.

The Pew Research Center has reported on an increase in relationships that were sparked online. For example, 38 percent of Americans who are single, seek the internet as a resource to meet people. In the last eight years, Pew has documented that more and more people are becoming comfortable with the idea that online dating is a good way to meet people, 59 percent to be exact. That number having grown since the 2005 survey that showed 44 percent of Internet users agreed. Another interesting tid bit is that 42 percent of all Americans know an online dater and 54 percent of online daters find that people use profiles to misrepresent themselves. Being catfished is very much a thing in today’s society, be careful. Here is a clean-cut statistic that highlights old-fashioned dating etiquette. Approximately 50 percent of Americans are single in the present-day; the percentage of single folk in 1950 was 22 percent.

Old-fashioned values are important because without them, personal interactions decline. As a result, the ability to hold a conversation when face to face with a person is lacking. And, those few interactions that we do have in person, are fading and less impacting.

That brings me to the old-world value of spending quality time. The chances of getting a little quality time are slim to none in the present-day. A majority of social interactions are done over social media platforms from the older crowds on Facebook to the hipsters on Instagram and Snapchat. Kids are a great example of this. I’m talking about legitimate sixth and seventh graders who know the ins and out of these sites better than they know their times table. It amazes me how much time is spent there. I myself strongly dislike using technology and avoid social media at all costs. I’m very much meeting your grandmother on the social scale. It does not appeal to me in the least bit. So, as you can all imagine, I am that girl. The girl who is clueless to all the social phenomena and still laughs at my dad’s jokes. Believe it or not, there is fun in putting down your device and taking a walk or reading a book. There is so much opportunity waiting outside the door, you just have to open it.