No doubt, technology has helped to greatly expand the average Modern Orthodox millennial’s pool of dating prospects. It is not uncommon for a Modern Orthodox single to enjoy a Shabbat meal with someone and immediately after Shabbat locate her or him on social media. With an intermediary no longer necessary to provide the contact information, Orthodox millennial daters enjoy greater independence and privacy.
Yet some would argue that technology and dating is not necessarily a good shidduch. While texting a potential date is less threatening and easier than making a phone call, the tendency to over-rely on texting is not conducive to developing a new relationship. Indeed, the days of hand-written effusive letters, like the kind that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother when they were dating in the 1930s, are long over.
In the age of social media, it is also important to remember that one’s persona—and certainly one’s social media persona—may not necessarily reflect who one truly is. I recently saw a quote on Facebook that read, “My blessing to you is [that] your life should be as great as it appears on Facebook.” Millennials must overcome the tendency to make snap judgments based on someone’s Facebook page or JSwipe account, and reclaim the slow, deliberate and yes, old-fashioned approach to building the most important relationship of their lives.
Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen is an OU regional director of synagogues and director of community engagement for Yachad/the National Jewish Council for Disabilities. His new book, We’re Almost There: Living with Patience, Perseverance and Purpose (Los Angeles, CA 2016), has a section devoted to relationships and can be purchased at www.rabbidovidmcohen.com.