As Americans, we prize efficiency, speed and cheapness. After all, it’s this foundation that has made fast food chains so effective. But it has also transformed the college way of “dating” into the equivalent of a McDonald’s drive-thru.

Hook-ups are inexpensive, they’re fast and they provide instant gratification.

Sounds like a Big Mac, doesn’t it?

Welcome to a large and growing sector of the Cal Poly dating scene. Instead of sheepishly asking girls out for milkshakes after class or going to the movies, many students roam from party to party every weekend looking for their next score.

I hate to be old fashioned, but there’s something a lot more genuine in how dating used to be conducted just 20 years ago. Sure it was awkward at first, but at least the couple usually made an effort to get to know each other.

It’s like the difference between someone who invests time, money and patience in making a meal at home. It may require effort, but that’s what makes it delicious.

Nowadays, some students become upperclassmen without ever having been in a relationship. And it’s not that they’re hideous or unintelligent – they’re often gorgeous and smart, but choose to hook up with different people every weekend. They’ve taken America’s values in speed, frugality and instant satisfaction and applied it to how they deal with the opposite sex.

Just as McDonald’s can be detrimental to your health, so can the college hook-up. Pleasure from a Big Mac may be instant, but it’s not permanent. Mom’s homemade chicken soup, however, never ceases to make you feel better, and the love that went into making it lasts past consumption.

The same concept applies to the college dating scene. If a couple is actually in a relationship, they’ll always have someone to fall back on, and feelings will last longer than an orgasm.

A British guy named Cyril Connolly once said, “Imprisoned in every fat man, a thin one is wildly signaling to be let out.” In my opinion, the same is true for people who hook up.

Why go after different guys or girls every weekend? What are you really craving? America has progressed so much economically and technologically in the past 20 years, but has declined socially. Instant Messenger, the Facebook and the like have made it socially acceptable to not even interact with people.

Funny how “going steady” has gone the way of the VCR. Sure they’re both still around, but they’re not as common as they used to be.

All I’m asking is that you put your hootchie-mama skirt or your muscle shirt back in your dresser and just go grab a milkshake with someone you like. Or better yet, buy ice cream and make milkshakes yourself. The extra effort makes them that much better.

Emily Rancer is a journalism junior and a Mustang Daily staff writer.

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