Before the 1920s, the primary reason for courting someone was to begin the path to marriage.
It functioned as a way for each party's family to gauge the social status of the other.
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and My Space allow students to make new friends, and potentially find their spouse.
This was done in order to ensure a financially and socially compatible marriage.
This form of courtship consisted of highly rigid rituals, including parlor visits and limited excursions.
The lower classes typically did not follow this system, focusing more on public meetings.
However, the goal of the process was still focused on ending in a marriage.
It has unique properties that only occur, or occur most frequently, in a campus setting.
Such phenomena as hooking up and lavaliering are widely prominent among university and college students.
With the shift of courtship from the private to the public sphere, it took on a new goal; dating became a means to and indicator of popularity, especially in the collegiate environment.
In this format, dating became about competing for the potential mate with the highest social payoff.
While no two accounts of dating history completely agree on the timeline for this change, most do agree that new technologies were linked to its cause.
Specifically, the advent of the telephone and the automobile and their subsequent integration into the mainstream culture are often identified as key factors in the rise of modern dating.
For instance, at Howard University, the majority of students see hooking up as meeting friends or simply exchanging phone numbers without any sexual connotation to it.