PDA: A Growing Problem?

Even Angelica and Dana can't keep their hands off each other. Photo by Aidan Northington

We’ve all seen it. The guy in your third period bio class that smugly runs his hand down some girl’s leg. The awkward couples that make out in the corners of the hallways. That kid from Chelsea that is always smacking girls’ butts in the stairway.

We condone it, we blush because of it, but we’re all guilty of it: PDA.

Public displays of affection can be described as a basic step-by-step chemical reaction: When you take three hundred teenagers and you put them in one building, the resulting effects are hormones and pent-up sexual frustration, which inadvertently tend to be expressed in unnecessary touching and canoodling.

In the NYC iSchool, this trend has been slowly but surely on the rise. Staff and students alike have noted that there has been an increase of the amount of PDA being exhibited by the student population.

“It comes naturally. It is not something you necessarily think of,” Hannah Atoynatan, a sophomore at the NYC iSchool explained, “It’s just a way to show that you’re friends and that you’re comfortable together.”

So is it just an innocent friendly way to express your feelings? Others were not as convinced.
Some teachers have complained that it creates a distraction in the classroom.

“PDA is fine but people need to be aware that people are observing them. Some things should just be kept private,” Ms. Francesca Fay, an English teacher at the NYC iSchool, had to say about the matter, “It just makes me uncomfortable when it comes inside the classroom. It creates tension.”

“Its none of my business. We’re here to learn though, not to touch each other,” Boronica Mettaliaj, a sophomore at the NYC iSchool, said. “Some girls do it for attention. They feel self-conscious, especially when you’re in high school.”

So where is that finicky line between friendliness and – ahem – over-friendliness. Is there one? Should there be?

“I don’t think there’s actually any more PDA here then there is in other schools. Students have urges, and they want to show the people they care about how much they like them,” Camilo Pena said. However, even he agrees that there is such a thing as too much PDA. “Sometimes it gets nasty.”

We’re supposed to be “mature sophisticated young adults,” (Ha. That’s a laugh). Some might even say that excessive PDA might be  – God forbid – trashy. The NYC iSchool is an environment to learn and develop, and too much fondling could undermine the learning experience.
It could be a little awkward for the people that are watching. “There needs to be boundaries. It is a personal thing that you don’t always wanna see,” Ms. Fay said.

However, when we asked her if she had ever been guilty of  PDA in high school, Ms. Fay blushes and laughs nervously.

“Maybe when I was 15 and in high school because I didn’t think about how people were perceiving my actions. But now as an adult it looks a little embarrassing.”

About Angelica Modabber