So, as many of you know I’m admittedly a little old school by nature. I’m not against the new by any means and there are so many great things about technology, but I love turning the pages in a real book and having face to face conversations. The world we live in today is dominated by what is shared online and thus, our interactions have changed as well. I’m going to sound really old when I say this, but when I look at my nephews I fear that they will only know how to communicate through a device, and that has ramifications on your relationships. As a person who deals in relationships, that worries me.
One such example are over the top proposals. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but marriage proposals have gotten bigger and bigger over the years. They’ve become more public, over the top and showy. Now, I don’t have anything against over the top proposals as long as that is what the person being proposed to wants/likes. But, I feel like many times the reason for the big, showy proposal is so that it can be shared online. And that isn’t what a marriage proposal is about. It’s about a special moment between two people and that moment should be about them, not about getting the most likes on Facebook or Instagram. Perhaps I could be convinced that this is ok since it is a big moment, but this trend is even trickling down to teenagers.
I have a cousin who is a senior in high school and she was telling me about these over the top proposals that these kids stage just to ask someone to the prom. To the prom! Back in my day, you just asked someone and you did it in private so that if they said yes, you could enjoy the moment and if they said no, then no one else had to witness it. Now people ask with gifts like balloons, flowers and candy and they ask publicly in front of other students. Then there are those who create these grand gestures that are filmed or photographed. My cousin even told me of this one guy who trained his bunny to deliver a note to the girl in the middle of the quad. Cute, but wowza. Not only is it a bit much, but think about the girl/guy who is getting asked. How do you say no in front of all those people after all that work, even if you don’t want to go? The public act many times forces you to say yes. I myself can attest to that.
As I said before, I’m a little old school, but I think we need to be careful with the things that matter, the relationships we have with people. There are so many moments in life that we share with others and I think we can still experience them in a real way, in a non-device, online oriented, social media driven way. We don’t live in the past, we live in the now, but I hope people (teenagers included) realize that life isn’t about going viral, but experiencing something real. Be real, be you and there isn’t anything else you need.