Love in the Age of Social Media
When my boyfriend asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day I didn’t hesitate, ‘Can you get all your office colleagues to LIKE my page’?
Yes Toastmasters, it has come to this, I don’t want to be loved, I want to be LIKED. Boyfriend can send cards and flowers, but that won’t make me feels as loved as 50 new LIKES. As the Beatles’ song would say now, ‘LIKE, LIKE me do’.
This isn’t me talking. Experts say social media is changing our concept of love and in the future our self-worth will be measured by the number LIKES, FOLLOWS, FRIENDED and LITTLEHEARTS we get. Guess I’m just ahead of the times! With 7.63 billion people in the world, the opportunities are endless!
Of course, many people moan and say it’s the end of romance and that getting an e-card is like drinking decaf coffee, you don’t feel anything and it’s sad. Millennials on the other hand will cry, ‘You want a PAPER card?’ and accuse you of personally destroying the Amazon, the forests, the eco-system, the planet, the universe, the future, their livelihood, the-possibility-of-ever-buying-a-home-I-resent-you … you old fogey.
Being an old fogey myself (defined as someone who still uses Facebook), I admit it’s difficult for these youngsters-doomed-to-live-with-mum-for-the-rest-of-their-lives…to comprehend what went on in ‘fogey times’.
- When ‘strong or weak’ did not refer to passwords, but traits of your future husband.
- A hashtag (#) was the first step to playing Ticktacktoe, not a way to communicate with as little effort as possible. #IluvU
- Click-through Rate (CTR) was how many times your husband changed channels on the TV remote control and Conversion Rate (CR) was strictly for religions.
- If you FOLLOWED someone it was stalking and GOING VIRAL was a pandemic waiting to happen.
- Lastly, a HANDLE was attached to a door and PLATFORMS were reserved for 1970 shoes.
Please understand, I’m not against social media, on the contrary! I believe it comes with love-enhancing opportunities that us ‘old fogeys’ would have relished!
Let’s start with dating. Remember those blind dates your well-meaning friends hooked you up with? The date would turn up with the personality of an amoeba and more dandruff than a tax inspector? Then it turned out he WAS a tax inspector? Now you can google them to death and then check Tinder, Grinder and REMINDER to swipe them left. Forever.
Equally reassuring are ‘dinner dates’ which today consist of sharing pics of your Deliveroo while texting ‘Yummy’. What a relief not to worry about stupid chit chat or having to drown your burps while eating that enchilada.
Remember those love letters people wrote? (Ok, I wrote). So long and convoluted they made War and Peace look like a Tweet? Such a waste of time! I never got any action anyway. Nowadays just send an inappropriate pic of yourself and you’re in!
Then there’s the ‘Wedding Scene’. Gone are the days when you picked the bridesmaids because they were your friends. Now you choose them because they’re photogenic. No budget for your wedding? No worries! Get married in front of a green screen background and post a Bahamas wedding! Because what’s important are not the vows, but … you guessed it, the LIKES. Never mind your honeymoon includes sending round-the-clock pics to your 801,702 followers, because if you don’t post, it’s like it never happened. Today Descartes would claim, ‘I POST, therefore I am’.
Now you’re married and it’s all about ‘puppy love’. Not that pimply, prepubescent love of yesteryear. Today it’s about your puppy in a Cupid Costume with hubby and you in the background kissing. #AdorablyCute. A billion LIKES!
Finally, its break-up time, better known as #HateUDivorceU. Millennials have it so easy! No more awkward moments when friends you had as a couple have to pick sides and say things like, ‘Let’s stay in touch!’ and never talk to you again. Social Media allows you to take the initiative and DEFRIEND, DELETE, DEFOLLOW, DE-LINK, DEHANDLE, DECLINE. #NeverLikedYouAnyway
What a LIKE-able time to live!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to target the 7.63 billion people in the world, starting with the 280,000 Toastmasters in 144 countries who I’m hoping will LIKE, FOLLOW, FRIEND and LITTLEHEART me back.
Happy Valentine’s Day!