Imagine it: You wake up one morning, scramble to work, and after doing just enough to seem like a good employee, you immediately log on to Twitter. You have an @reply from your boyfriend: I love you, n00b, will you marry me?
How would you feel?
Well, strap in, because it might happen to you. According to CNN
, social networking proposals are a bona fide trend: Men, in an effort to be creative and grand on a budget, are taking to the Internet to propose to their girlfriends, using everything from Facebook to Twitter to creating viral YouTube videos to the Old Spice Guy.
And while you may argue that this is just the natural evolution of Jumbotron proposals at halftime
, I would like to tell you you're wrong.
Men, here's the test of any wedding proposal you are planning: Years from now, when you're having story time with your children and they turn to you, apple-cheeked, and ask how you asked Mommy to marry you, how is your story going to sound? Is it going to sound romantic and heartfelt, or are you going to have to say, "OK, look, there was this really funny commercial for Old Spice ..."
Why are more proposals happening like this? Michael Rosenfeld, sociology professor at Stanford, thinks that any public proposal reflects the proposer's fear of rejection, as women are less likely to turn you down in front of other people. Also, he says, promoting your online presence is a factor. "In the Internet age, the border to fame and notoriety is much lower, and because we live in an age of very gratifying self-promotion, online proposals can sometimes devalue tradition."
Yes, tradition. It may seem like an uncool thing to say, but tradition is important, even if it's a new tradition that you are creating with your significant other. Don't make this moment about the latest Internet meme; make it about your relationship. Using technology is totally fine for a romantic gesture, but rather than re-editing Keyboard Cat to make him propose, make a video with your
own cat playing your
song, and then present it to her on a laptop that you've brought along on a picnic.
A proposal isn't the most important thing in your relationship, sure, but it isn't just a clever thing to do either -- it's a question you ask someone that results in a legal partnership. Don't distance yourself from it. Feel the asphalt under your knee. Proposals should be intimate and connected to who you are as a couple rather than the latest YouTube sensation.
But I may be bitter. I was proposed to on MySpace.*
*no I wasn't.