Many of us start each day, coffee in hand, browsing social media. We get our daily fix of cute baby goat videos and bite-size news snippets to start our day off right. What we don’t log in to see, is awkward public love notes between our friends and their honeys.
Now, we’re not saying we never want to see an outpouring of affection. A little love can sometimes brighten an otherwise dull day. But you know the kind of thing we’re talking about. It starts like:
“I’d like to wish my beautiful, talented, amazing, wife a happy birthday…”
Who are these messages intended for? Surely not the sender’s spouse, after all, they are probably sitting in the same room when they hit “send.” Couldn’t they just lean over and whisper their sweet nothing? It’s the fact that it is said (or rather typed) in a public forum that makes it count, right? In an update to the old “If a tree falls in the woods…” does love even count if your Facebook friends don’t “like” it?
So much has changed in the world of romance since the invention of the internet. The most cringe-worthy public displays of affection we had to worry about pre-internet were couples french kissing on the bus, or the horror of seeing lovebirds walking along with their hands in each other’s back jeans pockets.
Compare overly romantic online posts to pre-internet PDA sessions. We think it’s easy to see which is worse.
Pre-internet: In the good old days the most you could expect from your spouse on securing a prestigious new job was maybe a fancy dinner out and a “Congratulations” card.
Present day: The excessively long congratulatory post takes up half our screen, singing the praises of the newly employed and giving a resume-worthy run-down of their life’s achievements. Expect to see #Blessed #SoProud.
Pre-internet: A birthday card, gift, and cake have always been pretty standard must-haves to give to your main squeeze on their annual special day.
Present day: A photo montage of pictures chronicling the birthday girl or boy’s life from birth to the present day. Then a slideshow of presents being opened and cake being eaten, accompanied by an epic, long message heaping lovey-dovey praise on the person blowing out the candles, that makes everyone who reads it feel like an unwitting voyeur.
Buying A Pet
Pre-internet: Everyone knows a couple that bought a dog when they really should have called it quits. Some couples use buying a pet as a sort of “trial baby” and it often ends badly. But at least back in the day you only had to learn about your friend’s puppy when you popped round to say hi, and were met with slobbery barks.
Present day: In the internet age you’ll have to endure the couple’s joint decision post declaring their intention to start a family with their new “fur baby.” Then you’ll be treated to a flash video of the day they brought their “baby” home. Seemingly endless “family” shots of the three of them and then the inevitable post looking for a new home for the dog that didn’t work out.
Pre-internet: The best proposals have always been romantic and many also feature public declarations of love. But before social media, you had to wait for your friend to call you and recount the entire scene.
Present day: Nowadays, engagement posts often feature as much personal praise and secret love language as the real thing. You can feel like you are encroaching on a personal, intimate moment, just by scrolling through your newsfeed.
Having a Baby
Pre-internet: Giving birth used to be a private moment that was only relayed to the masses once the baby was born and named. The most detailed message might be “mother and baby both doing well.”
Present day: Online PDA is bad enough, but when loved up couples procreate they now go into total overshare mania. You can expect hour by hour, contraction by contraction updates complete with compliments and glowing words of encouragement. Once the baby is born, there will be the usual obligatory “Welcome to the World” message, but the online PDA lovers will also give a virtual soliloquy that sounds more like an Oscars acceptance speech than a birth announcement.
You Had A Bad Day
Pre-internet: We all have bad days from time to time, those occasions when nothing goes right. Before the modern age, you might have got a foot rub from your spouse if you were lucky.
Present day: If you are in a relationship with an online PDA aficionado, you can expect to get a ton of public validation as some sort of argument against the bad day.
And there you have it. Ready for a little retro PDA?