Social Proposal

Fifth blog post for my social media course, originally posted on the program's Wordpress blog

Things are getting out of hand. Hardly a day passes by when you don't hear of a wedding proposal going viral. Whether it's a flahsmob or base jumper, wedding proposals have become grand productions for the sake of being the next most talked-about event.
When flashmobs became the most competitive claim to internet fame, that type of proposal grew in popularity - who can resist a grand musical number which of course is filmed, while a camera watches the bride-to-be as she reacts to the spectacle? The one below has been viewed over 27 million views since it was posted in 2012.



Social media has turned regular people into marketing gurus as they seek their 15 minutes of fame through outrageous moments caught on video. The proposals are not limited to marriage either. Earlier this year the new trend of prom proposals (read: promposals) became an online trend with teenage girls and boys asking for a date in the grandest ways. These videos were getting so popular that news channels were getting bogged down with daily reports of new innovative ways a guy or girl got his or her date to say yes.
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In a blog post for Hello Giggles, Annie Baria says that "an informal survey (ie discussing this madness with girlfriends over vino), found that 100 percent would take personal [proposals] over flashy/expensive any day." But despite the preference, the rise of social media is setting precedence for the rise in flashy proposals.
It almost seems like a marketing ploy, much like the relatively new tradition of diamond engagement rings, which was introduced by De Beers in the 20th century, as Kate Knibbs points out in her blog post on 2machines.com.

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While there is a certain tug-at-the-heartstrings factor in seeing the lengths that some people will go to show their love, there is so much pressure now being placed on men and women as they prepare to take their relationship to the next level. But as Knibbs says, just because a proposal doesn' t get  posted on YouTube or Instagram, doesn't make it any less special.
While there is nothing wrong with sharing our happy moments online for the world to see, we have to remember not to sacrifice real happiness by creating synthetic moments for the sake a moment of internet fame.
My preference is privacy. I like to keep certain big moments to myself - that is to say, all the necessary people in my life will know when a big event occurs. I'm too shy for the big show, but I often wonder how I would truly react to a flashmob proposal with a camera in my face - awkwardly, I'm sure.

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