The YouTube Effect

At least once a week, I see some type of post or news piece in relation to some (filmed) over-the-top marriage proposal. And I always see the inevitable comment from someone as to why they weren’t proposed to in such a grandiose manner. And it actually makes me a little sad.

Growing up, I always had this sense that I would be proposed to in some crazy manner. I think after watching so many romantic movies, it was almost expected that my future intended would skywrite, be shot out of a cannon, or do some type of elaborate show of his undying love for me. Actually, I thought if I didn’t get some over-the-top proposal, I would actually turn him down.

With the advent of the YouTube culture, it is even more in your face that people (not you) are getting better marriage proposals. It has always been a badge of honor from the mommy set on how their husbands proposed to them. Now it is almost an insult if you don’t have the movie-worthy proposal. In our one-up culture, if you don’t have a story, you aren’t as good as. Keeping up with the Joneses must now include a Scorsese-worthy video.

But recently, I have noticed that the proposal videos are more focused on virality and the proposer “showing off” to get more likes than the actual proposal (or even the proposee). In today’s culture, we are more focused on “likes” and “shares” than the actual relationship that is being changed by this “production.” I even start to feel sad for the “proposee,” will this be the grandest gesture in their relationship? Will it be all downhill from that moment, or will the “productions” continue? More concerning, will the “proposer” get addicted to the attention from the proposal and want to recreate the high – and will it be with the same “proposee?”

My husband’s proposal was not what movies (or viral videos) are made of. There were no casting calls and rehearsals with 60 dancers. My friends were not in on the surprise, and there was no photographer waiting on the beach. There were no cannons or catchy music playing.

But on the beach at night, in the same spot we had our first kiss, it was what dreams are made of. And lasting relationships. Although I wish we had some record of our life-changing night, I know my mind is the best keeper of treasured memories.


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