I should say upfront, I’m not typically a Valentine’s Day hater. More power to the anti-Vday folks who get together every February 14 to… I don’t know what exactly, but that’s just not my thing.
Facebook is a bit of a pressure cooker—things get intensified because everyone is posting about the same thing nonstop. When this happens, whether it be because of the latest Evangelical controversy or some political scandal, the World Wide Web gets a little claustrophobic for me, and I have to leave.
Sadly, this is how I feel about Facebook on Valentine’s Day.
Again, I’m not a romance hater. I’m a fan of love. I especially enjoy reading about my friends’ happiness in love, even when I’m flying solo. I admit I might be a bit unusual for this; however, I feel particularly strongly about the importance of public, or at least communal, expressions of love and affection and appreciation for your awesome SO. Society needs good love stories; we need examples of healthy relationships and how to navigate them through both public and private (communal and personal) spaces.
Most of the time—because I have super great friends who are some of the best people on the planet—I get a healthy dose of My-Husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance-Is-The-Best! posts. These sorts of posts pop up on anniversaries and birthdays and completely out of the blue because, again, I have stellar friends who have equally stellar SOs.
This is a good thing. But it’s also nice and spread out. On Valentine’s Day, it’s like it’s everyone’s anniversary on the same day. My feed is flooded with Vday posts, even from the pages I follow, so that everyone from that girl I knew in high school to NPR is posting about romance. All. Day. Sometimes all week.
In addition to just being obnoxious (to a good number of the attached as well as the unattached) because it’s ubiquitous, Valentine’s Day is already a day in which people can feel especially lonely, where the loneliness they already feel from time to time is magnified and intensified. Now add social media to the mix and that intensity is even greater.
So, I’m going to make a request that I normally wouldn’t make. Please think twice before gushing to the World Wide Web about the sweet, romantic things your super-rad SO did for you on Valentine’s Day. Maybe save public gushing for birthdays and anniversaries and miscellaneous moments of love.
One final request: Don’t forget your single friends. Let them know you love them too. Send a card or a text or an Amazon gift card. And maybe not just on Valentine’s Day and birthdays, but just because.