Valentine’s Day in the 21st century can be awful. The sentiments remain the same as they ever were, but with delivery of said sentiments often made through social media, what was already a cheesy occasion just got worse. It’s not that I necessarily oppose the day, but with such levels of corniness, the messages of love should at least remain behind closed doors or within the confines of a card. Sadly, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have ensured that if you’re inclined towards public displays of affection, everyone now gets to ‘enjoy’ them – whether they like it or not.
Let me start with Facebook. Of all the personalised Valentine’s gifts I want to see on February 14th, some loved-up status update posted by someone I’ve not seen in 13 years isn’t one of them. Okay, so it’s obviously not directed at me and technically there’s nothing to stop me ignoring it. But because I’m a glutton for punishment, I can’t help myself. After all, if they choose to throw it into the public domain, it’s going to catch my eye. And then I’m going to read it. The words make my toes curl, not least because so many of them are written in text speak. I’m sure we’ve all read things like…
“X luvs Y SO much. Happy Valentines Day. Cant wait 2 c u later.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day to my gorgeous hubby. You make me so happy.”
“Has the best girlfriend in the world. Happy Valentines Day X. Can’t wait to cuddle up on the sofa!”
Whatever happened to a card? I do hope most people still bother with one. I’d find it disconcerting to think we’d all swapped a trip to Clintons for two minutes on Facebook, no matter how tough times might be. And seriously, why poke each other electronically when we can do it for real?
Twitter’s not much better. The character limit at least keeps the drivel to a minimum, but then there’s the issue of retweets. Every year celebs followed by thousands of people get inundated with requests from Average Joes to regurgitate their message of love. A ‘lucky’ few get selected, at which point I’m confronted with them, when all I really wanted to know was what Graeme Swann made of victory in the third test. Or, better yet, what the latest banter is between teammates.
Ultimately, my point is a very simple one. With today’s social media we can all exchange messages with the click of a button. And that’s great… most the time. But I’m really not interested in people living their relationships through social media platforms. If you want to say happy birthday or give them some nice Valentine’s gifts, do it for real, not electronically because, frankly, I don’t care about your lovey-dovey messages. And I most certainly don’t want to read them.