Can I just say — for the record — how happy I am that most of the milestone moments in my life happened prior to the invention of the Internet? My childhood was not Snapchatted, there were no viral videos made of my engagement or at my wedding, and our baby announcements were made in person, not on Facebook.
Don't get me wrong; I love a good wedding dance video as much as the next person, but — and I know this is going to make me sound ancient — I worry about the pressure nowadays to not only achieve life's milestones but to choreograph them to perfection. It's one-upmanship taken to an exponential level.
Take, for example, the latest trend in "promposals," or the unique way teens are asking each other to the prom. Back in the day, kids asked each other to the prom in person, or on the phone, or with a note volleyed down the hall between classes. That's not to say that there weren't some kids who took things a step further and wrote a song, or a poem, or enlisted the help of the school band to get their message across, but these events became the stuff of local legend, not something viewed 17 million times in every corner of the world. We were worried about whether the person said "yes" — not whether or not the video of the asking would go viral.
But I love the ingenuity of kids today in coming up with these prom-posals. Like the kid who rearranged the icons on his date-to-be's phone to spell out "PROM." Or the fellow who got his girl a puppy to ask her to the prom. But while I'm in love with this girl's feminist zombie prom-proposal, it seems a bit over the top.
But the pressure kids must feel nowadays! Pressure to not only ask the question, but to make sure that the whole ask-and-answer show is Pinterest-worthy. (Yes, there's a Pinterest board devoted to promposals.) And it's a pressure that may be pushing kids to take things a step too far.
Take, for example, the teens in Milton, Georgia, who stole a goat so that one of the boys could ask a girl to "Goat to the prom with him." They were caught, arrested, and charged with misdemeanors. All of that for a bad pun?
And while we're on the topic of pressure, how about the pressure that the askee feels when he or she is put on the spot by the asker in front of a video camera and all of her friends or everyone in her school? You can't really say "no" when a viral video is in the making, can you?
So call me an old fuddy-duddy, but would it be so wrong to go back to the days of asking your best friend to ask your prospective date's best friend of he or she would go to prom with you? It may have been confusing — and it may be boring in comparison — but at least it had to be better than this:
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