I recently celebrated my fourth wedding anniversary. Well, not exactly. The day was on a school night, and unfortunately my wife and I had plans that would keep us apart that evening. She was attending an evening event for an MBA conference. I had a fundraiser to attend for an organization where I volunteer. Although I thought it would have been a great date night “doing it up big” as a couple she was attending a costly MBA conference, one that will hopefully increase her professional network. We both agreed to celebrate at a later date. But because I know better, I made sure the day didn’t pass without her receiving a gift from me: an arrangement of flowers that was almost identical to the bouquet she carried on our wedding day (I studied our pictures from the day to get as close to the original as I could). She recognized the arrangement immediately and all was right between she and I.
Here’s what I didn’t do: I didn’t make the customary announcement on Facebook, pledging my love for my wife to my former classmates dating back to the age of five, current colleagues, relatives, frat brothers and all the random people who have begun to friend me because I have a blog. Of course it’s nice to share and receive accolades and encouragement no different that you do on your birthday.
But I simply didn’t feel like it this time around. Especially since I felt another impulse brewing in the mix: pressure. I wondered if I didn’t make the announcement then people who did know would think something was wrong. I didn’t like the “peer pressure” of having to broadcast my business so I simply ignored my status bar on Facebook that day. And because my wife was at her day-long conference she didn’t spend any time on her social networks either.
Sure enough a day later I got the question in a cousin’s question via email:
So you guys made no anniversary fuss on FB. Is it like that?
Is it like what? As a society have we really arrived at a place where something is wrong if we aren’t updating everything but the most intimate details of our lives? And even then? A few short years ago not many other than college students would’ve dreamed of sharing their thoughts, opinions and daily activities on the Internet. Back then there were less people populating the Internet and no employers researching your online activity. Social networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter have simply made all this acceptable to the the masses. “Acceptable” and “right” are two different fruits entirely. The Internet now is larger than ever and no matter what a company CEO tells us privacy is easily circumvented by those who know how to bypass and hack through your security settings.
Ultimately there was no harm in sharing my wedding anniversary on Facebook but equally there was no harm in not sharing either. Besides, my wife is not my friend on Facebook so she wouldn’t have seen my status in any case. She is the person who matters most in this scenario. And she heard and saw how I felt, directly from me.
Do you feel that you should broadcast every single special day and occasion on your social networks? Do you feel pressured into doing so for fear of what people may think? Why or why not?