Dating in the 21st Century
Two decades into the 21st century, social media has wildly altered how we meet people, make connections, and randomly “swipe” or “click” into hopeful or at times, hopeless relationships. It matters little whether we shout a cheery yay for online dating apps like Tinder and sites such as Kik for a kik friend, or scream a cringed-out nay at the thought of them. In one form or another, we have certainly all dabbled in online dating through the use of social media networks. For example, we check Facebook to spy if our latest beau is more of a “prince” than a “frog”.
Likewise, we look through his Instagram posts to glimpse if we have gone to the same IG-worthy cafe and had the same IG-worthy chocolate cake. Also, lest we appear shallow, we also check his Twitter retweets to ascertain his stands on political, environmental, and societal issues. And yet, with the barrage of information at our fingertips and despite the overabundance of choices and chances for connections, many of us are still unable to find “the one”.
That elusive, seemingly never-ending search for our own better half, as well as the concept that social media would be able to assist in such a quest, may just be why the “Yosemite Couple Proposal” has become such trending news. Their photo by a Michigan photographer has achieved viral status—with over 20,000 shares on Facebook, 14,000 likes on Instagram, and 170,000 retweets on Twitter.
If you had somehow missed all the excitement last October, let us recap that bit of news for you.
Photographer and Social Media Sleuths Seek Yosemite Proposal Couple
On a road trip to Yosemite National Park on October 6, photographer Michael Dippel chanced upon a romantic, picture-perfect proposal at Taft Point. He captures that jaw-dropping moment when the guy is down on one knee, clasping his girl’s hand. With Yosemite’s magnificent mountains towering around the couple as silent witnesses to their act of love, their proposal is an image straight out of a fairy tale! Hoping to send the couple their photo, Mr. Dippel posted on social media, asking everyone to pitch in to find the “Yosemite Proposal Couple”.
Fast-forward to October 27, just 10 days into his search, Dippel announced that he had found them—Charlie Bear and his fiancée Melissa. He’s learned from the groom-to-be that this was actually their second proposal, what Charlie Bear describes as their “more special and official one”. It seems earlier this year, with their family around them, Charlie had asked Melissa to marry him. And so the groom-to-be had planned this second one to have a more “personal” moment. Little did he foresee that their supposedly small, private affair would cause such a fever on social media! In fact, it is a little funny that their moment is now as far from personal or intimate as possible.
The Future of Dating—Metamorphosed by Social Media
Nonetheless, Facebook users, grammers, and tweeters gave a contented sigh at being privy to this special moment. Having peeked into their amazing proposal and story, we have somehow come to think of Charlie Bear and Melissa—the Yosemite Proposal Couple—as erstwhile “friends”. The couple helped us believe that our happy-ever-after is not that far off too. Furthermore, the tale of the photographer who finds his fairy-tale couple—through the invaluable assistance of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter– allows us to be hopeful as well. “Search, and you will find.”
Undoubtedly, this is an adage most apt for our Google-powered times. Hence, as we move forward into the century and become masters of online dating through social media, we ponder how else these platforms would evolve our dating habits. In what incredible, bizarre, and fantastical ways could social media still transform the fabric of our society? With bated breath, we’re all excited to find out.