Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Got *Quietly* Engaged in the age of Social Media
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got engaged to her long-time partner in April, but the news broke recently. Whatever you may think about her politics, her quiet engagement is contrary to the culture's push for us to live our lives out loud on social media, announcing everything in real-time as it happens, posting every picture of every workout, meal, and cat antics. An engagement is a big deal, so there would be no shame in wanting to announce it widely; yet, AOC didn't post anything about it at all until confirming it to reports a month later.
In the midst of the food of congratulatory posts and GIFs to AOC, some expressed their "concern" that "something was amiss" since neither party posted about their engagement, even worried that their marriage wouldn't work if they couldn't even post about their engagement on Facebook. What's actually concerning is the total willingness strangers have to opine about people's lives simply by their interactions with social media. We seem to think someone's use of it indicates the health of their relationship.
In part, I actually agree: I think AOC's silence on social media about her engagement sets an example of healthy priorities and reasonable boundaries with social media. AOC's choice not to post on social media about her engagement is a reminder that special moments in life can still be special without the involvement of the entire world. AOC didn't have to manage anyone else's opinions about her relationship or life choices for over a month. She was able to settle into her decision and direction in her life without the input of strangers on the internet, which is much healthier than involving people you don't know in your major life choices. As we all know, if it's on social media, everyone and their mother will share their thoughts about it whether they are asked or not (and we've all been that person at times, as well).
AOC kept her relationship status off social media for over a month and then merely quietly confirmed rather than announcing, demonstrating that being present in and for your real life should take priority over everything else. This is not to say not to try online dating, but it will likely go better for you if you prioritize real-time, real-life health, focusing on being real over posting a filtered side of you on social media.
Online dating doesn't have to be a terrible experience, and Iris Dating has been working to improve the experience. The Iris app uses trust rating. Iris wants to change the way people date online by creating an incentive system that will reward users for being honest about themselves and transparent about their intentions. AOC didn't need the celebration of the whole world for her personal endeavors, which should inspire us to rethink how we're using social media in our lives, especially when it comes to dating. Perhaps one tool for assessing how online dating might go if we were to jump in today is asking whether or not we'd be able to hold off posting anything about our engagement for a whole month if it were to happen tomorrow.