Facebook is annoying. Even if you’re the most social of butterflies, an ex’s status update or an embarrassing high school cheerleading photo can tempt you to deactivate. When you factor in enraging political memes, it’s amazing Mark Zuckerberg isn’t pelted with rotten eggs every time he leaves the house.
There is a certain age, however, when Facebook irritation peaks. Between graduating college and turning 30, social media becomes a harrowing landscape of couple vacations and wedding cake toppers. With all the posed babies and whitened smiles populating my Facebook feed, logging in feels like I’ve stepped inside Barbie’s Dystopian Dream House. Every other day, someone pops out a kid or says “I Do.” Emotional voyeurism isn’t so fun, when it makes your weekend of bowling and drunken dancing look lame.
So, it comes as no surprise that a backlash has started. Circulating in the feminist blog-o-sphere recently was a piece from The Cut, lamenting the trend of posting engagement ring photos as status updates. It even hit Jezebel, the feminist blogging mothership, with a rousing endorsement. The argument is that there is no modern status update so irritating as the “context-free diamond,” just a picture of a newly adorned hand with a smugly joyful caption.
Now, I don’t want to be a bad feminist/blogger, but…I couldn’t care less. No, that’s a lie. It’s not even indifference I feel towards ring pictures, but adoration. Despite my well-documented side-eye toward engagement rings, I love looking at other people’s jewelry. Though the whole ring thing is a bit of archaic patriarchy, it’s still a tradition we honor as a society, and one of the few wedding symbols that is both enduring and truly personal. The wedding flags you loved on Pinterest will be used by a hundred other couples this year and the cake will grow stale and molder, no matter how many buttercreams are tasted ahead of time. The dress can be stored away and preserved, of course, but what’s the chance that your daughter will really want a mermaid-style gown with “bling” on the sash?
The ring, however, will stay on your hand forever. It’s also one of the only wedding traditions that involves the tastes of both the bride and the groom. A ring can tell someone so much about a couple, right down to their opinions on traditions and simplicity, just by what he chose with her in mind. So, yeah, I love looking at them. I love being told of a friend’s engagement, through a picture of her great-grandmother’s own wedding ring that fits perfectly on her hand. I love knowing how much a groom adores his bride, thanks to a sentimental little inscription inside. It’s still a tradition which has connotations I’m uneasy with, but…is there really nothing more annoying than a picture of sparkle and a note of joy? I can think of a dozen things posted on Facebook today that make me legitimately enraged and none of them involve something so inoffensive as a ring.
But, then again, perhaps I’m particularly biased today. Because, even after reading those articles and realizing that other women loathe the whole practice, I took a picture of a ring and put it on Facebook. On Saturday, Professor McGregor proposed and I said yes! Afterwards, during an impromptu celebration with our nearest and dearest at a neighborhood pub, I happily posted a ring on it.
PS: In all the joyful hubbub of this weekend, I forgot to make another exciting announcement! Remember that post on marathons that I wrote last year, which had runners across the world sending me death threats? It’s being performed in the 11th production of Bloglogues, a live comedy show in New York City, which features some of the funniest writing on the internet! Crazy, right? If you’re interested in going, this run’s theme is health & fitness and will be showing through next weekend! They’ve done a few posts from my dear friend Girl on the Contrary, one of which they turned into a musical number. Also, you get a free beer with your ticket. Totally awesome.