COMMENTARY: Social media changes Valentine’s Day for the worse


Jennie Lathrop

Photo by Jennie Lathrop

By Giuliana Calix, Arts & Culture Editor

Flowers, candy and giant teddy bears line the aisles of grocery stores starting mid- January, and even sometimes before Christmas. Bright pinks and reds capture the attention of the hopelessly singles and those hopelessly in love. It’s Valentine’s Day: A day that’s forever going to be a day of love, but social media has made it a day of competition.

Feb. 14 is a major minefield when it comes to social media. It’s all too easy to alienate all your single friends with one loved-up selfie or heavily filtered snap of your V-Day gift haul. Valentine’s day has sadly become another one of those uber-commercialized holidays that seems to have more to do with buying stuff than acknowledging loved ones and friends. There’s constant photo pressure, comparing yourself to others, having FOMO even when you don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend. Social media is always a massive part of relationships, and some fear the prospect of spending the holiday alone- or worse, having the dreaded friends with benefits situation. 

Instagram and Snapchat make people feel like they need to show people that someone loves them and that it makes singles feel like they are worthless without a boyfriend. With all the “six-months” posts and the sappy valentines, these couples take over everyone’s social media fees. Not going to lie, but not many people care that it’s you guys who have been dating for six months, four days, and 17 hours.

“The Valentine’s day one is fine and cute,” senior Gemma Stille said. “The ones about how many months they have been dating are kind of annoying. It’s like I get it, I’ve had a boyfriend too.”

 Parents and grandparents would never even imagine that Valentine’s Day has turned into what it is today. When our parents were growing up they went out on dates, held hands and had conversations for hours. Nowadays when you go out to dinner with someone, you take a picture of them with their food with the caption “my date.” Dating someone is not about the cute pictures and the TikTok dances you do together, though that’s fun and all, it’s time to put the phone down. Bring back the old times and celebrate the love you have together instead of bragging about it online. 

“I don’t know anything about how dating was back then, but I know it was much better than it is now,” senior Grace Gates said. “I bet if couples weren’t on their phones every second they’re with each other, they would know more about each other.” 

Restaurants are busier than ever as many people go out for an evening with their spouse or parents. The restaurants may have every seat filled, but is it more important to put the phones down. Look: Every couple is doing something for Valentine’s Day. Others don’t want to go on Snapchat and see which restaurant you’re at.