We got hot ‘n’ heavy last week talking about the etiquette involved in Public Displays of Affection (PDA).
Like everything else, the PDA has adapted with our tech-savvy world and what we now also have is the original PDA’s pixellated cousin – the ODA (Online Display of Affection).
Listing status updates like “I love my pumpkin pie” on a public forum like Twitter or Facebook is the digital equivalent of dry-humping in a café.
Announcing to your entire network: When he’s not around, I feel empty, sad. I can’t wait for the weekend to hold my love does not inspire the reaction you think it might from your friends.
More than likely, instead of getting misty-eyed at the magic of love, they’re dry-reaching over their keyboard.
It’s a phenomenon that was once saved for the annual love classifieds, published every Valentine’s Day in papers around the world. I used to gleefully read out the dedications to “Smoochy-bear”, written tenderly by “Your Little Turtle” and giggle. Now it’s in our newsfeeds and getting harder to take!
STFUCouples.com (Sometimes NSFW) is a website dedicated to logging couples’ soppy online antics, complete with cutting commentary. Their thousands of regular readers joyfully log on every day to get a good giggle from such gems as:
The smell of your bare skin, the touch of your fingertips, the sweet taste of your lips, your eyes that pull me in… posted on her boyfriend’s wall. For everyone to read. I’m not joking; I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
Another entire bedtime discussion between two lovers ends in:
Sweet dreams, babygirl. I love you. *throws you a kiss*, followed closely by “babygirl”, who: *catches it*
You get the feeling they may even be in the same house while posting.
To me, any of the above is an instant defriending offense.
But don’t try and cross a couple who want to play their relationship out in public like this. Though they want you to see how desperately in love they are, they don’t want you to comment on it.
STFUCouples.com gets a lot of people telling them they’re just “jellus” of true love.
Unfortunately, it’s not so. The owner of the site is married herself, as are many of the regular followers.
They just know how to keep it in their inboxes, not on their walls.
M made the mistake of commenting on a loved-up wall post with the classic “Oh, please, get a room you two.”
She was then bullied to bits in follow-up comments by Cupid’s Army: Defenders of PDA Everywhere.
Leave them alone they whined They’re allowed to sho their luv.
“Yes, and I’m allowed to be repulsed when they do it publicly.” Says M – who is happily in a long term relationship of her own, I might add, despite commenters telling her she was boring and didn’t know anything about love.
“The saddest thing was that one called me naïve… but she misspelled the word.”
The point is, you can show your partner some love online, but, just like in real life it’s all about how you do it.
Sure, give them a shout-out on special occasions – especially if you received a gift worthy of showing off to your friends.
Post photos of yourselves kissing but only if they’re from your wedding – and even then, you’re probably pushing it a little.
But for the most part, keep your soppy, love-poem graffiti off my wall, thank you very much.