If you asked me two weeks ago, I would have told you that it’s tacky to announce your engagement on Facebook. Facebook is where you discover drunken photos of last night’s debauchery. Where you read status updates on what Sam is having for lunch, the latest internet meme, or what John is listening to on Spotify. Something as meaningful as an engagement should be announced in person or at least over the phone. Doesn’t making an engagement announcement on Facebook cheapen the moment? And of all of my “friends,” how many would really care? The answer? Hundreds.
When my boyfriend proposed, two things happened. I was overwhelmed with complete shock, while my boyfriend shook with excitement. The ring had been burning a hole in his pocket as he patiently waited for the right moment to ask me; now that he had, he was ready to tell the world we were engaged. I, on the other hand, was dumbstruck. My now-fiancé took charge and said I should call my immediate family, who had been waiting to hear the news ever since he gave them a heads up that he would be asking me to marry him. The next day, I told co-workers in person and friends over IM. Time zones, work, and the order of importance dictated who was notified and when. Any guilt about alerting friends over IM was washed away by their excitement to get the details of how and when. In 24 hours, I had told a total of 10 people with over 100 to go. (If you think 100 is an exaggeration, you’re mistaken. My fiancé and I have very large families and have moved several times in the past five years.)
The idea of calling each person was exhausting. Once we told his parents in person, he could no longer contain himself and changed our relationship status on Facebook to engaged. Instantly, the messages poured in. Responses on Facebook, emails, text messages, and voicemails flooded in. I felt awkward telling the world this way, but was relieved to see all of our friends and family respond and congratulate us so quickly. No need to call cousins in foreign countries or old roommates on the west coast. The best part? Everyone has the same questions. Let me see the ring! How did he propose? Again, despite feeling awkward about posting engagement photos, I gave in and posted a few collages of photos taken that night by our friend. (Is it less annoying to non-”friends” if the album only has three images?) Everyone’s questions were answered and my stress was relieved in under two minutes.
Although my Facebook announcement may seem tacky, 80 percent of our friends over the past five years were elated to hear about it. So many people I wouldn’t have been able to contact directly were able to offer us their best wishes. Most importantly, without the pressure of trying to contact a hundred friends and family, I was actually able to enjoy the just-engaged buzz. And it was awesome.