This man live tweeted his 12-hour wedding proposal
In pictures: Mike Duerksen's 12 hour proposal
Twitpic caption:The first date is breakfast at Stella's -- a staple in our relationship. #mikeproposes
Unless you are Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, it’s tough to build the kind of buzz you’ve always dreamt of around your engagement. It’s big news, sure. But not so much, say, for people who have never met you before.
So how does one overcome the irksome barrier of spreading the good news to folks who deserve to be as excited about your upcoming nuptials as you are?
23-year-old-Mike Duerksen came up with a perfect plan. On the eve of proposing to his girlfriend Janelle Freed, the Canadian native created the hashtag #MikeProposes and kicked off a social media campaign that had the all suspense of Homeland and the excitement of an import beer ad, starting with this: “Tomorrow I’m proposing to my girlfriend. I’ll be using the hashtag #MikeProposes. Follow along! #Winnipeg — Mike Duerksen (@mikeduerksen) April 13, 2012”
Live tweeting a proposal ... romantic or oversharing? (Above: Mike Duerksen and girlfriend Janelle Freed. Source: Twitter)
The idea is that Duerksen would take his girlfriend on a 12-hour date to eight different locations – each representing a special moment of their relationship. He would then tweet his progress throughout the day and post pictures their ‘special moments’ using Instagram.
And since Ms Freed isn’t a Twitter user, she would be kept in the dark while the whole world waits for her answer to the big question with bated breath. The only issue, as Duerksen discovered, is that it’s kind of rude to be tweeting the whole time you’re on a date.
“1st challenge: J. wants me to get off my phone and focus on our time together. #MikeProposes — Mike Duerksen (@mikeduerksen)”
Mike Duerksen tweets a picture of the engagement ring two hours before popping the big question. Photo: Mike Duerksen (via Twitter)
But lucky for us, Duerksen wasn’t going to let a small thing like his girlfriend’s feelings get in the way of his live tweets. Like any tenacious reporter, he continued supplying a steady stream of blow-by-blow account of the day:
"2nd challenge: rain's thwarting plans for walk along the river. Good thing I brought HUGE umbrella. #MikeProposes"
Time was that you can be the center of attention at a restaurant, a party or any non-ticketed public event by getting down on one knee and presenting an unsuspecting partner with a ring. But in our information rich world, it seems like a physical crowd just isn’t quite enough. Just like the “pics or it didn’t happen” phenomenon, Duerksen’s twitter proposal is a testament to “it’s not romantic, unless the whole world is retweeting your ‘surprise’ proposal.” (Is now a bad time to mention he works in PR?)
Like any good love story, the protagonist was rewarded with a 'happy ending'. Duerksen picked up hundreds of Twitter followers. The #MikeProposes hash tag started trending. And he was interviewed by the local paper on the following day, basking contentedly in his newly discovered internet fame. (On a side note, his girlfriend said yes.)
Perhaps the point isn’t so much about how social media has served to devaluate the sanctity of romance, but that it’s become the ultimate facilitator of a much grander love affair – with ourselves. And if Alain de Botton is right in saying that “The finest proof of our loyalty toward one another [is] our monstrous disloyalties towards everyone else,” then Duerksen’s story is a sobering reminder that we have officially entered an age where there is no greater love than the attention of strangers and the celebration of the self.
Your say: Is live tweeting your wedding proposal the ultimate grand gesture or the death of romance?