Expanding your social media vocabulary
Sometimes, fam, good things happen in our lives and we post about them online. And when we do, there is a word bank of stock language we tend to pull from. Things like promotions at work, pregnancies, and moving to a new city can all inspire us to use our accounts for an impromptu press conference when we’re usually on there asking for overnight oats recipes and posting screenshots of 4:20 p.m. Today I would like to talk to you about engagement announcements in particular.
I personally have never been engaged to be married, but having been online more than once, I have osmosed enough wedding industrial culture to fart out a Mad Lib engagement announcement if I try. Look:
Welp, it’s official! As of [recent date], we’re getting married! I cannot believe how [lucky/excited/honored] I am to be [marrying/spending the rest of my life/sharing my greatest adventure with] my best friend.
Here is the thing: I get it. Your partner is your favorite person and you feel strongly about this. So strongly, in fact, that you are willing to commit to spending a lifetime with them. Arguably, it’s one of the strongest feelings out there, and given these context clues, it’s not difficult to deduce that you might consider this person a friend. Perhaps, even, a close one. Now obviously there are tons of marriage models out there and not all of them are friendship-based—maybe you are hoping to indicate that your marriage is not arranged, or that your pairing is somehow different than others in your family. That’s great! But you can still do better than best friend.
When you sit down to write about your beloved, “What have I seen other people post online?” is not the best prompt. Don’t adopt the tone of the form, don’t mimic the occasion-appropriate language you’ve seen cement mixed and repurposed and recycled through feed after feed for ten years. If it’s vague but upbeat enough that you could also be writing about your Subaru Forester, you’re not doing your best work. Instead, maybe think, “Why am I, specifically, excited to marry my partner, specifically?” You consider them a best friend. What does that look like? What does that act like? What does that sound like after a shitty Wednesday at work? Your partner probably rules and shows up for you in all kinds of ways. You can do better for them than “friend.”
And listen, it’s your feed. You’re allowed to post on it however you want. But if you’re posting about how special someone is to you and how specific of a feeling that is, you probably shouldn’t be leaning on the kickstand of language you’ve ingested and digested and pooped out 70 million times already. We know you like your partner—you’re marrying them! Just tell us you’re happy in your own goddang voice and trust that that is enough. Then let us congratulate you.