9/16. On Friday my Facebook feed was dominated by one particular video. Everyone was sharing it. (And today George Takei has shared it so you know it will be everywhere). The video shows a beautiful proposal in a Home Depot in Salt Lake City. Friends and family dance a choreographed routine as Spencer proposes to Dustin. It reminded me of another video that went viral last year of a lip-sync and dancing rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” where Isaac proposes to Amy. Each has millions of views on Youtube.
It made me wonder what it was about these videos that make them so popular (especially when there are hundreds of other proposals and even flash mob proposals on youtube.) Of course, as viewers we marvel at the creativity of the proposals as well as the genuine reactions and the obvious love. But what sticks out to me about these videos is the way in which friends and family have been enrolled as actors in this deeply personal moment in a couple’s life.
Much has been written about the isolating features of the internet and of our society as a whole. But what I see in these videos is connection: connection between the two people, connection between the couple and their friends, connection between families and the couple, and the connection that they all have with each other.
In a world in which we are so often isolated and alone, in which technology separates us into digital silos, these videos show real human connection. They show people using technology to connect not disconnect (note the ways in both videos in which friends and relative who are far away appear on ipads and laptops to share in the moment). These videos invite us to connect with someone else’s community and joy.
What we see in these videos are functioning communities. We see vibrant support networks. Facebook- a virtual community- lit up with a real one. Perhaps these videos can ignite something in each of us- not just a desire to dance with or hug our loved ones, but to expand the boundaries of our love. Perhaps these videos can inspire us to reach out to friends and relatives thereby lessening our isolation and connecting us to one another.