Up Vote This: Reddit Marriage Proposal
An online proposal may seem like a strange way to propose to someone but for Malcolm and Simone nothing could have been more perfect.
After months of planning, Malcolm (under his username SirTechnocracy) posted to the sub-Reddit Advice Animals “This is a marriage proposal (she will recognize my username): I can’t believe the day is finally here” a collection of 12 memes with messages like “Brace yourself: A ring is coming” and “But one does not simply, walk into marriage”. It then linked to a secondary gallery “Today I propose to my girlfriend online through art I commissioned from 18 artists” that featured commissioned art each representing an intimate moment in the couple’s relationship, followed by an image of a diamond ring.
With any online proposal, especially one over Reddit, it has received both positive and negative comments. So I asked the couple, who also happen to be fans of this blog, a few questions about their now viral proposal.
Why Reddit Malcolm, why online?
Reddit is one of Simone’s favorite online hangouts, so proposing to her on reddit is akin to proposing to someone who is obsessed with the Red Sox at a Red Sox game. The internet is where she spends most of her time. We met online and the internet has been the nexus of both our social and professional lives.
Moreover, Reddit fit the art-based theme of the proposal. Every aspect of the proposal- from the art styles I chose for the commissions to their delivery was meant to tie into online culture. Reddit is one of the most important and accessible websites within online culture, so proposing through it tied everything else together. I honestly can’t think of another location where a proposal like this would have made any sense.
How long were you planning your proposal to Simone?
The proposal took a few month’s worth of planning. I knew Simone would love the idea of me proposing to her online, but I couldn’t think of a romantic method of doing so. I finally came up with the idea of commissioning art from a number of online artists and having her find it accidentally on /r/pics. With that plan in mind, I researched hundreds of artists and spent a lot of time going back and forth with them to create images that are just right.
As the date of the proposal approached, I became more and more frightened that after all the work I put into the proposal, the rule against targeting an individual on r/pics would cause the mods to take it down. A few hours before the posts went up, I created a set of (pretty bad) memes so that it could be posted on /r/AdviceAnimals as well as /r/pics. It is frustrating that the only thing people seem to remember about the proposal is the memes.
How did you both feel about the attention it received online?
From Malcolm: It’s fun having everyone talk about this for a bit. I have gotten tons of positive heartfelt messages and have seen many comments of a similar type on the boards and articles where the proposal has been discussed. Obviously, I have seen negative comments as well, but this is the internet after all. What should we expect? While a good number of negative comments come from trolls, there are also a number of people who are sincerely concerned.
I think concern about the proposal mostly springs from a fear of new ways of doing things (a constant in any society) and an inability to separate how one would personally want someone to propose to them and how someone else might want to be proposed to. I believe that the only person whose opinion matters is the person you are proposing to. If you sacrifice your partner’s happiness to fit societal standards, you are setting an ominous precedent for the rest of your relationship.
From Simone: I’m glad so many people have gotten a kick out of Malcolm’s meme-based proposal and beautiful commissions (whether they find it dreadfully romantic or horrific). I think it’s a brilliant idea and I hope it inspires other people to think of thoughtful, creative, geeky ways to express their love.
What were your thoughts Simone when you first noticed the Reddit post? Did you find it yourself?
Yes, I found the post completely independently. It’s lucky Malcolm was able to create something that made it to the front page! I was in a state of complete shock. It was so weird to see something on the front page of Reddit that was targeted at me, let alone a whole album full of commissioned art featuring Malcolm and me. I was completely blown away- I wanted to smile, laugh, cry, faint, and scream with excitement all at once.
When Malcolm heard me react to the posts, came into the room, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him, I completely forgot to answer. He had to remind me to give him a response! Finally I did- and then posted a meme on the Advice Animals thread letting everyone else know that Malcolm’s proposal went well.
Despite what some commentators had to say I personally loved Malcolm’s proposal. It may not have been as intimate as a romantic dinner or had stunning views from atop the Eiffel Tower, but that doesn’t take away the amount of planning and thoughtfulness that went into Malcolm’s proposal. Like the scoreboard at a sporting event Malcolm took a similar, all be it, more public approach to his proposal.