So a few days back a friend of mine had raised the issue of Public Display of Affection on Facebook, and had invited a debate on whether “love expressed on Facebook can be classified as PDA or not”. The friend of mine further questioned if ‘it defies the basic social norms which have been set by our “society”?’
Most would agree that it is, indeed PDA, and as I have already argued in this post, I agree too, that Facebook, or for that matter, any online social networking site, is not so far away from reality that one must think they have a license to behave in any way that they wouldn’t in real life.
The friend’s post made me think about PDA as a whole, and I did a little research on what has already been debated about it. It seems people still can’t seem to make their mind about whether PDA is really acceptable or not, while most say that given involving parties remain “within predefined limits”, it doesn’t really make any difference. Rule of thumb, in my opinion, should be that, anything that makes people near you go “Aww..look at that, they’re so cute!” is okay, while anything that would incite a nauseous “Ugh! Go get yourselves a room guys!” isn’t.
And although it might be totally unrelated, all I could think of was Lily Allen’s “Who’d Have Known”, and the song’s lyrics. Of course, trust me to find a song for everything. The song’s not that exceptionally great, except that it has these lines which I really like,
“I haven’t left here for days now,
And I’m becoming amazed how,
You’re quite affectionate in public,
In fact your friend said it made her feel sick,
And even though it’s moving forward,
There’s just the right amount of awkward,
And today you accidentally called me baby”
I am sure people who discuss PDA are the ones who have, never, in their life, indulged in PDA themselves. I am sure people who talk about social norms and PDA defying them, have never, for once, held their lover’s hand in public. And I am also sure they have never said “I love you” to their girlfriend/boyfriend in front of their friends. I mean, of course, that would be PDA, right? Saying I love you in public? Then how, I ask, would they understand why a song would be written about how great it feels when someone shows their affection to you in public? How would they understand that in any relationship, being acknowledged in front of friends, is considered one of the first signs of a stable foundation? How would they realize how amazing it is when the one you love, decides to give indulgence to a sudden impulse, a spontaneous outburst of love, and just pops a kiss on your forehead, out of nowhere, while you’re doing something as mundane as waiting for the lift? That sometimes, something as simple as being called baby in front of a group of friends could melt one’s heart?
Well, we keep talking about freedom of expression. Then why is expressing love considered a threat to our culture? People who express feelings of love with friends are not considered “show offs”. Then why are lovers expressing love “show-offs”? I wouldn’t think twice about posting something about my best friend. Then why should I think twice before posting something about my fiance? Friends, family, lovers… these all are relations we have in our lives. Why, then, are only lovers the butt of all debates?
Having said all this, I still maintain that there is always a statute of decency this “society” has agreed upon, and one should stick to that. You are free to do anything you wish, as long as it doesn’t cause discomfort to the people around you. Like I already mentioned that rule of thumb, right?
And just before I wrap this whole thing up, you want to know how “offensive” PDA is? Go ask that dork who scored the campus trophy and loves flaunting her because it is the first time his friends are jealous of him. Go ask that guy who’s doing a jig inside his head right now, grinning like an idiot, because his girlfriend just blew a kiss to him in front of his friends. Go ask that girl who wishes she could throw a party because her “never-express-love-in-public” boyfriend just made a fool of himself in front of his friends and the butt of their jokes because he posted a video of a romantic song on Facebook and tagged her in it. Or maybe go ask that couple who held hands in public for the first time and realized how spectacular the world looks when you’re walking hand in hand.
Leave them be. Let them enjoy. Don’t like it? Don’t do it!
And oh, this is the song. Since I like it anyways 🙂