It’s been said that the Facebook generation no longer writes letters or sends cards to show affection. But we do send Someecards, and in vast numbers — the wildly popular comedy site, maker of all those sardonic, pastel-colored memes in your timeline today, averages 100 million monthly impressions on Facebook alone.
But Someecards don’t necessarily express affection. They’re also cynical and brutally honest, in an Onion kind of way. (“When you care enough to hit send,” is the site’s tongue-in-cheek tagline.) And that, along with the cards’ rampant virality on Facebook, Pinterest and other social platforms, makes them an interesting lens for viewing love (or its modern proxies) in the social media age.
As far as trends, says Brook Lundy, Someecards’ co-founder and president, people seem to seek out increasingly topical cards for Valentine’s Day. Both of the site’s top cards this year involved the Olympics; two years ago, Ryan Gosling was all the rage.
But there’s another, more interesting change going on here: As time progresses, people seem to care less and less about the holiday.
“The other trend is that everyone gets more and more jaded about Valentine’s Day every year so we try to adapt to that in new ways — as in, what are the appropriate ways to make fun of it?” Lundy wrote in an e-mail. “What does a sad night alone look like in 2014? Which social media do you need to avoid? What does ‘romance’ look like these days? How little effort do people want to put into this holiday?”
It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact reason for that shift — it could have to do more with the type of people who use social media, and who use Someecards, than with any larger change in the culture itself.
Which means that, on social media at least, 2007’s card may be the most romantic we ever get.