Ever since social media has come to take upon considerable space in our world, we have been left a bit too exposed to the ideal ways of it. From wanderlust to wine and dine, from fashion to mindfulness, from relations to successes, we continuously look up to something as the guiding standard. Everything is relative today, even the emotions that we feel occurs as ‘legit’ if only we manage to match up to the desirable intensity of them. It only is natural therefore that the relationships we nurture today and the expectations we set for them too are fairly influenced by what would be ‘trending’ elsewhere.
In a world increasingly conversing in the social media jargon, it is interesting to come to realise that perhaps even our own definition and meaning of deeply personal experiences as love and happiness and romance too is considerably subject to the ways and mannerisms in which the rest of the world plays it out particularly through the fore of the many a social media platforms, armed with armor galore of making it all appear as hunky dory no matter what the individual reality of it might all be boiling down to.
There really isn’t any aspect of living that has ever gone untouched by the assertion of what we feel all the time as emotive and emotional beings all through our existence in the world. And specifically when it comes to such experience in profound awareness of the very conscious yet the rarely deliberate realisation occurring as love- romantic love to be precise, the quotient of the emotions runs high indeed and rather erratically as well.
Upon such grounds of its already unpredictable essence, love manifested through public displays of affection in numerous social media shows impact even greatly our personal experience of it. And while it might not be really practical to assess the gravity and substance of our own love lore given that no one can exactly gauge the extent of emotions even when it is their very own, the relaying of it in such deeds and words that play out as ideal across the realm of the digital affects indeed our perception of romance.
The factors actually driving our understanding and subsequent experience of love might be many but the way in which social media prints upon us its impression in absolute exaltation often converges around a couple some set notions of its perfection, or to tone down even its euphemism the character of it at least in ‘practical fantasy’. For we cannot but absolutely, wholeheartedly, devotedly submit ourselves to the idea of love being rosy and dreamy and lovely so much so that despite everyday encounters in fair numbers with also the contradictory revealing of it, love for us still is largely an entity heavenly indeed. Whether you choose to equate it with the supreme assertion of the divine or dwell otherwise in the fairytalesque realm of magic, love is still always surreal and blissful and beautiful a dream we love chasing for real.
This brings us to something equally real seeming but not perfectly realistic still that has come to dominate the realm of romance more than ever, thanks of course to the trend of it being a social media mainstay for quite some time now. With in fact more than a decade of continuance in this trend that occurs indeed as a certain hashtagged phenomenon so characterising of the ultimate Instagram identity, what we constantly gape at is an added element of relationships that have been existing since forever but that one did not actively pursue.
Instead, as an ingrained essence of conjugal living and shared existence fostered by such love that makes ‘us’ out of you and me, this particular unfurling of love across a facet innate has always been the norm, even when not so evidently. But the dynamic dimensions of the world that has been modernly defined with the now omnipresent reality of the virtual space means that eking out empathic essences from such things already existent should be explored and exploited and manifested in as possible extents of it. And thus here we are, fawning over the picture perfect snaps of ideal couples dishing out such adorably real reasons to revel in the resplendence of romantic love that one cannot help but feel compelled to idolise them at least in as magnificent measures of how we have always exalted and celebrated and gushed over love itself.
This ruling trend of the social media ravish that somehow continues to hold ground still after even considerable years of its emergence, in stark contrast to the merely transient nature of which almost every thing digital is necessarily permeated by, occurs as the popular #relationshipgoals or alternately as #couplegoals. To be fair though, it isn’t just the romantic unfurling of relationships that enjoy this bevy of fame on social media platforms, Instagram particularly as other assertions of relations and the love accruing to them too finds expression under appropriate hashtags.
Be it the one pertaining to friends like #BFFgoals or for siblings in a namesake profile, worldly folks today seem to be very clear indeed about the goals they want to achieve out of their relationships if not from life at least. But it still is predominantly the more ubiquitous reference to love in romantic relevance that shines through when it comes to Instagram instigating a whole world of innuendos to ignite this narrative of the intended.
As a concept itself, it might not be so convenient an exercise to pinpoint the exact date and time and year when the relationship goals hashtag was ‘propounded’ by some genius of algorithmic understanding. But it still is more than established that by times as early as the year of 2009, social media had seen this particular phrase pop up more often across its expanse. In the years that followed, the effect has only intensified and the resulting effect of it as well has manifested in no lesser frequency of occurrence and no lesser craze as well of its interpretation. Quite simply alluding to things that romantically inclined couples do, no matter how profound or how ordinary, the #relationshipgoals assertion has since emerged to be a goal itself in embarking perhaps on the path of the much fancied love life.
What makes relationship goals goals indeed to aim for in all their essence of perception is the peculiar but legit still versatility of them. Whether it be in referencing real indeed aspirations of happy live ins or blissful weddings or simply beautiful beginnings together or otherwise in poking fun instead at the unrealistic, worthless or even whimsically non essential facets of what can be interpreted as love and support and companionship all of the romantic kind of course, the appeal of this trend lies in exactly embodying what love does in at least its dual mode of expression.
Converging the physical realms of the real and the fantastical across the perceived divide between the virtual and the real is this popular way of defining love, or depicting it rather that sums up the status in relational aspiration for almost every one of us. More popular an attribute thrust upon celebrity couples of course in taking advantage of the immense scrutiny and desirability of them as public figures but also not excluding more common folks like you and me, the relationship goals hashtag has continually managed to retain its reputation as one of the most taken to expression in the years since its inception.
Taken ‘organically’ or so as to speak in technical jargon of what concerns the reach and impact of social media, relationship goals isn’t anything necessarily fake. Of course it can be very scripted a presentation in the ultimate kind of love but it does not have to be only that. But consider also the associated aspect of what social media necessarily leads one to do- through its core concept in engagement- read likes, loves and followers and the perusing of this trend inevitably lands us up on premises not personally perfect as such.
As a hashtag aiding one’s digital ‘growth’, #relationshipgoals has very effectively doubled up today as a marketing tactic. Or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that this assertion in deliberate pushing of one’s profile to the forefront has come to be the dominant principle guiding such posts hashtagged with this particularly potent phrase. Today there are couples who document their entire love lives on social media- or at least they appear to be baring it all in utter transparency. Driving us thus crazy over their perfect indeed experience of love so much so that we come to covet their kind of loving is what #relationshipgoals capture in its shining of the spotlight upon their sweet nothings and coochie coos or even things more substantial.
That should be fine indeed with the most of us anyway drunk on the dreamy nature of love, helping us only further our expectations in make- believe in rather innocent fun and immense charm. The problem arises though when we choose to believe that what we are seeing is all that there is to see, overlooking the fact that it is only the bright and the beautiful that is allowed to be filtered to the audience to create a picture in trending affiliations. Unrealistically raising therefore expectations that we harbour from our own pursuit of love in real so much so that we end up being exasperated, dejected and depressed every time we fail to set goals ourselves, it is this same overstated exuberance of the relationship goals hashtag that derail the seeking of our own love haven.
Of course it’s more than enough time now that the relationship goals hashtag has persisted for it to be delivering lessons in both the legitimate and illegitimate accounts of it. It in fact is easier than ever for us to decipher the true nature of these perfections played out relentlessly across many a social media platforms since the increasing thrust on authenticity and our evolution in understanding the real truths of the pixelated virtual presentation has endowed us with a knack of differentiating accurately enough the real from the fake. Given such expanding horizons of our perception and the deriving out of introspection such realisations that real relationship goals are anything that lead us to be truly happy, contented and blissful in this entire ‘in love’ experience of very personal remarkabilities, the #relationshipgoals trend should be one less speaking for us and instead be the phenomenon through which we express in all sacred sentiment the immense intensity and extent of our real and realistic love.