Online PDAs: Do You Love Them Or Loathe Them?

Team STELLAR fight it out.


Deputy editor, Jeanne Sutton

Disturbing fact: one of the most famously documented PDAs of all time was not consensual. It’s that photo of the sailor kissing the nurse in New York’s Times Squares on V-J day in 1945. Bombs were dropped, the Japanese had surrendered, Americans were no longer living in daily fear of their children dying. It’s a moment we’re led to believe is joy and hope and relief bundled up in a single frame.

In truth, the woman was Greta Zimmer Friedman, a 21-year-old dental assistant. The sailor was George Mendonsa, and he grabbed a stranger to plant one. Years later Greta would say, “it wasn’t that much of a kiss. It was just somebody celebrating. It wasn’t a romantic event.” They didn’t even go for coffee after.

There’s a lot of hate around PDAs. Which makes sense if you’re A) the dad in Downton Abbey, or B) have been on a Dublin bus and tried to not witness amorous teens ignore CCTV. But there’s also something lovely about them. Like true and real expressions of love – not forced on a woman propgranda exercises.

I love love. I remember being at home watching Kate and William’s wedding in 2011, sitting in my pyjamas, jet lagged from a transatlantic flight I had boarded slightly drunk after a three hour delay. I was draped across the couch, digging into a slice of specially bought cake and it was nice.

But what about online PDAs? Are they more smug and less acceptable than an internationally broadcasted wedding? Is a sweet couple selfie complete with kissy faces really all that sickening? I say let people tag their significant other and post gushy ‘my best friend’ statuses.

As with most things on social media, if you don’t like it, scroll past and withhold the like, you witch. Why do we give snaps of prosecco and overpriced eggs a free pass but an expression of human affection the side-eye.

Personally, I’m here for John Legend and Chrissy Teigen’s online lives. These feel like unpredictable times so when someone finds their lodestone, leave them be.


Digital editor, Victoria Stokes

I’m a hopeless romantic. Red roses on Valentine’s day, candlelit dinners on an anniversary… I’m here for it all. But those overly gushy online displays of affection? Well, they give me a major case of eye roll.

No, I’m not some bitter singleton with a heart of stone, I simply believe that when it comes to matters of the heart, some things are better left private. Think about it. Relationships are based on intimacy and getting to share moments that are just for the two of you. With that in mind, isn’t there something rather lovely about keeping some of those special moments to yourself, instead of broadcasting them to a bunch of people online that you don’t even know?

Want to post a lovey dovey status on your first anniversary or a cute couple’s selfie to mark your engagement? Go for it, but is there really any need for 350 words of gushing prose under a pic of your fella with his face stuck in a Big Mac? Probably not.

It’s quantity of online PDAs that grinds my gears most. If every second snap on your feed is a devotional post to your other half, it suggests there’s no appreciation for all the other fine things in your life. What about your family, your friends, your career?

It smacks of humble bragging too. How else can you explain the hashtag #BoyDidGood and endless pics of Louboutins bought on Valentine’s Day and rose petals leading to the bed for your birthday? It begs the question of why you feel the need to compulsively brag about your relationship. There’s a bang of insecurity there and more than a hint of showmance.

The saying goes that ‘the sign of a good relationship is no sign of it on Facebook’ and while I think it’d be weird if your partner didn’t feature on your feeds in some shape or form, there’s a lesson to be learned there, and that lesson is don’t overshare. Sure, it’s great that you’re so in love that you want to shout it from the rooftops, but maybe just rein it in a bit?

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