Promposals Aren't Just About Getting a Date

It's Almost Promposal Season. Brace Yourselves.

If you aren't a teenager (or the parent of a teenager) then you probably haven't heard about promposals.  Now that spring is in the air, promposals are all over social media.  It's not enough today to just ask a date to prom, a prom invitation has to be inventive, attention-getting, and worthy of posting on social media.  Visa conducted a survey and found that on average, promposals cost $324 which is about a third of the total average cost of $919 spent on prom in 2015.

So why the hefty price tag for an invite to prom?  A lot of it has to do with social media.  Teens are consumed with sharing and one-upping each other online. Many have viewed over-the-top promposals that have gone viral and feel pressured to compete for such notoriety.  I have witnessed first-hand a few promposals (as well as some over-the-top invitations to homecoming dances) and can't believe the lengths teens go to in order to get their invitation to stand-out.  I've seen our dog dressed up, goldfish delivered to our home, balloons bouquets that appear on the front porch, our car decorated and more - all to ask a date to a dance. Every one of these over-the-top invitations was immediately posted on social media after the invite was accepted and both the proposer and proposee were interested in seeing how many "likes" their posts garnered as well as comparing the comments on those posts to those others who posted promposals.  Everyone wanted their promposal to be "the best" or "most-talked about" both in real life and online.

Even parents have started to compare the promposals their kids are getting with those their friends' kids get  - they post photos of their children's promposals on their social media pages and just like their children, are interested in seeing the number of "likes' and comments they get.

While prom doesn't seem to be going away, I wish that the era of promposals would.  This trend has taken something that was once very personal, innocent and often sweet and turned it into just another social media moment for teens who always seem to be looking to for attention online.


Julie Fisher, M.Ed., is the founder of The Social U and consults with schools, organizations and individuals through the MJ Fisher Group.  

Twitter: @Julz Fisher, @the_social_u