Article in brief: the author looks at how greedy corporations and social media are adding to the pressures of the increasing number of special occasions throughout the year.
Is it just me or have the number of days that are dedicated to various occasions and people increased? Apart from mother’s day, father’s day, birthdays, anniversaries, we now have pets’ day, siblings’ day, teacher’s day and the list goes on; every other day seems to be a reason to celebrate an occasion or an individual. While it is great to treasure our loved ones and show them how much they mean to us, I feel that this notion has lost its true meaning. These special days are now not just about appreciating one another, but almost a competition as to who can provide the best gifts. They have become so commercialized and corporations are taking advantage of our social needs of acceptance and pleasing others by making such days bolder and grander.
The commercialization of these events leads the receiver to have high expectations and the giver to have tremendous pressure to conform. An example is Valentine’s Day where grand gestures are expected and everyone wants to know what you received or did on that day. In addition to the pressure on couples, it adds unnecessary stress on the singletons that may feel insecure or left out and end up having a miserable day.
Another issue besides the corporations’ greed is the need to share your special day on social media. These public displays of affection diminish the authenticity of the occasion and our true feelings, and instead they become about social status and superficiality. Does it not mean as much if we just share our love and respect in private? Sharing too much on social media ends up being more about validation rather than showing true appreciation. Instead of posting your declarations of love, pick up the phone and tell that significant person how you feel.
Although many might not agree, I choose not to celebrate these man-made days and instead of giving into social and commercial pressures, I make an effort to celebrate the special people in my life in other ways. We send flowers and gifts to our mothers because corporations dictate that we do so on mother’s day. Wouldn’t it make our mothers happier if we did the same act on any other random day of the year? I am sure it would make her feel a lot more special knowing that this was done out of pure love and not just a formality.
Giving into these commercialized events makes it more of a chore than a genuine act of giving. Not only do we not have to celebrate on these select days, but it doesn’t always have to be about spending a lot of money. We can use our creativity and make things with love. A letter, a card, sharing a special place or memory – all these can be such unique and thoughtful gifts and would surely have a more lasting impact on our loved ones. Sometimes it’s the simple things that can bring the most joy in your life.
Bahar is a recruiter by profession, an aspiring writer by night, and a mom of toddler twins. She has an unending thirst for learning, as she completed her BComm in Canada, an MA in Dubai, and continues to develop herself with reading and research.
With her column, she shares her journey as she grows and learns more about this crazy beautiful world we live in.