Big deal, right? I mean…been there, done that. Only here’s the thing: It’s not enough to just ask someone to escort you to the most epic event of high school anymore. Now you have to go all out by popping the question in some big, elaborate way if you want to score the perfect date. Like Jumbo-tron big. Or flash mob big. Or by hiring a helicopter to skywrite the word “Prom?”
Why is this a thing? Because as with anything else these days, it all comes down to “likes.” “It’s all about creating a post-able moment,” Dr. Kit Yarrow, a professor at Golden Gate University, told the Associated Press. “The more outlandish the promposal, the more attention and feedback they get from friends on social media.”
Which is why you better go big or go home, kids. Because once the question’s been asked and answered, you know those pics and videos are going right up online for validation. Search #promposals on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of these things—everything from scavenger hunts and the word PROM spelled out in pepperoni on a pizza to Tiffany necklaces with the question written inside the lid of that iconic little blue box.
And let’s not forget about the dude who asked Kate Upton.
These grand gestures and post-able moments don’t come cheap, however. A study this week by Visa on teen credit card spending revealed that the average promposal costs $324, making up more than a third of the $919 a couple can expect to pay for prom overall—a total that includes things like the dress, the tux, the limo, the flowers, the tickets, the pictures.
The survey questioned 3,041 people, and marks the first time Visa asked specifically about promposals. “Prom is a fun night for kids to get together and dance,” said Nat Sillin of Visa, in a statement. “But spending $300 plus on a promposal to simply ask your date is exorbitant.”
All of which just begs the question: What the hell happens if your prospective date says no?