Don’t yell at me for this one, I just want to explain how social networks can take a real world ritual and turn it upside down – a la buying cards from an anti-Valentines Day site.

Valentine’s Day is like herpes: just when you think its gone for good, it rears its ugly head once more. No wonder some people prefer to call it VD.

Yes, it’s that special time of year when chocolate manufacturers and greetings card companies encourage you to demonstrate the extent of your fondness in cold, hard, cash (or the satin-covered equivalent) on February 14th.

Fuck that.

This year, celebrate or commiserate by sending an anti-valentine. Stick two fingers (or one, if you’re that way culturally inclined) at any organisation with a vested interest which prescribes how and when to show your feelings. This year, don’t say it with flowers: say it with bile.

Update January 2008: the card sending functionality is regenerating. Should be back soon.

In the meantime, you can always send a real antivalentine card based on the designs on this site at MOO.com.

*cries* now I’m scared I’m going to get an anti-Valentines day card.

“bollocks”

Rituals are fairly carefully observed in social networks. Some are traditional and historical, some are derived solely on the ‘net (e.g. Talk Like A Pirate Day) and some are well, anti-traditional. I noticed that this year, Twitter had an anti-SantaClaus function, created by some naughty boys I know.

Anti-Valentines has been around since about 2001. You can order the cards on their site, or through Moo.com. (Scroll down to Meg Pickard)

“socialnetwork”

Actually, I insist my entire network get together and you know, get me something.

Clever marketing people will listen to their members and see exactly what they are doing with rituals. It won’t be all sugar and light but it may be fun. šŸ™‚ More cards here.

… you shouldn’t have