Valentine’s Day is a pretty good holiday, as you’ll get candy from somewhere no matter what and you’ll also look at the calendar and say “huh, February is halfway over... winter is pretty much done.” I don’t want to wade into the debate about whether V-Day makes single people feel lonely or why capitalist consumption has to be involved in all our expressions of affection, because for one I never feel lonely (that’s what films and radio are for?) and for another I’m done having stances on American cultural rituals I can’t change.
What I do want to address is drone-maker DJI’s Valentine’s Day marketing. It is bad, bordering on cruel. There’s a lot going on, and all of it is not okay.
Don’t say “love is in your hands,” where “love” is a drone or a camera stabilizer
Drones and 4K cameras are just things. They’re not “love.” And if a drone is in your hand, that can be dangerous. If DJI is really bent on including this phrase they should amend it to read “love is in your heart, a gadget is in your hands, and some of your fingers are over there.”
Don’t say “recharge your love life,” where “your love life” is a 4K camera
This doesn’t even make sense.
Don’t call a normal-ass box of Ferrero Rocher a “Limited Edition Valentine’s Day Gift Set”
I promise you, you can buy the same chocolate at a steep discount at Rite Aid or Target.
Don’t record every minute of your life with a drone?
This seems romantic because the “Moment” in the accompanying photograph is an important and elegant one. But do you really need footage of every time you and your boo glance at each other or touch each other? Who is going to watch that back? I’m not saying don’t buy a drone, because drones are cool and have many uses, I’m just saying it’s absurd to buy a drone for this specific reason. Most of what you record will be so boring and some of it will be fights, and a lot of the time you won’t look that good because that’s just what being outside does to most people. In case you forgot, it’s still the awful dead of miserable winter, and the last thing anyone wants to do in celebration of romance is feel a tugging obligation to go outside and try out their new drone and smooch in the cold all covered in snot.
To sum: don’t buy your loved ones drones for Valentine’s Day
Expensive gadgets are not good Valentine’s Day gifts. First of all, Valentine’s Day comes quickly on the heels of Christmas, when it’s considered fine to give people pricey, non-personalized objects. There’s no reason you couldn’t have gotten your drone gifting out of the way then. Second, Valentine’s Day is when you’re supposed to take a little extra effort to explain to someone you love why they are so important to you. I just don’t think you’re going to say what you want to say by handing over a $1,000 piece of metal and plastic that anyone with a credit card can have. I mean, make some crafts! Frame some photos that you ordered from an actual photo-printing place instead of popping them out on copy paper at the library! Write a letter! Every year of my childhood, my mother celebrated Valentine’s Day by making an acrostic poem about how great I am and hanging it in the door of my bedroom in the dead of night. Personally I think that’s a good option if you happen to have a literary mind and a lot of ribbon.
It’s none of my business, really, but probably don’t buy a drone for anyone for Valentine’s Day.
This post is about DJI’s recent mistake, but that doesn’t mean we have forgotten these absurd Parrot ads, in which drones and VR headsets are how you fall in love. Drones are cool, but not romantic. I think it’s fine if we all just accept that and stop doing this.