Marketing Arranged Marriages

iBraden’s iPhone Wallpaper, Artwork by Curtis Kulig, Photo by BradensEye

When I was a young girl I dreamed of being happily married and my wedding. I’ve yet to be properly proposed to or engaged. Indeed, pretend adolescent playtime marriages, or slightly older drug-induced marathon love moments, ripe with candy-rings do not count. They are merely amusing anecdotes for a more sober, more adult version of me. I wanted to be thoroughly spellbound with another.

After my mom experienced a fated trip to Hawaii as a photographer’s assistant, which I was originally asked to join, but for some high-schoolish reason I couldn’t, I plotted my future hubby and I marrying at this special spot she shared reminded her so much of me. She recalled it was within Hanalei Bay where this defunct exposed volcano rising from the ocean was emitting a blue hole beneath its brilliantly sunlit roof. And, if you know me well, you would understand the extra significance I conjured. As, all my loving life, Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea in a land called by the same name it sounded to me! As there was no internet in my youth, nor a Shazam-style app, I was unwise to the lyrics spelling of the more mythical land where Puff resided as Honalee, I came to find in a respectful research present day. Either way, it sounded like a slice of Heaven and what girl doesn’t want to be married in a most beautiful place in the world. I even went so far as dreaming about marrying aboard a sailboat, barefoot, with us wearing white bathing suits and the wedding party and guests in such casual wear too, so we’d all dive in for a swim after the famed kiss.

Sweet dreams aside, marriage crosses my single mind a lot. I love to love and being in love. I’m continually inspired by lovers and my joyfully married friends. However, the way marriage crossed my mind recently was a game changer for me. After spending a few days with a best friend and her family, she remarked how delightfully present she found me. She further detailed that she’d barely seen me on my phone for hours at a time, mostly using it solely for taking photos of all of us and the gorgeous scenery. She was right. It was true and liberating to feel and to hear someone applaud. Equally, it was disturbing to realize I’ve been around this friend for many ages where this wasn’t the case. She went a final step to tell me that it was the first time she could remember that I wasn’t checking my phone or needing a laptop readily since they came into existence.

It suddenly surprised me to think that I actually have been ‘married’ for quite some time. I spend most of my time in this ‘marriage’. A lot of my happiness has been wrapped up in this ‘marriage’. I’ve been very devoted.The weirdest aspect is this is an arranged ‘marriage’ of sorts. I declare that marketing geniuses arranged my ‘marriage’. You’ve likely guessed where I’m headed with this. I’m ‘married’ to my technology! We want things to work out and last a lifetime. Great marketing gets that. It gets us.

All along, I have been showing up for this ‘marriage’. I had a serious relationship with Blackberry for some time. Then I dated quite a few other phones before falling hopelessly for the iPhone. The only work computer devices I ever used were Macintosh, so Apple won my creative heart by default, but it was willingly befitting. The time I tried a threesome, being required to run Parallels on my Mac to interface with a then-bosses Windows, it ended very badly. It all adds up and makes a lot of sense. If we develop by examining every interaction as a relationship, or a breed of ‘marriage’, we might better develop. Equally, we might better let go of those that aren’t a true match.

I’m as creative as they come. Creative conceptualization, ideating, linguistics, branding, naming, and all things marketing on the visionary level are very much me. So, don’t take these sentiments incorrectly, as I think the cleverness of inviting and inventing craving of technology in the exact same form as marriage goes hand in hand, as the best marriages do with their “I do’s!” The intimacy can be deep and tech’s love language is clearly touch. Apple’s iPhone billboard series of photos emulates love — of outdoors, one another, design, and more. Steve Jobs all but invented a clear case of unorthodox relationship building.

Within my business world of consulting for companies, organizations, people, and products, I often approach needs from the why of beginning a relationship. I sort based on present desires and long-term commitment. I cross check for deal breakers. The parable is merging into a successful marriage. In my thirties and since, I learned to apply my logic to my own interview process, both me secretly interviewing the potential working relationship, while they interviewed me. Today, the likes of Google and others invite candidates to interview their interviewer in similar ways. Why anyone wants anything will more solidly procure a positive outcome if the definition matches the sources. Alleviating ourselves of scarcity is the key. Any relationship or marriage doesn’t have to work in the sense that it’s your only opportunity. Those odds do not match the roughly seven billion people on the planet (not including those in outer space too).

I suppose I’m pointing this effect out for myself mostly. Having the reflection to pause on my own ‘marriage’ prompted me to see where cheating might come so swiftly sometimes. Putting my phone away, not taking my laptop across international lines, going kayaking or having sex (yes, and without documenting it) all appear like perfect energetic cures to life’s woes. On the other hand, they might simply be a necessary time out, time apart, and vital refuel for the next make-out, or make-up, session. Every single facet of life improves with balance. Marriages need togetherness and space. The glory in forgetting my ‘marriage’ to my technology for a few hours or a day or more does usually make me miss it, mostly for my love of photography and the easy capability it provides.

Being a Westerner, I doubt I’d be as happily married in a traditional arranged marriage, only that I’m writing this with too many years under my belt to conceptualize making things work with someone I didn’t choose for and with myself and that other. However, I do operate with a policy that I should be able to give up my marriage should it ever start a bad ruckus. Yep, I’m willing to divorce if the going gets bad enough. Time will tell what the marketing world has in store. Leading news events about Facebook’s privacy breach is one of many during our recent years. And if you want to be a little more flabbergasted, check out my friend Chris Paine’s new AI flick Do You Trust This Computer?

Wherever you are in your relationship pursuit, may your eyes be a bit more wide open to the many arranged ‘marriages’ we accept and proliferate. Consider how you may be more considerate of all with which you’re entangled. Some of the best-laid marriages do last forever and have great things to show for it. Some of us need a few hiccups on the life path before we align with destiny.

May we all cultivate at least one happily ever after.



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LOVER of life. Especially people, places, philanthropy, pondering, and photography.