‘Pebbling’ is a love language for the digital age

‘Pebbling’ refers to sending affectionate memes to your partner. — AFP Relaxnews

Meme culture has permeated every aspect of our daily lives. Whether between friends or lovers, sending people memes has become not only a way of sharing a joke during coffee breaks, but also a way of showing affection. In the jargon of the dating world, this is known as “pebbling”.

Have you ever sent memes to your partner, with a message saying something like “that's totally you!”? If so, you should know that this goes by the unusual name of “pebbling”.

It refers to the ritual performed by certain species of penguins, which consists of giving others small pebbles as a way to woo them, make their relationship official or build their love nest.

For humans, these little pebbles take the form of memes or cute photos that we send to our partners during the day. Memes are humorous forms of communication that express an idea at a glance. These are now firmly anchored in the language of internet culture. Made up of still or animated images, or texts referring to pop culture or current events, memes are a subtle way of expressing our feelings.

Today, numerous accounts dedicated to dating and relationship memes are flourishing on social networks. Hashtags like #relationshipmemes for example, can count almost 60,000 posts on TikTok.

Among the most viral videos is a clip featuring a little girl singing along to Selena Gomez’s Love You Like A Love Song, and featuring the message: “When you ask your boyfriend if he can take you to get a sweet treat and he says yes”. To date, the video has racked up almost 3 million views.

According to the experts, “pebbling” is an excellent way of strengthening the bond with your partner. Relationship expert Gigi Engle told Metro UK, that “pebbling can be a really good way of building banter and a connection with a partner. It doesn’t have to be physical stuff – it’s meme culture.”

The expert continues: "I think it’s the cutest thing ever because memes are a love language these days. 'Pebbling' started with the advent of meme sending as a form of creating a connection with people."

As such, it seems like digital communication, like "pebbling," seems to have earned itself a place among more traditional ways of expressing love, like flattery and compliments, quality moments, gifts, services rendered and physical contact. – AFP Relaxnews


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