Don’t judge a relationship by its launch | The butler’s associate


Softu launches your new relationship by posting a subtle picture with your child. Photo courtesy of Mayur Gala

HALLIE ANDERSON | OPINION COLUMNIST | hcanderson@butler.edu

Social media holds a lot of weight in today’s relationships. Couples should profess their love for each other in full view of their fans. However, this should be executed with careful consideration; you need to know what type of release is best for you. I’ll walk you through the two ways you can present your relationship to the world: the soft pitch and the hard pitch. Surely one of the two is a perfect fit for your relationship.

As a relatively uninteresting and unfamous social media influencer, the most surprising move I can make on Instagram is one hard throw. A hard throw is sure to get my fans going. It’s an eye-catcher that no one will soon forget and a bold move that will earn you lots of likes and comments.

A hard launch is “another significant revelation” for social media. Why introduce them to grandma at Thanksgiving when you should really be focusing on introducing them to your loyal followers across all social media platforms?

So a hard throw is a picture of you and your partner doing something posted on a social media platform, probably Instagram, for everyone to see.

The content of the post varies, but I will give some examples of excellent hard throws. A post with your partner aa date all dressed up and ready to devour $100 steaks could be a great hard throw. Another acceptable hard throw is a photo of you and the kid in matching vacation pajamas with your family dog. Nothing screams relationship louder than that matching pajamas on Instagram. Even just a photo of you planting a grand old man to kiss on your partner’s cheek is obvious enough for your followers to get the memo: you’re dating.

But of course, we need a type of release for the shyer couples out there, the ones who hesitate to share their personal lives as extravagantly as a hard-release practitioner does. The opposite of a hard throw is a soft throw. Soft launch is no mouthful. It’s soft and subtle, and it’s made just so that the most attentive followers can pick it up.

Maybe I go on a coffee date with my current love interest. In that case, I would gently launch them by posting an artist image of them coffee with milk from my Instagram story. I would crop their faces, of course, and leave them unlabeled in the image. Subtle, tasteful and artistic, the soft launch lets followers know you’re seeing someone without letting them know who that person is.

People often make the mistake of calling a soft pitch a hard pitch. After all, the lines blur when we turn to concrete examples. Can you post your plus one at a formal dance without throwing them hard? It is a BeReal a soft throw or a hard throw? Which launch is better?

I’m here to answer all your burning questions. But most of all, I’m here to tell you that not all pitches are difficult. People often have misconceptions about what qualifies as a hard throw. According to psychology major Naiya Rooks, a hard pitch on Instagram has very simple rules.

“[A hard launch is] the first post on Instagram, [the significant other is] on the first slide, and it’s very clear what’s going on,” Rooks said.

This is the only acceptable hard throw method. Anything else is too subtle to be considered a true “hard throw”. A true hard throw must be intentional and obvious.

So you can imagine my frustration when I see a photo of a friend and their prom date on the third slide of an Instagram post, and the comment section is filled with friends saying “hard lynching!!”. It’s not a hard throw. The date is too buried in the message. Many people take a date to a formal; this person is not necessarily a romantic interest. A love interest must be posted on the first slide and in a date-like context to be considered a hard pitch, and a formal date does not fit that criteria.

A true hard throw makes the viewer pause to revel in their surprise. Senior marketing major Luigi Chirco has heard this shock before. She described the jarring feeling of discovering a hard launch on Instagram.

“I’m scrolling through a mix of [posts of] memes and people that I know and I’m probably afraid to do the homework that I’m supposed to do, when all of a sudden, boom … I get hit with ‘here’s my partner,’” Chirco said.

This “boom” is a characteristic feature of the hard throw. It’s sudden and you never feel ready to see it.

A soft toss, however, doesn’t sound the same alarm as a hard toss. The subtlety of the soft launch means that the viewer is receiving the information slowly. You can’t really draw accurate conclusions about a relationship from a soft launch, so it’s not that alarming. Posts are too uncertain or too subtle to be noticeable.

Rooks considers the soft throw to be a stealthy version of the hard throw, but he prefers it because it creates suspense that the hard throw cannot.

“I think the suspense is really the best part,” Rooks said. “Don’t be too open a book.”

On a platform like social media that bypasses face-to-face interactions, it can be easy to judge others. With so much judgment and so many eyes watching on social media, sometimes it’s a relief to fly under the radar. Maintaining an air of mystery with a soft launch can actually serve as a form of protection against this judgment.

This brings me to my most important point of all. Sometimes it’s not a release, and that’s okay. Sometimes the nature of someone’s relationship is none of our business.

The idea behind social media pitching is just to introduce someone you care about to people you know. It’s an efficient introduction because the interaction is almost entirely one-way. The poster gets to introduce their partner to people they know without juggling the typically awkward questions and jokes that come with a formal in-person introduction. The hard launch is nothing more than an announcement, and we should take it as such. It doesn’t always have to be a dramatic affair.

Bush agrees that our reactions to these releases can sometimes be over the top.

“I don’t think a soft or hard pitch is deep at all,” Bush said. “You can think of it as a big step in a relationship, but also, because it’s such a stupid concept, it’s not a big one.”

Introducing your partner to friends is important, but if launching is too big a deal for you, you know you can always keep it low-key with an in-person introduction.

I still believe pitching is a convenient medium of presentation and want to educate my readers on the art of a successful pitch. But release isn’t everything in a relationship. Toss if you want and reject if you don’t. Your relationship is yours, and we can promote that by actively refusing to judge each other’s releases.



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