#Engaged - Sharing the Happy News on Social Media

It's official - we're a nation of social media addicts. More than three-quarters of the UK use a social network each week, according to Kantar TNS research. And we're more than willing to share so much of our lives. But what about our biggest moments - like getting engaged?

Once the question is popped, is your first thought to tell your Twitter followers "#ISaidYes"? Are you agonising about how you can go one better than all those other pics of engagement rings on Instagram? Do you secretly wonder how many likes you'll get on Facebook?

To discover just how much we're willing to share from our most special life events on social media, we asked 1,000 members of the public what they think - and here's what we found:

A Very Social Engagement

Social media has changed the art of announcing an engagement forever. Once upon a time, you'd tell the world in the announcements section of a newspaper and pay by the word for the privilege. Now, it's so much easier (and free) to reveal how you, he or she said yes with selfies of engagement rings, updated relationship statuses and the right hashtags.

It's perhaps no surprise, then, that more than two-thirds of Brits would share news of their engagement via social media. For nearly half (47%), the news would be online within a day. Meanwhile, 12% of the people we asked said they wouldn't waste a moment in sharing the news on social media. Maybe there's no time like the present at such a special moment?

In contrast, nearly a third (30%) said their engagement wouldn't be announced online at all.

The desire to share news of an engagement online immediately appears to be more keenly felt by women (13.6%) than men (10.65%), while Southampton residents believe the happy news is worth sharing right away (29.2%). People living in London (16.8%), Norwich (16%) and Nottingham (13.3%) also rank above the average for sharing the news immediately.

Whose News to Share?

Getting engaged is a significant and romantic milestone in anyone's life. But how would you feel if a friend or relative shared the news before you had a chance? A third (34%) wouldn't be bothered, but more (38%) said they'd be annoyed. A further 28% would also be unhappy but could forgive a friend or relative if the news had been shared by accident.

Family Matters

If there's news of an engagement to share, our research found that family would be first to find out: 75.6% telling parents first, followed by siblings (51%) and grandparents (33.5%).

Weddings and Social Media Etiquette

After an engagement comes the wedding, another happy life milestone. How much of a part does social media have to play on the Big Day, however? Four-out-of-10 (42%) Brits say they'd use their phone on their wedding day, of which 11% would use social media and - for some reason - a staggering 7% would use their phone for work reasons!

One male even said he'd use his phone to check the sport scores on his wedding day.

Out of the 11% of brides and grooms who'd use social media on their wedding day, nearly a quarter of those (23%) came from London and more than a fifth (22%) live in Bristol.

But is it one rule for the happy couple and another for their guests? As one bride told us, "I made it quite clear that I wanted to be the first to share any pictures of my wedding dress online." It's no surprise that 38% of people didn't want their guests to share photos of their big day before they did, while 5% asked guests not to bring a phone to the wedding.

Why Do We Share?

An engagement or a wedding day are such happy events in our life, but why do we feel the need to share the moment(s) on social media. After all, we have other ways of telling those we care most about - without including the distant acquaintances, work contacts and even strangers who might follow us on social media.

Dennis Relojo-Howell, blog psychologist and founder of Psychreg, said; "We share these romantic highlights of our lives because sharing matters - especially if you are a blogger because it conveys authenticity. It creates connection to your readers".

"Another element of it is that as humans we seek attention and validation. Social media are excellent spaces in providing this. Essentially, these platforms act as extensions of ourselves. News of engagements and weddings are definitely worth sharing on these platforms!"

What our survey reveals

For the happy couple, sharing news of an engagement is almost second nature to many Brits today. And the same can be said for the wedding day too. One thing our survey has revealed is that couples believe these happy moments are theirs to share, however.

If you're going to a wedding, it's always worth checking if the bride and groom say anything about phones and social media. It could be a good idea to switch it off or leave it at home to remove any temptation - and the same can even be said for the happy couple as well!