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Social media trend identifying single people stirs debate

By Faten Omar


KUWAIT: A new trend has gone viral recently, calling singles to put a pear emoji in their social media bio to indicate they have a state of emotional emptiness. The trend has spread across various social networking sites, as hundreds of users have adopted it. Local buzz on Twitter and Instagram was about how such a trend will help singles in their love life, saying this trend, which is also spreading in the Middle East, will help others understand a person’s availability and connect with singles.

Some social media users in Kuwait called the pear emoji phenomenon “ridiculous”, while others decried the far reach of social media on people’s lives. Many others may have found the pear is the way to pair! This is not the first time such trends have spread to express people’s emotional state. Ahmad Khattab said earlier there was the “numbers” trend, which was a way to express if the person had a crush on someone indirectly through a certain mathematical process.

“The trend was based on the numbers from 901 to 926, which is the number of letters of the English alphabet, where the number 9 expresses ‘I love’, and the numbers from 1 to 26 is the first letter of the name of the person who is the focus of admiration, while number 900 means the person is single,” he said. “I think singles were upset by the numbers trend because they had no one, so they made the pear trend instead,” Khattab said sarcastically.

Meanwhile, Mona Al-Sawaf said that the trend may cause problems in conservative communities, where hopping on such trends means you’re searching for a boyfriend, adding girls will not be allowed to participate in the numbers or the pear trends due to religious and traditional reasons, considering it as a bad dating solution.

The trend started when a company named Pear made special rings that make it simple to identify single people, allowing new connections to find partners in real life. While some people might be wearing rings, others resorted to putting a pear emoji in their bios and taking part in a social experiment in the US, UK, Germany, Canada and Australia. The company aims to eliminate the need for dating apps by encouraging singles all over the world to wear small green rings.

According to the latest government figures in Kuwait, the number of unmarried individuals is about 1.4 million, of whom 316,000 are Kuwaitis, while nearly 1.1 million are non-Kuwaitis. Statistics issued by the Public Authority for Civil Information on the marital status of the population show Kuwaiti single males number about 170,000, compared to 150,000 single Kuwaiti females. The number of non-Kuwaiti single males is almost four times the number of single females. Non-Kuwaiti single males number 850,000, compared to 230,000 non-Kuwaiti single females.

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