The companion to the Student Social Media Academy:

Penguin Love

Valentines day is either anticipated, embraced or dreaded.  A day of the year that brings reminders of love found, love lost or love not yet discovered.
At any of those stages, love is not easy.  Love takes work, deep care for each other and lots of communication.
While Romeo and Juliet have been made into a iconic true-love couple, lets be real.  A few things were overlooked that ended in tragedy.
While this is a dramatic example, the point still stands.
Falling in love like Romeo and Juliet is easy, staying in love takes work.  Just look at the rates of divorce.  The National Center for Health Statistics reports

  • Number of marriages: 2,096,000
  • Marriage rate: 6.8 per 1,000 total population
  • Divorce rate: 3.6 per 1,000 population

How can we make our love last?  Looking into the animal kingdom, we might try to learn a little from penguins.  These little ones not only propose to their mates, but stay with them for life!
Penguin Proposal Story 

When a male penguin falls in love with a female penguin, he searches the entire beach to find the perfect pebble and when he finally finds it, he waddles over to her chosen one and places the pebble right in front of her feet. If she picks the peddle, it means she accept the proposal.

There are a number of similarities of a penguins’  proposal story with what humans do.  Instead of a perfect pebble, it is the perfect ring.  Many men (or women) search stores for the perfect ‘pebble.’  And just like a female penguine, if the the future bride (or groom) accepts the ring, the two are set in motion to be married.  But unlike penguins, humans are not guaranteed to stay on the ‘happily ever after’ path.
Because we are not programmed like penguins, our relationships take daily work, specifically the development of a deep care for each other.  Because, even after 50 years together, couples will still have days like this:

So whether you are exploring dating, happily single or in a committed relationship:

Love loyally like penguins and learn from Romeo & Juliet.

Dig your relationship roots deep in the foundations of care and communication.

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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