All’s Fair in Love and Social Media Until You Leak Your Girlfriend’s Engagement Ring Photo

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Barbara Maldonado and Russell Roering are clearly trying to win gold in the Social Media Dating Olympics. The pair met at a Tweetup, stalked each other on LinkedIn, and reconnected at a birthday party via Foursquare. Which is great: we’re all for using technology to get offline and find love, no matter what the medium. But even in the age of everything being digital, they crossed a major line: Roering posted a picture of the engagement ring he’d bought for Maldonado, even though his proposal hadn’t happened yet. Oops?

“He did leak the photo of my engagement ring on Pinterest, which then published to Facebook, which I saw and I started crying because I thought he was kidding!”Maldonado told HuffPost Live. Still not understanding that the real proposal was coming, she asked her soon-to-be fianc√©, “How could you do this! My mom’s going to see this.” Scrapping his plans to propose to her the following day, Roering popped the question the same evening he posted on Pinterest.

The abundance of social media is often a good thing. It means we can stay in touch with faraway friends and relatives and keep track of what we did on our vacation — and of course, meet new people, too. But this engagement ring story is a great example of a time when social oversharing can go too far. Facebook and Instagram should be for posting your “OMG we just got engaged!” faces and closeup shots of the ring on her hand — after it’s on her hand. Clearly, Maldonado isn’t too heartbroken about the big reveal getting spoiled online because she went ahead and said yes anyway, but what ever happened to a nice surprise? Plus, she clearly wasn’t sure if he was really going to propose or not; thankfully, he did. (Guys, if you ever think it would be funny to do something like this as a joke — not planning to follow up with an actual proposal — we can assure you, it’s not.)

Plus: The Ultimate Guide to Weddings (For Those of Us Not Getting Married Anytime Soon)

So does this mean she’s going to tweet pictures of her wedding dress before he gets to see her in it? Or that he’ll change his Facebook status to “married” before the vows even take place? In a culture obsessed with instant gratification (often in the form of Facebook likes and Tumblr reblogs), it couldn’t hurt to have the real-life moment before having the Internet one. Especially if she ends up not liking the ring you picked out.

What do you think? Do you agree that a proposal should happen before photos of the ring get posted, or is “leaking” the photo a cute way of surprising your fiancee-to-be? Tell us in the comments.