A teenage couple have become the unexpected target of online vitriol after being featured on the popular blog Humans of New York.
The pair of young lovers, whose names are not included, are featured in an image taken in a New York subway along with a quote that swiftly sparked a heated debate.
‘We’ve been together for ten months now so we’re trying to keep the passion alive,’ reads the caption of the photo.
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Taking the heat: An anonymous teenage couple has become the subject of debate online after appearing on Humans of New York talking about ‘trying to keep the passion alive’ after 10 months of dating
The line that launched the hate: The quote from the young couple swiftly attracted hundreds of negative comments
Photographer Brandon Stanton, who founded the blog, has been documenting people and their stories across the city since 2010, often attracting the attention of the White House and racking up over 16 million followers.
The page is no stranger to debate having shared the stories of refugees and the mentally ill as well as war veterans in its posts.
Yet, this post of the young couple seemed to have ignited one of the unlikeliest back and forths yet, as plenty of long-married Facebook users were swift in their criticism of the naive young couple, who are pictured wearing matching adidas track pants and warm winter coats.
‘If you are trying to keep the passion alive after 10 months, you my friend are in trouble,’ wrote one critic.
Another wrote: ‘That’s cute, kid. Come back when you have a marriage, kids, a job, and a mortgage. Maybe then we can have a conversation about “keeping the passion alive.”‘
Getting a jab in: The majority of the negative comments were directed at the short length of their relationship
Reeling in the years: Plenty of long-married Facebook users stepped in to offer their opinion on the quote
Clearing it up: Photographer Brandon Stanton, who founded the blog, waded into the debate after taking issue with the vitriol being directed at the young couple
‘They are teenagers. They should have enough passion (or hormones in their case) to jump start a car,’ he added.
‘Oh my, trying not to laugh, but I’m married to hubs for 29 years, together for 32 years and while I applaud their awareness of the need to be very intentional in our relationships, if keeping the passion alive is already on the radar, just walk away now,’ offered one woman.
Brandon, who only rarely wades into the debates started by his posts stepped in after the onslaught of negative comments.
‘Not sure why the comment section is trying to force an adult perspective of relationships on two high schoolers,’ he said. ‘Let them be sixteen. Ten months is eight percent of their lives.’
The comment has since received over 100,000 likes and plenty of others standing up in support. ‘You know when Brandon has to say something, it’s gotten ridiculous,’ one user pointed out.
‘Shame on all of you who are laughing at them and boasting about how long you’ve been married. They’re young!’ exclaimed one woman.
‘With all the physical and mental development they’re going through right now, I think it’s beautiful that they’re so committed to each other. It’s the small efforts that you make from day one that build a strong foundation for the years to come.’