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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Alumnus creates website to write about love

Cutting-edge platforms like Facebook all seem to result in the same old song. You know, the once close-knit community that has turned into what many would consider an alienating experience, as such sites quickly begin adding millions of members and new ways to share content.

These days, one can easily “Like” a person’s status from the comfort of their Macbook only to then awkwardly wave at the person when passing by in person. The Internet has perhaps made actual interaction too much.

David Bekour, UC Davis graduate, found the need for change. He found the need to hybridize the allure of social media’s microwave approach to sharing content with the cozy texture of interpersonal letter writing.  What he got was tripledigitlove.com.
“Tripledigitlove.com is a site that makes it easy to share sentiments with important people in your life,” Bekour said. “We stay connected with our friends and family through all types of social media, and with literally two clicks of the mouse, someone can send out their letter across Facebook or Twitter.  Celebrations in our lives never happen alone, and to celebrate love is to share it widely.”
Bekour completed his undergraduate work at UC Davis in 2003 in English and sociology. He went on to graduate with his Juris Doctor degree from the UC Davis School of Law in 2006.
Bekour’s care and attendance to love is very much connected to his lifelong battle with a neuromuscular condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
“When I was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy as a baby, my parents moved from Tahoe City to Auburn so I would have access to better schools and medical treatment,” Bekour said. “My parents sold their business and started fresh to give me those opportunities.  For me, as an adult, there is one big lesson in their decision: Love is the greatest motivator that we can have in our lives.”
One thing Bekour hopes is that the site captures the multi-dimensional aspect of love. Triple Digit Love hosts letters that range from children writing to their grandparents to widowers reflecting on eternal love.
“There is a whole spectrum of romantic love,” Bekour said. “If you spend a few minutes on the site you’ll discover there are as many different types of love letters as there are people. If you read a letter from a parent, it’s going to have a different perspective than if you read a letter from a child.”
Janet Nguyen, sophomore philosophy major, is pleased to find that Bekour has a shared interest in redefining intimacy as something shareable and worthy or mass celebration.
“Writing has always been a big part of my life and my medium for remembering the important things in life,” Nguyen said. “While I sometimes post intimate letters on Facebook or Instagram screen shots of them on my phone to maybe encourage a friend or two, I think Triple Digit Love is ideal in establishing a place where love can be both harbored and spread between those who care.”
Like Nguyen, writing has been a natural outlet for Bekour as well.
“Love is best displayed not only through words but also through action, and I think Triple Digit Love combines both of those in a meaningful way,” Bekour said. “Writing a few paragraphs to tell them what they mean to you isn’t like writing a midterm, but there is a certain degree of effort that makes it special.”

According to senior psychology major Erin Boldec, this effort is what gives the site an antiquated touch to an otherwise modern medium.

“I haven’t written anything on the site yet, but from what I read, I feel like people dipped feathers in ink instead of pressed keys,” Boldec said. “There was a certain sense of nostalgia alleviated in the creation of this site. Whoever this guy is, he brought that old black-and-white Hollywood romance front and center, but packaged it in a way that our generation could understand.”

Triple Digit Love prides itself in this timeless feature, Bekour said.

“The important distinction is Triple Digit Love provides a space where your letter and a picture, your expression of love, will always remain,” Bekour said. “While there are built-in tools to share your letter through social media, the letter itself will never get buried on your profile.”

The website is only three months old, but is growing slower than Bekour expected. He finds that perhaps people find it daunting to sit down and write a love letter.
“There is a popular belief that a love letter needs to be full of romance and perfect prose,” Bekour said. “But we simply encourage people to write from their heart.”
ISAIAH SHELTON can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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