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Phelps declares his true love, brought to you by Omega

Technically Incorrect: You can understand the Olympic record-breaker wanting to use Instagram to tell his fiancee how much he loves her. But does he need to be paid for it?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


So loving. So personal. What time is it?

Michael Phelps/Instagram screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

This thing called love and I have a checkered history.

Perhaps, therefore, I'm not the best person to understand its every nuance.

I do, however, feel a margin disturbed about how love is expressed these days.

Texts, emojis and virtual dating seem to have replaced essences that I used to think of as, well, personal.

And then there's Michael Phelps.

It's entirely glorious how he's won 5 more gold medals at the Rio Olympics. It's a beautiful way to retire.

Indeed, he leaped into the murky waters of Instagram to tell his fiancee Nicole Johnson just how much he was looking forward to life now.

"I love spending time together with you!!" he wrote. "Thank you for everything!! Can't wait for the next chapter in our life to begin!! Love you!!"

This all sounded so personal, so heartfelt. But following these natural words was the hashtag #omega.

Was this some code word between Phelps and his one true love? Not quite.

The Instagram photo was taken at an event in Rio on Monday hosted by Omega. Phelps happens to be a brand ambassador the Swiss watchmaker.

Indeed, when I focused on the picture attached to the heartfelt sentiment, the word "Omega" was in the background roughly a dozen times.

Omega didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's true that many Olympians find it hard to make any money at all, though Phelps is regarded as one of the more fortunate. He's said to be worth more than $50 million.

At least there's no doubting that -- unlike other, murkier celebrity postings -- this is a sponsored affair. And more than 370,000 people have already "liked" it.

Perhaps, then, the relationship between love and its expression on social media has changed. Perhaps we should all seek sponsors for our Instagram love missives.

It's just that when it's sponsored by a watch company, it might make you feel that true love has a time limit.

Oh, it does? So that's where I've been going wrong.