Friday, February 11, 2011

Are You Facebook Official?

In honor of the upcoming Valentine's Day, let's have a look at Facebook and it's integral role in validating relationships.

Facebook has turned into the go-to site to see who’s dating, who’s not, who’s “complicated,” and who broke up. It’s a strange thing to think that people joke about how you can’t really be dating someone if it’s not Facebook official, and thus out there for the world to see… As if it’s any of their business anyway.

It turns into a fiasco when couples that have been dating breakup (the longer the relationship the worse it gets). A friend and her boyfriend broke up for a short period and she received multiple messages from people she hadn’t talked to in forever (like that’s really going to help her). Even the couple times my boyfriend and I have gotten close to breaking up we have talked about what our friends and families would say, assuming that is how they found out. It’s not like getting comments and people saying, “dislike” is going to help a person get over a bad breakup. Furthermore, if people don't connect themselves with their girlfriend/boyfriend it seems strange, and may leave us asking the question "why wouldn't you want to?". But realistically, why is there any pressure to do it?

To some, Facebook seems to have become such an important part of relationships that they have to be “Facebook official” right away. I know a girl who got seriously offended that her boyfriend did not accept her relationship request within 24 hours, after saying he would multiple times. Why do we feel the need to broadcast out lives to the world? I’m guilty of it, most of the people reading this probably have some sort of relationship status on their pages (given that they have one), but why? What is so important about it? I ask these questions with no intention of removing mine, but it is some food for thought.


  1. The most intrusive part of Facebook has to be the relationship status. A new relationship is uncharted territory. Will it last or will it end as quickly as it began? A couple doesn't need the added burden of wondering what friends will think when they see that your status went back to single after a mere 9 days.

    Equally troubling is the long term relationship that goes sour. Some people decide to change their status to "married" if they've been dating for a long time. In the event of a breakup, these couples typically remove any relationship indicators altogether, and aren't even listed as single. This causes even more confusion among friends. The comments roll in, the "likes" tally up, and in a moment of grand exuberance, the BFF writes "CALL ME!"

    Relationship statuses are completely unnecessary. If you're friends with someone you presumably know about their life, and don't need Facebook to announce any changes. All the status does is tell Facebook stalkers whether or not you have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Forget about changing your relationship status, it'll only bring unwanted and unneeded drama. More importantly, don't enable Facebook stalkers.

  2. It really blows me away, how folks your age have to contend with this. It's so complicated! I'm just glad I didn't have to deal with it!

  3. This is exactly why I disabled the relationship status on my Facebook so it won't even show up at all. The last thing I would want to worry about upon breaking up with someone is how I am going to break it to my entire Facebook network.

  4. I totally agree. I used to use the relationship status, but now I don't show it at all. It really isn't important for someone else to know that I'm in a relationship or not. If they really want to know, they could just ask me in person.

  5. I agree with you guys as well. I mean if someone really wants to know my relationship status then they should ask me in person, however it is nice to have the choice of whether or not to show your relationship status. Facebook has grown into a website that is open to anyone of any age. I know my aunts, uncles and older cousins who are on fb like to be listed as married on their Facebook pages, so I say keep the status if you please.

  6. I feel like if one of my closest friends or family members got engaged or what not, I wouldn't want to find out over Facebook; I want to find out from them, before the rest of the world. As beneficial Facebook is in bringing people together, it also has an impersonal side by making messages public, and taking away the one and one communication. Even if a friend comments on your wall telling you the good news, it's still up for everyone else to see, and everyone else might see it before you get a chance to check your updates. My feelings towards it are bittersweet.