Your Relationship’s Not Real Unless It’s on FacebookPosted: April 7, 2008
Here’s the article that inspired this post.
By now, you should have heard about this phenomenon called facebook, a social networking site with over 67 million users. In a world that craves a sense of belonging and human interaction, facebook has served as a technological savior. Now, in the world of facebook, relationships are determined by someone initiating an invite to be “friends” and the other accepting or declining that invitation. But relationships within facebook go beyond just “friends”. It offers you alternative labels such as, “Engaged to”, “Married to”, “In a relationship with” or even “It’s Complicated with”.
With the prominence of facebook, there’s been an interesting phenomenon going on. Relationships with the opposite sex are taking on a whole new digital form these days. It’s leading people to wonder, “What’d they ever do before facebook?” Things have changed. The telephone call has been replaced with the wall post. Asking someone on a date is made easier with event invitations. And the awkward “defining the relationship” stage (DTR) has been condensed into one easy step: an invitation to change your relationship status.
Let me explain. Let’s say you got this girl you’re really interested in. What usually happens these days is that the relationship starts with playful wall posts or what I would call, “wall game”. It’s on the level of “AIM game”, but just a bit slower. As you get to “know” each other more, you’ll find that your “wall-to-wall” interactions go from the once every other day flirtations to what I would call the “wall bomb”. A “wall bomb” is where you literally have the transcript of a conversation littering one another’s walls. At this point, it’s assumed that you’ve already committed to attending a date (in the traditional sense of the word), wherein the guy will send the girl a private event invitation with all the specifics. After the event has passed, you usually face a “relationship status” dilemma. Up until this point you’ve been listed as “Single”, but now you can choose to change it to “It’s complicated with”. Or if you’re confident that the event was a success, then, as a guy, you can take the leap of faith and send her an invitation to change her relationship status to “In a relationship with”, well…you. This is usually where you find out what she thought of the event (notice that in facebook language it’s an “event”, not a date). Then the waiting begins…
And as the saying goes nowadays, “It’s not official unless it’s on facebook!” Relationships are no longer defined by the good night kiss or the morning after call, but have been replaced with a changed facebook relationship status. And until several of your friends comment on your wall about what just popped up on their news feeds, you know it’s not official. Relationships have taken on a whole new digital form. I guess it’s taking a page out of the old school way of doing things. Remember those notes you’d pass that read “do you want to be my girlfriend? circle ‘yes’ or ‘no'” ?
I won’t comment yet on what the repercussions of this kind of dating are (maybe in another post), but I’ll tell you one thing for sure: Facebook has changed the way we relate with one another. I’m almost certain that in the near future you’ll have a plethora of relationship statuses available for your choosing. Might I suggest: “Has a crush on…”, “Infatuated with…”, “Having a fling with…”, “Has a thing for…”, “It’s awkward with…”? Or even for those that are Christian: “Is praying for…”, “Is courting…”, “Is asking for a miracle with…”?
It’s too bad though, with all those possibilities, you can’t ever be in a relationship with yourself.