Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Facebook + Relationships = Trouble

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. At best, I'd consider us frenemies.

Sure, it provides hours of distraction at work and keeps you connected to faraway friends, but it also raises added complications, especially when relationships are concerned.

1) Can relationships actually start from a Facebook encounter?

Witness dialogue from “He’s Just Not That Into You:”
Mary: He MySpaced me.
Nathan: Ouch!
Mary: Oh.
Joshua: Oh girl I don't know about that... My trampy little sister says MySpace is the new booty call.

2) Is it absolutely vital to confirm your relationship on Facebook?

3) What about when you break up? Is it best to delete an ex from your friend list?

4) If you stay Facebook friends, is it healthy to: sneak a peek at an ex’s profile, pics, status; send messages occasionally? What’s proper Facebook ex etiquette?

When I apply these questions to my own life, I wonder – am I going about this Facebook relationship thing all wrong?

1) The night I met The Hoff, I scurried off before he could ask for my number to avoid an awkward goodbye. I obviously wanted him to ask for my number, but I didn’t want him to know that. To my surprise, I got a friend request and FB message from him the next day. Guess this refutes the logic of Facebook communication = booty call.

2) I never confirmed a relationship on Facebook until I started dating The Hoff. And even then, I didn’t confirm it until we had been together almost a year.

I just don’t understand people who feel the need to broadcast their love and devotion all over Facebook. It makes me want to vomit all over my screen reading about how perfect someone’s boyfriend/husband is and how they can’t wait to see them in 2.75 hours.

The Hoff’s roommates used to joke that The Hoff and I weren’t in a real relationship since we weren’t even confirmed on FB. Since when does a social networking site determine how real your relationship is?

I think that’s bullshit- you can absolutely be in a loving, committed relationship without advertising it. Though I will admit, it does prevent certain former flings from contacting you, thinking you are single, when they can easily check your relationship status.

3) My most recent ex is still on my friends list. We didn’t have a nasty breakup or anything, so it didn’t seem necessary to delete him.

4) I have to admit, I do check out my recent ex’s profile/pics/status updates everyone once in a while. He has a new girlfriend and a new job, and I have to admit, it does sting a little to read that and feel like I know nothing about a person that I used to know everything about. But I can’t stop myself from looking.

It makes me wonder if that nagging feeling of knowing your ex is with someone else ever goes away. And if not, is it really healthy to keep him on my friends list and have a constant reminder that I’m no longer a part of his life? And if I do delete him and he realizes it, will I look like pathetic and immature?

I think as new technologies emerge, we have to create new rules and boundaries for ourselves. Like with cell phones, I have a few friends who will file a girlfriend’s number under their recent ex’s name so that even if they drunk dial him, they’ll reach someone who can cheer them up. (Of course this doesn’t help if you know the bastard’s number by heart.)

I have a feeling by the time I get my personal Facebook etiquette system down pat, something else will come along that I have to figure out all over again.

So I'm curious-what are your Facebook relationship rules? How do you think relationships should be handled on social networking sites?

4 comments on "Facebook + Relationships = Trouble"

LiLu on September 10, 2009 at 9:40 AM said...

Mine are pretty much identical to yours. If it wasn't a horrible break up, I don't see a reason to delete. And that way, they can check ME out and see how fabulously I'M doing... ;-)

Wendy on September 10, 2009 at 12:11 PM said...

I like to look from time to time. What I hate is when you discover that someone has deleted you, how they just stop showing up on your lists. That always hurts, esp. when I never felt strongly enough that I felt I had to do it.

Miss Procras. on September 10, 2009 at 3:45 PM said...

@LiLu-I like how you think :)

@Wendy-That's the worst! I always wonder what I did to make them feel I was worth deleting. It seems so middle-school in a way...but then again, maybe it hurts them too much to continue being friends with me via any medium.

Anonymous said...

Justin and I finally "confirmed" we were in a relationship after 6.5 years and I've been on Facebook for 4! Haha. I just don't feel as if it's necessary. Your good friends know, and if someone is truly interested, they'll ask!
Sneak peeks at old bf's, flings, etc. are always quite amusing. I say don't delete! You need something to cheer you up and show you how fabulous you are!


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