By Meher Ahmad
Facebook.com has become an addiction for nearly every high schooler in America. Daily notifications make aspects of socializations easier and accessible to all those in an individual’s Facebook network. In the minified, everything from status updates to video posts are made available on a single page.
One aspect that has had a significant impact on the gossip aspect of Facebook is the relationship status.
Treated as a joke by many, the relationship status is a way for people to declare their status to the world, or the world of their Facebook friends. Senior Sophia Paliza-Carre first declared her status to “In a relationship” a few days after she began dating her then boyfriend. “It wasn’t like I went home and changed it right away,” said Paliza-Carre. “I didn’t really think much of it.”
However, Paliza-Carre said she would never put her relationship on Facebook again. After her break up with her last boyfriend, Paliza-Carre said people commented on the status change. “They commented and were asking things like, ‘what happened?’ It was annoying and completely pointless,” Paliza-Carre said.
Not everyone uses the Facebook relationship status to display their actual relationships like Paliza-Carre. Senior Jonathan “Johnny” Hourmozdi only recently changed his status to show his real relationship after five months of dating his girlfriend.
“In the fall of last year, I fake proposed to my friend on Facebook,” Hourmozdi said. “(My girlfriend and I) joked about it. We’d be like, ‘I’m going to go hang out with my wife.’” Hourmozdi said he only changed it when both he and his girlfriend were dumped by their fake partners.
Senior Joel Pollack uses his relationship status for ulterior purposes. “My status right now is ‘It’s Complicated.’ I want girls to think I’m mysterious,” Pollack said. He said he’d change his status from “It’s Complicated” when he feels it necessary to no longer be mysterious.
Like Hourmozdi, Pollack finds that relationships on Facebook can’t be taken seriously. “Facebook relationships are a joke. If you post them, you’re a joke,” Pollack said.
Not everyone takes the relationship status as lightly as Pollack, though. Hourmozdi said over the summer, his friend at camp discovered her boyfriend had dumped her only through Facebook.
“We were at camp so we didn’t check the computer as much,” Hourmozdi said. “She checked and saw that he was listed as single. When she called him, he told her it was for real,” Hourmozdi said.
With new forms of online networking growing at an alarming rate, people now more than ever have the capability to make their lives public. The problem arises in situations like the one Hourmozdi described, in which Facebook is becoming the primary method of communicating in a relationship.
According to abcnews.com, “Going from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘single’ online may become similar to returning an engagement ring, and is possibly a new rite of passage that young modern couples will have to deal with.”
David Weiner of The Huffington Post reported the first divorce conveyed via Facebook. According to Wiener, a woman discovered her husband wanted a divorce when her husband made it public on Facebook. Apparently, someone had commented on the status change before she had a chance to see it.
Such instances, although usually not as extreme, are becoming regular occurrences. “Future, here we come!” Weiner said.
A growing number of Facebook users are opting not to display their relationship status on Facebook. According to Northbynorthwestern.com, 46 percent of Northwestern University’s Facebook network chooses not to make us of the relationship status.
“After what happened, I’m just not going to put it up there. It’s not serious. I don’t think putting (a relationship) up makes it any more legitimate,” Paliza-Carre said.
Paliza-Carre’s sentiment towards the status has been mirrored by many, like Pollack: “A Facebook relationship is globalizing your personal life. Is your relationship so important that the world must know exactly what second you get broken up with or left someone on the street? Can you even define those moments in a serious relationship? I guess it’s just not that serious.”
More than 175 million active users
More than 3 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide)
More than 15 million users update their statuses at least once each day
FACEBOOK.COM / SOURCE