Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Your Relationship Status: 'Facebook Official'?

The other day I was having a conversation about why I really hate the phrase 'Facebook Official'. Before I'd ever actually have a guy ask me if we could make our brand new relationship 'Facebook Official' I'd never really thought about Facebook relationship status' past the usual agreement with womans magazines that they state it must be rather awkward to have a breakup play out on Facebook if or when it all goes south, or knowing to call or text a dear friend to check if they are okay when the fact that they are now listed as 'single' unexpectedly appears in my newsfeed.  
Screen shot 2012-01-24 at 10.45.59
However, it was still nothing I'd never experienced. So, when my now ex-boyfriend took my hand and asked me if he could make us 'Facebook Official' outside Notting Hill Gate tube station, I remember feeling slightly uncomfortable that this technological acceptance has become part of the modern dating ritual, just like it is now standard in many cases for your other half to become a part of your blog, or for you to meet someone on an online dating site. By the time I got home and booted up my Mac Book the relationship request had already appeared in my newsfeed, and in less than a minute after I'd hit accept my friends started to pounce with their surprise, shock and congratulations, as did his. I really was not sure how I felt about it. I know it might have been my not being entirely sure about the whole thing (well, he is now my ex) but I know I lot of me was just not entirely comfortable with the fact that making it official on Facebook seemed to be such a necessary part of our relationship. I know it is hysterical that I, as a blogger who shares great chunks of my life online for not just my friends list, but the whole world to see should feel like this, but I really did. And I don't know how I'd feel about listing a new relationship on Facebook either. 

When we broke up I instantly deleted the 'Rachel Phipps is now Single' status from my newsfeed so I could actively ignore the drama. It worked, we had not been dating long and not many of my friends had met him. Only my really good friends noticed. But I wonder what it would have been like if I'd have let it be and everyone who I go to uni with, went to school with and everyone I have ever lived with had had the opportunity to comment? 


How do you feel about Facebook relationship status'? Do you list your relationships, or do you like to keep things private? Why?

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25 comments:

  1. It's an interesting question - I'm "facebook official", but I had been with my boyfriend for about a year before I joined facebook, so us being an item was old news! My best friend recently got engaged, but she didn't put it on facebook until she had told all her close family and friends. Perhaps weirdly, I think facebook should be the last place to know what's going on in your personal life!

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  2. I know what you mean. I remember in the early days people were obsessed with that. I personally hate it. There is no need. You will see I am in a relationship if I post a picture up of me and my boo. I dont know guys that are into making it Facebook official but yeah I would have been like errr, ?

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  3. Hi Rachel! Wow so nice to read something refreshingly different in my google reader over lunch! my awful ex was a facebook addict and was so offended when i didn't really want to change my facebook status, so i changed it so just he could see it and he thought everyone else could haha! i then changed it so everyone could see as he would have been so angry if he found out, but i feel no need to show off about my status either, and it just made me uncomfortable. i know it is a status in itself but i wish whether you're in a relationship or not wasn't a status of life xx

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  4. My boyfriend and I made it facebook official a few weeks after the beginning of our relationship. We never changed the status, even when things got a bit out of hand a few weeks before our first anniversary; I felt like I couldn't change it, it would somehow have been a sign of the end of our relationship. Eventually things got better and we even updated our status to "engaged" a year later... I guess the next time I'll change the status will be to put "married" instead! ;)

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  5. Wow, that is pretty crazy! I just had a total 'what the hell' moment when my ex said it to me!

    And I'm glad you enjoyed reading something a bit different - I've been trying to mix up my fashion posts and outfit photos with a few more meaty pieces!

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  6. This is one of those situations, it might have created drama which really might not have helped matters - congratulations on your engagement! x

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  7. Great post! In the early days of Facebook I was listed as "engaged" to a male friend, just to avoid my then boyfriend's pestering about "making it official" on there. Just something I would never do - anyone who knows you well enough to care already knows who you're seeing or not seeing. Love your ex's choice of "proposal" venue by the way! x

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  8. I do list my relationship, as we've been together for over 2 years and facebook is a part of our lives now, so it would seem strange if we didn't. Although it's not essential. It is very intrusive, when someone suddenly goes from 'in a relationship' to 'single' on your news feed, you find yourself being a little nosey when really it's none of your buisness. I think it can be both good and bad.

    xo

    http://catsandbrogues.blogspot.com

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  9. Michelle Jackson24 January 2012 at 16:55

    My fiancée and I actually used Facebook to make our engagement 'official' (by which point we'd already booked the venue and I'd bought my dress) but it seemed our friends only considered us engaged and offered congratulations AFTER it was 'confirmed' on Facebook!

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  10. Okay, that is actually crazy, only after?!

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  11. I will never make any future relationships 'facebook official' again. After being with my first serious boyfriend, we decided to call it a day after2 and a half years. This was nearly two years ago now, but I remember the feeling of dread when I had to change my relationship status to 'single' again. It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it made me feel like I had failed at the relationship. I now no longer state whether I am single or not on there...and I intend on keeping it that way! xxx

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  12. Mo Ciao Manhattan25 January 2012 at 09:18

    I hate the official staus of the facebook relationship. I had been with my boyfriend for almost a year when one day he requested it be public on FB! Everyone already knew so it was no big deal but I dreasd what willl happen if I need to delete it! Someone on my newsfeed became single then the next day updated her staus to say "want lots of texts and attention from people you hardly know? Change your FB relationship status!" Oh dear!! xx

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  13. I hate it! The Facebook Drama itself is already a source of discomfort and ickyness for me; and the relationship 'confirmation' makes it worse. When someone is in a relationship, it's on the newsfeed. When someone breaks up, it's on the newsfeed. When it's goddamn complicated (??) it's on the newsfeed. And honestly, nobody cares. Surely people post 'Aaawww who's the lucky guy?' 'OMG RLY?' kind of ridiculous comments under those posts and I'm not even mentioning the people who 'like' a break up notification... Facebook is becoming more real everyday and it's just disturbing. I miss the good old days when people found out about my relationship when I chose to tell them personally. And those days we used to stalk cute guys through their friends etc, not through their timeline. (Just kidding though, no stalking. Only friendly research.) It was already a burden when people chose to scroll through their freaking newsfeed on a dinner table when they meet with friends; so this Facebook realtionship drama is more than idiotic to me. (Wow, I was upset about this it seems.) xxx

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  14. I like to keep things private, that's also the reason why I dont have hundreds of facebook friends because only a few people are close friends, The facebook relationship status is drama...

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  15. (HAHAH, I just remembered the 'Top Friends' crisis all of a sudden. What a pile of nonsense that was. I actually remember two of my friends starting a fight over not being eachother's Top 1 friend.)

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  16. Ahh, I remember that - total nightmare, right?!

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  17. I've been with my boyfriend for more than three years now and we're not facebook official. It doesn't bother me at all. Our friends and family know, so why tell total strangers that we are together?

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  18. I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years and we became Facebook official when Facebook had only just really taken off (I'd been on it for about 5 months before we got together).

    I have thought about the drama over people's sudden 'single' status updates in the past and I decided if it ever came to that I'd just delete it immediately too.

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  19. Oh I keep it all private. It annoys the tits off me, also some of my exes use it as a weapon after splitting. It's like a race who can be 'in a relationship' first! So even if I start seeing someone my status is kept hidden, it may sound harsh but unless I'm practically married I will not change it. I am quite cynical and always wonder what their motive is, why is it such a big deal to put it on fb? Who are they trying to impress or get at? Haha no wonder I'm single!! But I live it :) xxx

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  20. I am 'facebook official' with my boyfriend because everyone I know knows that we have been dating since the year dot but I hate to think about all the drama that surrounds it if you just started dating someone!

    Maria xxx

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  21. This is a really good post - very thought provoking!

    Graham and I were facebook official as soon as we were real-world official, because everyone had thought we'd been dating for so long any way that we almost wanted to see what people would say.

    When we split, though, I really, really wished it hadn't been facebook official, because it would have made it so much easier to deal with. I actively hate drama like that in my life - but I think everyone does.

    The general opinion seems to be though, in our generation, that it's just not a proper relationship unless facebook says it is... which is, I think, a poor reflection on us all.

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  23. My boyfriend and I just got in a fight over this today. I tried to explain to him that I didn't feel it was necessary for us to be "official" to be "together". He felt I was embarrassed of him and that his reason for wanting us official on Facebook was so that all of his friends that he only stays in contact with online would know about this "cool girl" he snagged. Ah, well I did it for him so he wouldn't believe that I was embarrassed of him but I feel as if I just let go of a piece of me. I personally think the Facebook official thing is all about sexual access. It shows who is (probably) having sex with whom. That's just too damn personal. If I wanted people to know, they would have been close enough to me to have asked what's going on in my life; but now, that stupid little heart is popping up on everyone's 'newsfeed' and they're probably clicking on my boyfriend's name to see what he looks like and visualize us together (maybe even having sex, eww). I think it's fucked up. Man I'm a pessimist. The entire landscape of social life is now virtualized. With a few clicks of a button, someone can view my "history" of discussions, contact, and relationship with a person and that's just creepy. "It's not official, until it's 'official'". I'm thinking I'll go off the grid one day soon--let people wonder. I'm okay with that. I once learned that we as humans are only capable of maintaining 20 or so contacts. Facebook has changed these capabilities--for the better, or worse. I shouldn't be so frazzled about this new Facebook status, but I am. It's evidence for the fact that the nature of human contact is moving from face-to-face to face-to-screen-to-face. We now have this mediator--an entity that is corrupted by, and controlled by those anonymous money bags that can just as easily activate a warhead as they can access everything we have ever typed/clicked/viewed--with only the click of a button. Hello America. We are all slaves to your materialism.

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