I went to a beautiful wedding in Connecticut this past weekend and would you believe it that the bride and groom are not even friends on Facebook?! A married couple, both with Facebook accounts, but not even Facebook friends. That’s right because these wonderful people don’t need a social networking site to prove to the world that they are in love and that they are going to have a long and happy life together.
Unlike most modern couples, their relationship did not unfold in real-time as a
series of Facebook status updates and photo albums. They did not document their proposal and subsequent engagement in an album called “The Night He Took Me To Chili’s And Then Got Down On One Knee.” They are not tagged in one another’s profile pictures and they’re not even listed as in a relationship with one another (you can’t do that if you’re not friends).
In this Facebook relationship status obsessed culture, it is a breath of fresh air to see that two people are actually enjoying a loving and committed relationship together without documenting it all on Facebook.
When I see incessant Facebook posts and photo albums featuring one’s significant other, it leads me to believe that maybe the poster needs a little convincing that he or she is happy in his or her relationship. It’s as if these posts are screaming, “Look at me! I’m in a fun relationship!” If you were really having that much fun, I would think you wouldn’t really have the time for so many posts and pictures because you’re just having too much fun.
For some, the Facebook relationship status is a source of serious anxiety. This anxiety comes in several forms. First, there’s the “why won’t he change his status,we’re in a relationship for crying out loud” anxiety. There’s also the “why won’t she list the fact that she is in a relationship with me” anxiety. There’s even the “why won’t he accept my friend request” anxiety.
Pictures just make this anxiety worse. What’s he doing next to that girl? Are they really just friends? Why does she still have pictures tagged with her ex-boyfriend? My favorite, though, are the we-just-broke-up-and-I’m-so-bummed-so-I’m-going-to post-thousands-of-pictures-that-show-me-all-dolled-up-out-on-the-town-having-the-most-fun-and-doing-cool-things-but-really-I’m-just-trying-to-cover-up-the-pain-and-show you-what-you’re-missing-out-on-you-big-fat-jerk photo albums. As if the only way to prove that you’re moving on from a relationship is through Facebook photo albums.
The best way to eliminate all this silliness is to simply do what my newly married friends have done, avoid being friends online. They’re already married in real life, what more do they need? The internet isn’t going to have an impact on the way they relate to one another.
If you’re using Facebook to broadcast the entire progression of your relationship or your relationship status, your relationship is probably not that serious. Or at best, superficial.
I’d like to raise my glass of champagne to the newlyweds one more time and wish them a long and happy life together in the real world, beyond the reaches of Facebook friendship. To the newlyweds!