Why Facebook Is Not Helping My Anxiety

Look people, the reality is, whether you like it or not, Facebook is officially a part of your life.  Whether you have a page or don’t (and chances are  good you do- according to digitalbuzzblog.com, about a year ago, 1 in 13 people on EARTH had a Facebook… on EARTH), you’re making decisions based on Facebook, or because of Facebook, every day.

Every time you meet someone, what’s the first thing you do?  Check and see if they have a Facebook.  Let’s be honest, if they don’t, we assume there must be something wrong with them.  If they do, we first cross our fingers and wish on every star that their privacy settings aren’t so severe that we can’t even see their profile pictures without ‘friending’ them.  If we come across something strange, we DO judge.  Even though in most cases (but definitely not all, I’ve stalked people I’ve never met before), Facebook is like a second impression, it’s become just as important as the first, if not more important.

Recently, I started seriously dating someone.

I don’t think I need to even explain the relevance of this situation here in relation to Facebook, but for the sake of this blog, I will.  One of the most important parts of anyone’s profiles, is their “relationship status”.  If you saw the movie based off of the true story of the beginning of Facebook, “The Social Network”, you would know that this was the final addition to the website that Mark Zuckerberg added before making it public.  The relationship status is the cause of pain and suffering, jealousy, numerous arguments, and serious dilemmas. Which brings me to my current situation.

My last relationship I kept off of Facebook.  Obviously, this was wise because it didn’t end up working out.  It always seemed so obnoxious to me.  Why does every single one of my far and distant friends, including, but not limited to, the guy I met at a bar one time a year and a half ago, my sister’s best friend’s little brother, my great Aunt Susan twice removed, and every single person I ever spoke to in any one of my classes from undergrad- actually I take that back, it doesn’t really matter if I spoke to them or not- NEED to know about my relationship change?  And why go through the potential embarrassment of dealing with your break up being broadcast to hundreds, if not thousands of people, who are guaranteed to make comments like “I didn’t see that one coming”, “you must be really upset”, “you’re better off without him gf!”, and “I’d love to take you out for dinner…”

That being said, my new boyfriend is someone I’ve known for a while, and we have a lot of mutual friends.  Currently, I live in New York City, and he lives in Buffalo, so I don’t get to see or talk to our friends very often.  Thus, I have been debating making the relationship “Facebook official” (this is a very real phrase- you may have heard it in the sentence: ‘It’s not official, until it’s Facebook official’), and I’m not lying when I say it has been causing me a great deal of anxiety the last few days.  Granted, I am pretty neurotic.

Still, I know I am not alone in this.  My roommate is from Italy, where her significant other also resides.  Being “Facebook official” has been the subject of their arguments for the last two weeks.  No lie, it actually caused him to delete his Facebook page for a few days.

This past Saturday, my sister got married.  Approximately 8 hours after saying “I do”, her last name on Facebook was changed and she went from being engaged to married.  8 hours.  Meaning on her actual wedding day, she found the time, rather, she made the time, to go on Facebook and make these changes.  And she’s not alone in this.  I’ve found this to be the case for all of my friends who have recently tied the knot.  Often in even less time than that.

Relationship statuses are just the beginning of how Facebook affects our daily lives.  I could go on for days. What’s your opinion on the matter?  Are you for or against the relationship status?

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6 thoughts on “Why Facebook Is Not Helping My Anxiety

  1. I have had my share of FB drama hence my long rant (oops I mean blog) blaming FB for causing mass turmoil in relationships. But the fact is as much as we (or should I say people like me) want to blame FB for our issues, it really has nothing to do with it. We have to be mature enough to handle events that occur in our lives, brush off the embarrassment, and move on. I feel we put too much emphasis on what other people think in regard to our personal lives. So with that said, if you feel like proclaiming your happiness with your new guy on FB by stating you’re in a relationship then go for it! If you’re thinking of doing it as a security measure to make your relationship more legitimate then you probably should take a step back and reevaluate the whole situation. Either way, we should all do what feels right and ignore the “noise.”

  2. Christina martinez says:

    Sly way of getting your boyfriend to do the dirty and just change his relationship status? Maybe…

  3. Michael Steier says:

    Relationship statuses were the cool thing to do in high school and college, but now that we’re in the real world, it’s completely unnecessary. I’ve noticed more and more people (including myself) just removing it from their profile and, though it adds a little bit of mystery to the person, it’s not something the world needs to know. If you’re madly in love and you’re already talking engagement and marriage, then maybe I can see the use, but for casual dating? Forget it.

    Back in college, I was dating this girl; we made the mistake of changing our statuses to “In a Relationship” about five minutes after I asked her out. Instantly, I got a half dozen comments congratulating us as if we were getting married. The attention was actually pretty annoying. Even worse is when we broke up several months later; our relationship statuses showed “Single” and I got even MORE comments about “it’s okay, bro. We’re here for ya” and “yeah, she was a ***** anyway, dude.” Again, not the attention I wanted or needed at the time. It would’ve been so much better and easier if both of us just took our damn statuses down instead of changing it to “In a Relationship.” That way we can keep our personal matters the way they should be; to ourselves and the few people we want to share it with…if anyone.

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