Time and time again, we constantly ask ourselves:
"Are you really in a relationship if you aren't "Facebook official?"
We all remember the middle/high school days of our seemingly rational insecurities, where we would think that if we weren't "fbo" with the guy or girl we liked, then it was all fake. Without an official status, your relationship was just a sham of love unrecognized by the cyber space community. Pre-highschool graduation, Facebook was our main outlet of social media, yet today this doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
Flash forward to 2014 and social media has skyrocketed. There are countless websites and apps that allow us to meet people and express ourselves, from strangers to former flings. Yet I can't help but ponder, why do we feel that everybody needs to know our personal business all the time? Often times I feel as though social media exists as merely a "bragging contest". For instance, rather than just enjoying a vacation, we brag about how much fun we’re having on said vacation by tweeting live updates, or posting pictures with significant others on Instagram to show how amazing our relationship is. Social media is changing our world - however if it's for the better or worse I can't be sure.
Our ability to constantly connect to others through Facebook additionally puts strains on relationships, especially new ones. Fragile relationships that are just beginning to blossom can be tracked through Facebook. Fringing within the realm of borderline stalking, as a paranoid girl/guy, sometimes our emotions get the best of us and we can't help but hyper-analyzing EVERYTHING. We all know the situations: you meet someone, you hit it off, after a couple inebriated rounds you get their number, and from there you start "talking." The texting phase beings...however both parties are trying to play "hard to get." Your new crush lacks instantaneous replies and your CLEAR lack of patience challenges your confidence.
ex) “Why is he on Facebook, but won’t text me back?”
ex) “Why is she posting pictures of her and her friends downtown, but didn’t tell me she was going out?”
With the click of a button, you can “stalk” your significant other, but is this really a healthy thing?
Some may argue that jumping into a relationship too soon and putting a title on it (aka being Facebook official) is an awful decision. The dating culture has completely changed. Half a decade ago, becoming “Facebook Official” meant everything. But now, most people prefer not to expose their relationship status to Facebook. Has our generation become more elusive in our relationships, or are we frankly just becoming tired of being a prisoner to social media?
If you were to scroll through your Facebook timeline right now, you would notice that not many couples expose their status to the world. It's somewhat reversing that couples believe an official title creates unnecessary pressures on their relationship.
Overall, it seems that in college, MOST people do not date seriously enough to even think about being “Facebook Official.” The norm has become “casually dating around” or “just hooking up,” - neither of which are options as a Facebook relationship status. Not to mention that an open "mingling" or "hook up" might label oneself as somewhat promiscuous. All in all, nobody wants to get their heart broken or has time with their busy schedule to date - hence they shy away from traditional dating and making things "FBO."
While being “Facebook official” used to be popular, people are beginning to stray away from it. However, I can't help but admire those that keep their lives semi-private. It may just be me, but I can sense the beginning of a new era where it's expected to keep relationships private and for valid reasons.