Thanks to technology, social media has become a global village that connects everybody to everyone, everywhere. Facebook has, inevitably, been a powerful tool over this past decade in changing the way in which we live and how we connect with others. But is Facebook a good thing for our love lives?
For the longest time, Facebook gave us a few options to categorise our relationship status – single, married, divorced or widowed. Then Facebook added another category ‘it’s complicated’ which I’d thought was rather clever because relationships sometimes can be, hmm, complicated.
*Now Facebook has 11 categories to define a relationship!
However, to further complicate matters, social media has in a way pressured us into thinking, if the relationship status is ‘not complicated’, is it Facebook-official? If your significant other does not update his or her status ‘in relationship’ with you on Facebook, does this mean your relationship is doomed?
While we enjoy using Facebook to connect with family, friends, colleagues and business partners, this social media tool has changed the landscape of dating and relationships – forever.
Let’s admit this, Facebook has made many of us feel insecure about our relationships.
Creep up on dates online
You have met someone online and after a number of chats, things really click. Then you start to search for his profile on Facebook, hoping to scour information about him – his family, friends (and mutual friends), perhaps ex-girlfriends – any information that will give you a sense of what he is like in real life.
Wait, you do not stalk someone on Facebook? Come on, get real.
Most of us Facebook-stalk another person for the sake of curiosity but it takes the initial mystery and intrigue out of getting to know someone in real life, and without realizing, we pre-judge the other person based on what we saw online.
If you are able to learn so much about your future date on Facebook, what will you talk about when you meet him in real life?
Editor’s note: I have to admit, I occasionally use Facebook to try and search for Tinder matches’ profiles. I don’t see it as being a stalker or being creepy. After all, you have to protect yourself too. There’s a lot of catfish accounts out there, and it helps to be able to verify that it’s at least a real person based on their Facebook profiles.
Once, I matched with this vague Tinder profile who seemed eager to meet even though she refused to send photos of herself (by then we had moved to WhatsApp). I did a reverse search on her number which led me to a business page on Facebook. It turns out, it was a dude selling make-up. Never spoke to ‘her’ again.
Sending a friend request too early
So, you had a few dates with this amazing girl, and you sent her a friend request on Facebook. She accepted your request and now you can see her posts on your newsfeed.
Soon you begin to wonder if she is dating other men as she has an active social life. Adding someone on Facebook too early in the relationship can be risky dating behavior as you might be obsessively watching your date’s activities which might leave you feeling insecure and paranoid.
Friends broadcast their relationships
We are in an era in which we tend to believe everything that we see online. When we see our friends broadcast their relationships on Facebook every other day, we think that relationships with our S.O. have to be just like them – look good, romantic and perfect. Unknowingly, we compare our relationships with other couples and place unrealistic expectations on our partners.
I’m generally pleased for my friends who share about their relationships on Facebook but some overdo it that I can’t help but wonder if they are feeling insecure about their relationships, therefore seeking validation online. We often fail to realise that the “happy relationship moments” that friends post on Facebook are just highlights of their otherwise ordinary and mundane life. Those posts do not generally give a true portrayal of their relationships.
That said, should we get rid of Facebook in order to have healthy relationships? Like it or not, Facebook is like a glue – it enhances our relationships and friendships, helps to connect us to new faces, gives us the opportunity to share our interests and passions with the community at large. However, we need to strike a balance in time spent on online and offline communication with more focus on the latter in order to get to know the other person better and to build a real and meaningful relationship.
Has Facebook made you insecure about your relationships?