Breaking up has always been hard to do, but now, thanks to Facebook it?s just that little bit harder. In this cruel social network, as soon as a relationship is over, instead of weeping into a pillow and watching re-runs of Sex and the City you are forced to change your ?relationship status? on Facebook. The finality of the whole situation will obviously make the break up harder to take, and when your ex also changes their status to ?single? this will be the icing on top of a very bitter cake.
In this crazy age of Facebook, perhaps the first thing you might ask a friend after a break up is – ?Did you take them off of your Facebook yet??
A friend of mine, who was recently left heartbroken after splitting up with a partner of three years, admitted that the hardest part of the break-up, was declaring themself as single on their profile. This just solidified the end and although that?s in some ways a good thing – we all know the best way to move on is through closure, I could still understand where my heartbroken friend was coming from.
When you do finally pluck up the courage to change your relationship status, it?s not exactly a pleasant task. Your choices are: ?Married? , ?Engaged? , ?In a relationship with…? , ?In an open relationship? or ?Single?. And as you go from an ?In a relationship with?? to ?Single? to add salt to the wound, you?re asked, ?Are you sure you want to terminate the relationship?? Now if you ask me, that?s just cruel.
But it doesn?t stop there. Oh no. As if all of this ego-battering wasn?t enough, the brutal Facebook Gods have added another relationship option. You can now choose ?It?s complicated?. The problem with this pathetic and insignificant option is that you might not even know ?it?s complicated?. Picture the situation: one day you happily log on to your profile and check your boyfriend?s page. ?Joe Bloggs went from being ?In a relationship? to ?It?s complicated?. Cue an angry phone call and perhaps a status change to ?Single? and looking for ?Random play?.
This deceleration of a break up is clearly going to be hard, but when 300 of your on-line friends all write on your wall to check you?re ok it may be all a bit much to take. You might even get a sympathetic poke off a couple of people, and a drawing on your graffiti wall of a flower. It?s sad but true. I remember my friend Laura once commenting that she had ended her on-line relationship in the morning, and she found it hard to believe that by the afternoon the concerned wall posts had started to flood in.
But it doesn?t stop there. Oh no. As if all of this ego-battering wasn?t enough, the brutal Facebook Gods have added another relationship option. You can now choose ?It?s complicated?.
It doesn?t stop there though. After all of this bother with status changing, do you ultimately remove your ex from your friends? You don?t want to log on, on a Wednesday lunch time, only to be told in your super feed that so-and-so has been tagged in 30 photos, 19 people have written on their wall and they have been voted the ?most desired for marriage? in some silly application. It?s just not necessary. But obviously instead of simply ignoring this, you will look at their profile for at least an hour, perhaps accounting for some of the 233 million office hours lost monthly due to Facebook use.
So here is my advice. Remove them from your friends, leave the network that you are both in and cut off any other way that you may be able to see their new life on-line.
Don?t get me wrong though, Facebook is by far the best networking tool I have ever used and I will also say that there is something shamefully fun in looking through photos of someone that you barely know, but as for relationships on Facebook, the best advice I can give is leave your status unmarked.
Facebook has taught me that being in a relationship is complex, but no matter how complicated it gets, you shouldn?t need a Facebook label to describe it.