I’ve decided that Facebook and MySpace are dangerous for couples. Here are some examples of what I mean:
1. My fiance and I are both on Facebook, but were not “friends” until recently because, as he said, “I hate Facebook. I only am on it for work networking reasons.” Which explains why, I guess, he didn’t accept my friend request for six months. And then I had to badger him into accepting our engagement status online.
2. I have a friend, Emily*, who’s broken up and gotten back together with her boyfriend about a dozen times over the course of four years. When they’re together, her MySpace page is covered in pictures of the two of them and her status is “in a relationship.” When they break up, she takes down every single photo of them together and changes her status back to “single”. When we would go long periods of time without talking to each other (truthfully, I think the dude is a loser), the only way I would know what was going on with her is by checking her MySpace. The constant change got so embarrassing (friends like me would call to check in on her when her status would suddenly change to “single”) that she now permanently leaves her status as “in a relationship” whether they’re together or not.
3. My other friend Katelyn* went through a mini-break-up with her boyfriend a few months ago and during the period when they weren’t together, he changed his status to “it’s complicated”, which frankly was really embarrassing.
4. I have two friends who recently started dating. She is what I would call an “active” Facebook member (i.e., she changes her status often, uploads lots of photos, etc.), while his participation is minimal. In addition to postings tons of photos of the two of them together for everyone to see, she also leaves him cutesy messages on his wall literally, like, everyday. He never posts back on her wall.
5. A gay friend of mine was dating someone who would use MySpace as a way of interrogating him about past relationships, going through each of his male friends, finding out who he dated and who he thought was hot.
6. Facebook will update when you’re “In A Relationship” with a fellow member — and also tell the entire frickin’ network when the two of you break-up, complete with a broken heart and all.
7. If you’re distraught after a break-up, it is way too easy to stalk your ex, making your recovery time much longer and your shrink bills much larger.
So, in summation, I really don’t think couples should interact on social networking sites. In general, there’s too much pressure to perform as the perfect couple since everyone is watching, and let’s face it, it’s kind of uncomfortable, at least for me.
[*Names have been changed so my friends don't kick my butt for airing their personal biz -- even though they do it every single single time they log-on to Facebook or MySpace.]