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The Hazards Of Changing Your Relationship Status (On A Social-Networking Site)

facebook-status2by Jonathan B. Perry

I’ve seen it happen several times.  Caroline is now single.  Bob is in a relationshipAugustine went from dating to it’s complicated because he’s a Saint.  When my online friends change their relationship statuses (stati?) on the social-networking sites like Facebook or MySpace the information pops up for everyone to see and all their friends feel the need to comment on it.  Often quite lamely.

Don’t worry Caroline, he wasn’t the right guy for you.  You can do better.

Or Caroline, God must have a special plan for you.  Sorry for the tough times.

Or Ooh, Bob, who’s the lucky lady?

Bobby, do you know how many upset women there are going to be?

There’s no problem if you set up your status before you first find your online friends because there’s no individual alert posted to 300 people around the world, but woe be unto you if you change your status after finding all your friends, regardless of whether the blank status was an initial oversight or if you just broke up with your long-term girlfriend of 3 years because a vengeful game of mahjong became ugly and channeled your deepest darkest pent-up rage.  Sometimes these online friend-commentators will seem like members of a genuine support group, wanting to help you and lift you up in this your darkest hour, but they’re not!  They’re really comment vultures waiting to feed on the corpse of your broken love until the juice is drained (Ok, maybe there are some genuine souls who want to hold you and tell you how special you are.  You may be related to these people.).  Maybe you like that sudden outpouring and don’t mind the lameness.  If so, good for you.  Flip that status, baby!

So, next time you quit dating or start dating and really feel the need to alter your status publicly (you know you want to!), think long and hard.  There are a few hundred people wanting to be in on this dirty party of your intervention and they’ll have no qualms about asking…  Who is this Prince Charming? Your going to have to spill the beans now!

If you’re particularly puckish, try this experiment and change your relationship status!   Now, it might be a little touchy if your current relationship is a little tenuous, but that’s a risk you can take.  Try changing it to it’s complicated and see what happens.

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