‘Is it Necessary to Define the Relationship on Facebook?’
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 16:10
He Said: “It really depends on who you are. Some people don’t care and put it out there, and some are self-conscious about what others have to say,” Mack Taylor, a freshman majoring in computer science, said.
She Said: “I would say yes. It’s good to know. If the other person only wants to be friends with benefits, and I would want to be in a committed relationship, it just wouldn’t work out. You must know where each other stands, and what each other wants out of the relationship,” Stephanie Bauer, a senior majoring in medical laboratory science, said.
Back in the day, “Defining the Relationship” (DTR), consisted of your friend running across the playground to deliver a note to your crush. If your crush felt the same, he or she would check the box beside “Yes,” give it back to the messenger and the relationship was official.
Since then, DTR has gotten more complicated. Making a relationship official is no longer between only two people. Now, in order for it to be considered legitimate, the relationship must be “Facebook official.” But is this truly necessary?
Yes, it is necessary.
Facebook.com conducted a study in 2010 about the levels of happiness of users related to their relationship statuses. They found that people “in a relationship” or “married” are the happiest according to the positive and negative words used in status updates. On the other hand, people “in an open relationship” appeared to be sadder than those reporting, “It’s complicated” or even “widowed.” Single people were somewhere between the two extremes.
Facebook users who chose not to DTR were about 50 percent more negative than everyone else. This could be because they do not know where a relationship stands, or they have no information to disclose. Therefore, according to this study, people in general are happier if they DTR.
It is necessary in this generation to announce to all “friends” on Facebook how our relationships are doing. This way, we and our significant others, know where we stand as a couple and that the relationship is official in the eyes of others as well.
No, it is not necessary.
Others beg to differ, saying that DTR promotes labels. Relationships should not have to fit into predefined categories, yet Facebook asks us to do just that. Defining the relationship has created an obsession with status symbols and labels. It has become more important to quickly report status updates than to actually deal with breakups and new relationships.
It can also be argued that relationship statuses remove intimacy from the relationship. When the entire Facebook community gets to know every time that a couple breaks up or gets together, everyone gets involved and the situation becomes focused around what others say, versus the issue at hand.
Defining the relationship takes away the privacy and sacredness of a relationship. It has become a way of gaining “likes” and labeling something in which only two people should be involved.
Next week’s question:
“What disgusting or annoying habits can possibly become a ‘deal breaker’ in a relationship?”
Have an answer? Email it plus your name, major, and year in school, to email@example.com.