Relationship Status: Slap in the Face… Book

"He's got a new GF!?"

I have a pretty boring morning routine. I hear my alarm go off on my iPhone (“Pretty Young Thing” by MJ, if you must know) continue to hit snooze until I only give myself twenty minutes to get ready. Then the routine:

–          Stretch. Rub face seven times.
–          Tear out of bed when I realize that I’m already running thirty minutes late.
–          Get in shower. Shampoo. Condition. Etc.
–          Dry off, get dressed, brush teeth, make goofy faces at myself in the mirror.
–          Run upstairs, notice that I have an extra five minutes.
–          Check Facebook.

Yes, Facebook is usually a part of my morning routine. Sometimes even taking precedent over a nutritious breakfast. Sad, but true.

You log in and scroll through Newsfeed, which usually goes a little something like this: status updates from “kind-of” friends, photos posted from family vacations that you don’t care about, “top 5 favorite Miley Cyrus songs” (she even has 5 songs?), event notification for a band you’ve never heard of, “What’s my Ghetto Name,” more status updates, ex-boyfriend is no longer listed as single, status upd… WAIT WHAT?!

Scroll back up in a panic, hoping you misread. Nope. We have confirmation: That stupid little pink heart is practically jumping off the screen paired with your recent ex, boyfriend or crush’s name. Maybe you already knew they were in a relationship, maybe you had no idea, maybe they broke up with you via Facebook, maybe you went out on a few dates and you thought things were going places but now they are in a relationship with someone who is NOT you.

Whatever the case is, this relationship update is a slap in the face…book.

Why do we care?

In my experience, I knew that it was coming. I knew about my ex’s new girl before it was “Facebook official,” but seeing it broadcast to the entire Facebook world put a horrible feeling in my stomach and, for once, it wasn’t the cookie dough I chomped on for breakfast that caused the pain.

I spent a good twenty minutes staring blankly at my computer screen. Maybe if I stared at the teensy little evil heart on my screen, it would turn black and freeze, sort of like mine did. No dice. Maybe it would break into two, the way that it does when you list yourself as “single.” Nope. Still there. Still intact, the “no longer listed as single” pink heart. AKA: The “too-cool-for-school” way of declaring a relationship.

After getting to work and experiencing servere agita the entire morning, I decided to consult my good guy friend on why relationship status on Facebook matters. I spilled the situation and told him, “I’m so busy and having all this exciting life stuff happening… why does a stupid Facebook relationship, or lack thereof, make me so upset?”

He put it best and said, “Because now everyone knows that he ‘won’ the breakup. Even though it may not normally be such a big deal to you, knowing that it’s a big deal for everyone else who sees it is the worst.”

Ouch. Really? Won?

He’s right. Facebook’s news feed has become a drama-filled newsletter that we all subscribe to. Even if you know your ex is dating someone new, it still bites seeing pictures of them together plastered all over the place. And it doesn’t even have to be a break-up; even if it’s something as simple as a friend excluding you from plans, Facebook makes it visible to you and everyone you hang out with. It sucks. It really sucks.

I feel stupid at first when I get upset over something that happens on Facebook. I mean, it’s just Facebook right? It’s not like it matters. But you know what? It does matter and it’s okay to feel crappy. Of course Facebook isn’t reality, but when your dirty laundry is out there for your entire social network to see it’s going to be painful. Sometimes you need to just swallow your pride and admit to yourself that someone hurt your feelings, and even though it was through Facebook, it feels just as crappy as when you found out the first time over the phone.

Except it’s worse; finding out via your newsfeed means you can’t hang up on them. And that’s the most gratifying part.

Melanie currently interning in NYC, taking full advantage of the city and those blonde summer boys. Stalk her on Twitter: @tinkermellie

Your Friend Cheated – Now What?
Your Friend Cheated – Now What?
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