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by Dennis Yang

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Is It Still Considered PDA If The Affection Is Shown On Facebook?

from the poke-this dept

From giving a girlfriend your letter jacket to public displays of affection, some relationship rituals are meant for more than just the two people involved -- they exist to let everyone know that you are both, indeed, taken. It's no surprise that these acts have found online equivalents. For relationships in the online generation, Facebook has become the de facto place to announce one's relationship status to the world. Sure, MySpace and Friendster had relationship statuses, but any changes to your relationship status remained in relative obscurity unless someone was actively monitoring it every day. Short-lived SingleStat.us was created to help to solve just that problem for pining MySpace Romeos. On Facebook, however, change your status to "In A Relationship" and a little heart appears in your personal news feed, which then immediately spreads the good news to all of your Facebook friends. Having trouble finding time to have that "Relationship Defining Talk?" Just change your status with the object of your affection, and if they consent, then, Voila! No messy "talking" needed. But beware, breakups also happen in this brave new world. Whereas before the Internet, a public breakup may have involved a heated yelling match at a local diner, today, breaking up over Facebook draw the collective ire of thousands.

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  1. identicon
    John, 13 Dec 2007 @ 2:28pm


    Its not official until its Facebook official. Facebook has redefined relationships for college and high school students.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    TheDock22, 13 Dec 2007 @ 2:39pm


    I actually started using Facebook and was somewhat surprised that when you change your relationship status that it is kind of nosy and asks who. I put it in anyway, he accepted, and then all my friends were sending me messages of congratulations. It was sort of weird, but at the same time kind of cool.

    But we had the talk about it a month before I actually changed my Facebook status.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    St3v3 J, 13 Dec 2007 @ 4:40pm


    This is hardly even worth the electrons its displayed with. I understand that facebook and myspace a social icon for todays generation. And i also understand that meaningfull and valued relationships have been and will be formed through these sites. These sites are the reason divorce rates will stay at 50% or greater. They give people the impression of knowing their companion and allow for people to misrepresent themselves. Thus providing an eroded foundation for any relationship. This is not say that same deceptions and/or false impressions don't occur with people who meet face to face. The most extreme result of these online misrepresentations and false impressions found in stories like these, http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21844203/ .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Blaise Alleyne, 13 Dec 2007 @ 4:52pm

    It gets worse

    I would hardly call Facebook relationship statuses PDAs, at least not in the obnoxious sense that is often associated with the term. They certainly are an interesting phenomenon, lol. If you don't want people to know, then you just don't use it. However, it gets interested when you want people to know at first, but then things change, hehe. "OMGZ WERE PRACTICALLY MARRIED" *changes status to engaged* might be nice to spread to your friends at first, but when you break up three months later it's hard for people not to notice the absence of the relationship status.

    But Facebook PDAs go deeper. How about... sexually explicit wall-to-wall conversations... or worse, sexually charged conversation between a couple on someone else's photo comment thread... Then, people get notifications of these new comments... and... yeah, I've seen it happen. lol. Awkward. There are private messages for a reason!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Richard (profile), 13 Dec 2007 @ 8:29pm

    I'm used to reading Dilbert strips and wondering how Scott Adams managed to get hold of a transcript of a conversation I had a few days earlier in the office. I never expected to see xkcd do the same. Okay, it wasn't exactly that conversation, and we didn't have it in bed, but it was approximately 12 hours later, and it captures the gist pretty well...

    One of the problems is that it's not granular enough. When someone is listed as 'in a relationship' and they remove that from their public profile - without replacing it with another status - it can mean a few things. It happened to a friend of mine earlier this year, who was in a long-distance engagement; his fiancee came to visit him, and a few days later, he removed his status from his profile. It could have been a desire for privacy or - as in this case - that they had broken up, but he didn't want to declare himself single.

    The other slightly-related thing I can mention is people who don't connect the 'interested in' field with the 'looking for' one - and thus accidentally announce a random and incorrect sexual orientation...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    flamsmark (profile), 14 Dec 2007 @ 12:13am

    Meaningless Reference

    I feel that this XKCD strip is poignantly relevant here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    me, 14 Dec 2007 @ 5:41am


    Ummm what has this got to do with Personal Digital Assistants?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Darkforeigner, 15 Dec 2007 @ 2:52pm


    I think its ridiculous to use Facebook as a means of "asking someone to be your girlfriend/boyfriend/wtf". I simply use it display that I'm in a relationship. Its stupid to use it to "request" a relationship so-to-speak.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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