Thursday, July 15, 2010

Curse You Facebook! Can FB Ruin Relationships?

OK, I'm sure everyone's seen that YouTube video of the couple breaking up over the guy's Facebook activity (Here It Is), and if you're anything like me, you laughed your butt off... but unless you're as much of an overthinker as I am, I'm not sure if you stopped and thought: Damn, FB really does have a way of getting people caught up! Not to say these said people aren't to blame, but honestly, without FB, how would they have been caught?
For instance, take a friend of mine, who we'll call Charlie*, that lost the only woman he loved due to an FB mishap. Apparently they had been on the rocks for a bit, and a picture she saw of him with another girl on FB was all it took for her to completely delete him from her life...Literally. Although his relationship with the woman in the picture was innocently platonic, the picture was dated to a time when he was allegedly just "hanging with the guys." The girl in the picture was the sister to one of these guys. He never got the chance to explain that to his lady. You're thinking now, 'Oh Shar you can't make conclusions about our beloved FB off this one extreme instance.' Okay, I won't make them off of this ONE instance- let me share another with you.

I have another friend, lets call him Damien*. He was living the single life abroad- enjoying life in that way that many young men choose to do (tee hee), getting the 2 W's- Wasted and Women. Now we've probably all experienced having a little fun the night before and waking up to pictures we don't remember taking. I don't even mean naughty ones, just those pictures that you don't remember your friends snapping. Well, our young Damien was a charmer. He didn't just date these girls, he partied and chilled with them as well. This would be fine, EXCEPT that at these various chilling/partying events, pictures were snapped... many of them. Again, nothing would be wrong with this if said pictures didn't end up on FB. Damien thinks all is well until he starts to get those calls/texts, you know the ones: "Hey, I didn't know you knew Sara*.." "Hey, you said you were busy last night, then I see you tagged to pictures with other chicks." Damien's single and fabulous life was muddled just as it was beginning. At this point you're saying, 'That's his fault.' How? He's a single, serial dater. Now you're saying 'He should've just told those women to shut up then, they had no right to be mad.' That's all fine and well, but we all know how people are. Exclusive or not, people don't like to see the person they're dating in pictures with other people that same person is dating. It's life- emotions are illogical.

In the last example I'll provide for sake of not writing a novel on here (I have TONS), I'll tell you the story of Chris* and Meg*. Happy couple, for the most part, typical. Both had Facebook accounts; both used to spend time at each other's residence; both had pasts that wanted to stay in their presents. Well, one day, Chris happens to check Meg's FB page, and sees a wall post from her ex-boyfriend, a link in fact that he'd also commented on- Tupac ft. Jon B- Are You Still Down. The comment: After seeing you, I thought of this song... Now by seeing- he meant that Meg had recently accepted him as a friend, and he saw her profile picture. Needless to say, Chris was pissed. He didn't want Meg talking to her ex, much less seeing him! So, in immature retaliation, Chris commented on his ex-gf's status- he knew Meg would see this. Meg had indeed seen his activity by the time she got to his house last night, so guess what she did when Chris took a shower and left his laptop open? She looked at his FB page... unfortunately, Chris had left his chat turned on, and guess who chatted him? Yep, the ex. In short, they broke up over a bigger issue later, but the entire mistrust of each other began over an FB wall post. They both sound ridiculous, but again emotions are irrational, and I know of some of irrational shenanigans that some of YOU reading this post so pls stop the judging. Oh, did I mention that they both knew it was over, when they changed their FB statuses from "In a relationship" to "It's complicated." I mean sheesh the only place to go from there is "Single" right? (Lol).

In fact, Facebook ruining romantic type of relationships has been recently documented in psychological studies. Breaking up over facebook is not uncommon, in one study they found the following results (Study 1):
  • Nearly 25% of respondents have found out their relationship was over by seeing it on FB first
  • Nearly 21% of respondents said they would break up with someone through FB by changing their status to 'single.'
  • Nearly 40% of respondents have updates their status on FB so the person they're dating sees they have plans.
  • Nearly 35% of respondents have used their FB status to make someone think they have plans, even if they don't
In another study, researchers found that Facebook enhances and reinforces jealous behavior for people who are already prone to jealousy. Honestly, I can see why. The study also found that 74.6% of all participants were, at the very least, somewhat likely to add previous romantic or sexual partners as friends on FB and 78.9% reported that their partner has added previous romantic/sexual partners as friends (Study 2). Author A. Joinson found that one of the most commonly reported uses of FB was "Social Investigation" (FB Uses). My question is, would these "jealous" people even have a chance to get jealous if they weren't privy to such "questionable" information about their partners on a daily basis? By questionable info, I mean conversations, connections (friends) and status updates. Also, are they really just neurotic, jealous freaks, if they "investigate," and find that their suspicions are confirmed?


I wanted to pass that video, these articles and the various accompanying statistics off as funny. I truly did, but I myself have experienced utter f*ckery regarding FaceBook- some of it serious, some not so much. On the minor side, I find it interesting that I've been dealing with my man, the SAME man, for over a year now and yet EVERYTIME I alter my relationship status on FaceBook I get all types of messages, comments and "likes." I suppose the saying is true "It ain't official until it's on FaceBook." On the major side, I've had girls who I've blocked make fake accounts just to see the pictures I had up of me with my man! If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know EXACTLY who I'm talking about. I had a chick accuse me of wanting her man because I wrote "Happy Bday Hun" on his wall *SIGH* I've also had girls contact me over FB JUST to tell me my current man used to deal with them... *YAWN*. I mean, I can't say I completely trust FB's role in my own relationship- it's easy to stay in contact with those who should've been let go a long time ago (more importantly, it's easy for them to contact him or me); it's much easier for groupies to try to get their little 5 minutes of shine; and it's also very easy to be secretive. However, one major self-calming factor for me is that we trust each other, and although we're both capable of making mistakes (or would it be e-mistakes? LOL) we don't let that possibility control us. 
So, aside from the other questions I listed above, I'd like to know your opinion- has FB ruined something for you? Have you found incriminating information on your bf/gf or someone you were dating that caused you to act differently or caused you to get into an argument with them?
Oh I also thought this was funny... There's an FB group... about how FB ruins relationships. HA! --> http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2207783823


!Update! New article on FB's potential to ruin your life (lol):  http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/the-human-condition/2010/07/20/10-ways-facebook-can-ruin-your-life.html

*photo courtesy of http://www.impactlab.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/facebook-enemies-657.jpg*