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Facebook brings relational frustration

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 17:02

We all know that person. The one who says they’re not concerned about dating or finding “The One” person in the world they want to spend the rest of their life with.

They’d rather focus on their studies, graduate, get a job and then figure out the messy things.  They say anything to make them seem unconcerned about settling down short of joining a monastery.

The next thing you know, they’re getting hitched and planning what appetizer to serve at their Hawaiian themed wedding.

So how do we find out about these momentous life moments? The same way we find out about everyone’s break ups, hook ups, first dates, emotional breakthroughs, downs and their increasing engagement announcements: Facebook.

 It seems at least once a week I see a new batch of pictures and status updates proclaiming a new engagement, either for a friend of mine or the close friend of an acquaintance I haven’t spoken six words to since that gen-ed class we took together freshman year.

I’m not delusional. This part of life, as people decide to tie the knot with their college sweetheart, is unavoidable. According to ASU, at least 11,111 alumni of 68,000 researched are married to fellow ASU graduates.

This is prime getting hitched time.

With each change in a relationship status from “single” to “dating” to “engaged” and then ultimately, “married,” it can feel like I’m falling behind in the great game known as “life.”

They’re also a constant reminder I’m in the same place romantically that I was at freshman orientation, which is just another irrational and mental distraction as I make my way down the final stretch to a more important goal: graduation.

However, as the saying goes, “misery loves company.” I’m not the only one whose News Feed is giving a reality check as old high school friends start getting engaged at an alarming rate.

In an article by Alexandra Sifferlin on titled, “Why Facebook makes you feel bad about yourself,” Sifferlin writes about a study conducted at two German universities that analyzed 600 Facebook users and their feelings after visiting the site.

The study found one in three users felt worse about their own lives after visiting the website that, like the many copycats and variations it spawned, is supposed to make us feel more connected with the world, not alienated by it.

So far, this might seem like a desperate plea for every happy couple to stop uploading photos of the greatest days of their lives for the entire Internet to see. It’s far from it actually.

The friends and family that are able to post these many albums of them getting engaged and married and having babies, deserve it.

As an eternal optimist and a hopeless romantic, I envy these people with every fiber of my being.

It might be a punch to the gut every time a picture of a brand new ring pops up on my News Feed or when I see a couple holding hands at the mall, but it’s a motivational gut punch.

Many see Valentine’s Day as a commercially driven day where all couples are obligated to celebrate something you should usually do every day. I see it differently.

Valentine’s Day is a day of celebration for those who took their punches in the dating pool, fought the good fight and were rewarded with someone they can proudly call their “better half.”

That’s a fight I and others are still struggling through, as that irrational clock continues to tick away in the back of our minds. It’s not easy and we might want to punch a pillow, but our time will come, or that’s what Steve Carell movies keep telling me.

So if you’re thinking about getting engaged anytime soon, makes sure to give your single friends a heads up before letting everyone else know on Facebook or Twitter.     We hate being surprised.

Daniel McFadin is a senior journalism major of Springdale.


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