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The internet is an amazing thing. In the world wide web’s short existence, our generation has seen the fledgling dial-up monstrosity evolve into the information behemoth we have come to rely on today. Any fact, figure, or statistic is at a finger tap’s reach at any given point in our lives. Users around the world can connect and share their thoughts instantly on an open forum. Assholes like me can even make money throwing a few lists together on a parody fraternity humor site. While all agree the Internet is the most important invention since the advent of the reverse cowgirl position, it is not without flaws. Today, I’m here to discuss one of the fundamental flaws of our Internet-addicted generation, the often dreaded “Facebook Official” phenomenon.
In our parents’ days, relationships were a much simpler task. In the era of landlines and phone number memorization, all of the sorry wastes of humanity from high school faded away into insignificance, like a Florida State fan after their first disappointing loss each season. They kept in touch with the people they felt closest with, like normal human beings by engaging in actual conversations. Writing on someone’s “Timeline” was nonexistent, instead you’d give your buddy a phone call and ask how they’ve been. There was no “messaging.” There was only speaking. And most importantly, when you got serious with a girl, it didn’t mean proclaiming it to every single person you had met in your adolescent years.
Today, the second a relationship becomes “FBO,” nearly everyone you’ve ever interacted with gets a chance to see and comment on your newfound affection, which is the 1980’s equivalent of flying an airplane over your hometown with a giant pink “Joanie Loves Chachi” banner.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think this concept is just plain idiotic. The fact that girls these days give so much weight to the status of your virtual profile says quite a bit about their own insecurities. What happened to the good old days when the only validation your relationship needed was occasionally making eye contact during sex and actually remembering their birthday?
“If it’s not FBO, he’s not your boyfriend. TSM.” This TSM received 815 ‘nice moves’ from girls who can’t help but rub their romantic conquests in others’ faces. In a world where we’re constantly judged, offering up pictures to our “friends” of every waking moment of our lives, why are we so quick to divulge the most intimate parts of our individuality? Is it wrong for a person to think to the future consequences of a “Facebook Official” relationship? Am I a bad guy for not wanting the semi-retarded kid I sat next to in German class in 10th grade to look upon a future breakup with pity?
Relationships are great (for some people), and I know what it feels like to want everyone to know of the happiness you’ve been blessed with. However, not everyone cares about how happy you are. In fact, I would go so far to say that most people don’t give a shit. If you’re with someone, people will see you together. Whether it be by holding hands, kissing, or a happy hour smanging in the bathroom stall, people are still smart enough to make that kind of assumption on their own.
I miss the days where being happy, and in some combination of lust and love was all you needed to be. We’re fucking young, in case you forgot. Relationships will come and go, but the lessons we learn from them will eventually dictate the kind of person we spend the rest of our lives with. As you sit laughing with your children 20 years down the road about how big of an asshole you used to be, is anyone going to really care if Mommy and Daddy were ever officially together on a mediocre social media website?
As you might have guessed, the answer is no. It’s time to stop putting so much weight on how the rest of the world sees you, and start focusing on how you see each other. It’s time to grow up, because it’s only a matter of time before the world realizes how stupid the concept of “FBO” actually is.