Gemma Styles: Are You The Facebook Couple We All Hate?
The Debrief: Generally I'm all about just letting people live, whatever makes you happy, etc. But when you're flaunting your love life all over the place, spare a thought for (single) me...
I would like to begin this week’s column with a small precursor: I am currently sans boyfriend. As everyone knows this grants me the right to be all woo-hoo about how free and single I am and enjoy the fact that I don’t have to share my Pringles with anyone. Taking that into account, I would like to discuss a hotly debated topic among my friends: couples on social media.
According to a new study, published this week, there is a direct correlation between soppy Facebook posts and a happy, committed couple. Yeah. Catalina Toma and Mina Choi, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted research by examining the eDA (that’s electronic display of affection, can I trademark that?) of student couples as well as the result of their relationship over the course of six months. Apparently the six-month timeframe was chosen because previous research has shown that relationships between students have a decent chance of crashing and burning in that time… Any students coming up to a six month anniversary maybe make your beau a bacon sandwich or something this weekend just to keep that shit locked down.
Now while I am in no way the right honourable judge of internet-land – I have witnessed a lot of couple-y chatter over the years and I’d like to pick out what I personally think are some important pitfalls to avoid.
DON’T – OVERSHARE
There are some things that we just don’t need to know. If you’re totally in lurve with bae then I am actually, genuinely happy for you but ‘I love my man soooo much he just built my new Ikea coffee table dunno what I’d do without him best thing that ever happened to me <3 <3 <3’ is not an acceptable Facebook status. You’ve been together for a month and are more than capable of building your own flatpack woman, good lord. And while I’m on it, 'my man' is an unfriend-worthy combination of words. Unless he is in witness protection and you’re guarding his identity for safety reasons – please stop.
DON’T – SHARE A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
This is on the extreme end of Facebook coupledom but does happen. Admittedly it might be an older couple who deploy this love-bomb (perhaps a throwback to the early days of AOL where everyone shared a family email address) but it annoys the bejesus out of me. You are two separate people who have yet to sew yourselves together and form one eight-limbed mess of affection – make the most of it while you can.
DON’T – AIR YOUR DIRTY LAUNDRY
No matter what has happened you always have the chance to maintain a modicum of dignity. Do not post embarrassing or compromising pictures of your ex. Do not share intimate things that they told you. Do not ever be that person because you are the living worst. However someone has hurt you, whether or not they’ve been a complete dick, if you’re posting the details of a messy breakup all over Facebook then you’re not going to come out of it looking great. Also, don’t think that statuses like ‘Some people don’t realise a good thing until it’s gone – can’t believe it has come to this, I guess people aren’t always what they seem’ are at all cryptic. We all know who you are talking about. Please, please go and cry on your mum/best mate/dog instead; it will be much better for everyone.
To reiterate my original point, I accept that I am coming at this from the point of view of a single person; I do think that in general life this makes a difference in how people are going to perceive your outpourings of romance, whatever they may be. While you’re happily skipping about without a ball-and-chain (amiright ladies?) or enjoying dating someone fun then you might see a couple smooching under a lamppost after a successful first meeting and think, ‘aww, bless ‘em, glad people in the world are happy’. Hoooowever: see the same couple when you’re in the sorry depths of a break up or that fit Tinder boy hasn’t messaged you back and you’ll hate them for RUBBING IT IN YOUR FACE.
Overall – I’m pretty much all for just letting people live, and whatever makes you happy, you go for it babes. But when you’re blissfully coupled up and flaunting your young love all over the place – spare a thought for the person scowling at you on the tube and can the PDA for five minutes yeah? That goes for Facebook too.
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Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
With thanks to Airbnb
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