Will you be my "It's complicated" on Facebook?

Will you be my "It's complicated" on Facebook?

Before we begin: a bit of personal exposition.  Over the summer, I found myself single for the first time in many years and in November I began seeing a girl—let’s call her “Kate,” because that’s her name.  And after a couple months of chess like moves testing each other’s qualities as a possible significant other (I always find asking varying levels of Star Wars trivia knowledge a key factor.  You want a woman who knows the difference between a Wookiee and an Ewok, yet doesn’t know that Bobba Fett, though raised as his son, was actually Jango Fett’s clone.), we decided to make things serious between us and date each other exclusively. In the old days, this was called “going steady” and is what the kids today call “friend with benefits numero supreme.”

There are certain rituals at the beginning of a new relationship.  You meet each other’s friends, which for me always feels like that cliché where someone finds a bloody corpse and then absent mindedly picks up the murder weapon, just as the cops bust in and he has to convince them that he’s not a murderer.  You explain the origins of scars and tattoos.  And of course, you change your Facebook relationship status.

Is this really where things have ended up?  I’m not against sharing my personal life online, but whenever something is expected of me—I question it.  Kate brought it up a few days ago and asked what my thoughts were on linking our profiles to one another.  I explained that I was fine with selecting “in a relationship” as my status, but was apprehensive about directly linking to her profile.  I felt uncomfortable with people I’m Facebook friends with, but not real world friends with (it is the nature of the beast), judging, or even worse (as in the case of my ex’s) stalking, the woman I’m dating. “I’ll be stalked anyway,” she shrugged.  I could tell she was frustrated when a little while later she declared,  “I bet Ryan Gosling would link to me on Facebook.”   Damn that Ryan Gosling and his scruffy dreaminess.

As much as I enjoy Facebook, along with the hundreds of millions of other users, it just seems that the whole idea is based more on the “appearance” of who you are and not the real you.  Now, I can go on a whole diatribe summing up Plato’s Cave or Barthes and the foundation of Semiotics, but I’ve got a better analogy.  A Facebook profile is the equivalent to those opening montages in movies where the camera floats around the main character’s bedroom or office, showing the photos tacked on the wall and the “things” that not only demonstrates his or her back story, but also their “unique’ personality.  The problem is that people are complicated and messy animals.  Although we wish it weren’t so: we are more than our good times or our favorite movies.  You don’t post pictures of the moments of complete ennui that you suffer through at work everyday or list the movies that you can’t stand.  So it seems to me that the Facebook profile is more a depiction of how you want others to see you—happy, popular, cheerful, etc. And personally, I’d rather work on the relationship than worry about what other people know about it.

In the end, my whole reason is moot.  Kate and I made a deal.  I’d link her profile to mine and she agreed to think about possibly, someday, (maybe) modeling a gold-Princess-Leia-bikini for me.  Wow, I never realized how much of a Star Wars Geek I am until this post.

Note: I must give credit where credit is due.  Though I myself found the picture used in the post and paired it with the caption, the idea came from this xkcd strip.  You can also learn more about xckd on my  “What I’m into (for now)” page.

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