I started a MySpace page years ago. And a couple months later, I declared to anyone who would listen “MySpace is the devil!” I hated having all my friends connected for all the world to see (In part, MySpace was the beginning of my Main Street theory about life.) Everyone was able to go on my page and find exactly who I knew, and could judge who was in my best graces by the Top 8 or 16 on my page. (Remember how upset good friends used to get if they didn’t make the cut? Or equally as bad, if they weren’t in the top 4?) I recalled laughing at how petty it was until one of my friends for almost a decade cut me from their top 16 and I was deeply offended. Then there was the time I realized the guy I was dating for a couple months had his ex girlfriend in the “Number One” spot and me way down on the page. Later I’d heard a crush had broken up with his girl and I didn’t believe the rumors until he took her out of the “One spot.” Stupid, petty, insane, I know. But I felt a way about it even if had too much pride to actually verbalize it. (In a moment of sheer insecurity, I did say actually hit my boy about getting cut from the Top 16. “Are we good?” read the random text. Thankfully, he assured me that we were.)
Because of all that, I avoided Facebook for years until everyone and their mother was on it. Facebook is even worse. Unless you actively change your alerts, the system updates all your friends to every move you make. Leave a message on an ex’s wall? The whole world knows. Go to a party that you didn’t invite someone to? They know as soon as you add your pics. After gaining so much insight into my friends social lives based on who they were adding to their page and hitting with random chatter (and feeling awful about a distant associate when I was alerted that her engagement had ended), I realized they had all the same information about me. (This was reinforced when a friend noted how many times a day a certain someone and I were posting on each other’s wall.) It was at that point that I changed most of my settings and declared Facebook to be the Devil 2.0.
One day, after reading yet another random email in my Facebook Inbox from some dude trying to “holla holla holla” and seeing ad after ad pop up about being single [ED. Note: my weekly Facebook ad reads “30 something and Single?”], which promised I would find relationship bliss by clicking some link, I decided to update my profile to minimize such outreach. Plus, I had just read some article about identity theft and how criminals will go on social networking sites to retrieve pertinent information that they can then use to get to your bank accounts. Being as though I work very hard for the $4.75 that is in my bank account, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do some of the tips the article suggested.
First, I updated my birthday, so it didn’t list my birth year, then updated my hometown, a link I never noticed before (since you know nothing about me except what you’re currently reading, just know I am a very proud Charlotte girl!
I then changed my relationships status from Single to blank.
A few hours later I got a note from one of my associates asking when they were going to meet the new guy.
Another message came in shortly after from another associate stating congratulations and good luck on my new relationship.
Finally, a text from a girlfriend, giving well wishes and was very happy for me and the new beau.
I didn’t realize that Facebook sends an update to all your “friends” stating what you’ve changed about your profile. With that relationship change, Facebook henceforth announced to all my Internet crew that I “was no longer listed as single” (with the nerve to put a little heart next to it.)
At first I was mortified, as most of us single girls would be. Who wants to have any part of their life put literally on full blast like that? I then recalled the SATC episode when Miranda, a then-single woman, was buying her apartment and had to write a letter to her mortgage company correcting their assumption that she was married. But what irked me more was just the unsettled feeling this relationship notification gave me. Don’t misunderstand, I’ve never really been one to wax philosophical about being in a relationship. As a testament to how un-desperate I am to be booed up, I’ve been in a situation where a relationship was staring me in the face and I stopped that train before it left the station. My status outing on Facebook was, in a way, an opportunity to reflect on exactly who I currently am.
I spent the weekend watching old SATC episodes on DVD (I’ve been watching them on TBS so long I forgot the original HBO versions with all the nudity and cursing!), exercising, cleaning my apt, and doing things I like to do. I reflected on who I am and how I got to this point in my life. My time alone gives me a chance to see my shortcomings, try to fix them, and appreciate and enhance my good traits. I won’t go thru the usual female rhetoric of giving random excuses for a man’s inability to commit; it isn’t going to change my current single status. I am creating the best me I can be (cue Army music circa 1980s).
So now that Facebook has forced me to come out of the closet and reaffirm my relationship status, consider this my formal letter: I AM SINGLE. *~Tear Tear *~* 😦