To be FBO or not to be FBO?

Posted: December 10, 2011 by entertainmentxray in Elizabeth

“Facebook Official”, or “FBO”, is a term used by a large majority of young adults to refer to the stage in dating when you decide to tell the world that you’re dating via Facebook.  Personally, I think that it is ridiculous to base the validity of your relationship off of something online, but as I was searching for some evidence to discuss how Facebook effects your relationships I realized there were not a whole lot of strong sources that discussed this.  A magazine article or a blog post here or there, but nothing substantial.  I believe that Americans will believe almost anything you post online about a relationship, so I decided to create my own evidence for part of this blog.

This is my friend Zack.  We have known each other since 7th grade, and I count him among some of my very best friends.  We also joke around that if neither of us are married at a certain point in the far, far future we probably will just marry each other.  I decided to ask him if he’d be my “Facebook husband” for a night and help me with a project for class.  His response?  “Well, I’d rather just be your real husband, but whatever.”  Thanks, Zack.  We went into our settings and changed our relationship status, and our Facebook’s went crazy in less than an hour.

This is what the comments section looked like

It was completely overwhelming.  Zack and his friend’s figured it was a joke.  My friend’s however, were a little bit more gullible.

I also received countless numbers of text messages and phone calls asking me if it was true.  Part of me could not stop laughing.  I had not even been DATING anyone before this, how on earth could I have been married in a day?  I guess people are more gullible than I thought.  My roommate thought this was a hilarious concept for a writing assignment, so in the spirit of trying to convince others it was real, she wrote:

My mother freaked out after reading all these comments and called me in complete hysterics asking me what I was thinking.  It took me a couple minutes to calm her down and say it was just for a blog I was writing, but I’ll remember to tell my Mom I’m fake-marrying someone on Facebook before I post it again!

What I learned from this is that most people will take something absurd that you post in three ways: either they text you about it and don’t ask you directly on Facebook so that they don’t look weird to a lot of people, they voice their confusion directly on your status, or they think it’s a joke.  In terms of Facebook relationships, this can do a couple of things to the relationship outside of the online world.  Cosmopolitan magazine recently posted an article about what is and isn’t acceptable to write about and talk about on your boyfriend’s Facebook.  If you post too much, you come off as clingy.  If you post too little, your presence is not seen enough and “another girl could sneak up and snatch him by wooing him online.”  Their words, not mine.  If you change your relationship status and your friends get too involved (as mine did when I “married” Zack), the guy could feel overwhelmed.

I think there is still a lot of research to be done about what exactly effects a relationship when it comes to social networking, but I have definitely seen that Facebook could overwhelm a couple if too many people know too quickly.  Remember to keep this in mind when deciding how public to make your relationship.

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