If you’ve ever had to change your Facebook relationship status, you probably know by now that whether or not you want to make it a big deal, the newly updated information publishes to your feed … very often awkwardly.
This social media expert is not a fan of the Facebook relationship status overall, given the personal brand aspect of social media. Having recently experienced the embarrassment of mistaking a person with a unisex name for their spouse during a lengthy Facebook discussion, many good cases can be made for being as independent on social sites as one can possibly be.
One is that is spares others confusion. One is that it spares others the socially sticky situation of not knowing who they’re talking to or whether it’s appropriate. One is the Facebook relationship status … which you, as a user, only have 50 percent control over at any given point.
The prevalence of Facebook relationship status as a surrogate for actual relationship status is an unfortunate one for that reason — it places many people in the position of “validating” another so very publicly, only to have the world apprised of not only your new loves, but your sad breakups. If you abstain, a crowd judges you as hiding something, and if you don’t, you’re subject to the same crowd being privy to your entire love life and its ups and downs. We’d like to see this whole thing be the realm of common self-removal, but in the meantime, people still have to deal with a new social pitfall.
The Facebook Breakup
So your significant other has moved on, and you’re forced to either change your relationship status on Facebook or look like you’re still holding on to something that is long gone. Awkward!
Now here’s where it gets stickier. Once you change your Facebook relationship status, it becomes a story on your feed. There with your Bitstrips and your food pics is a big, blue broken heart, telling all the people who were cooler than you in high school and your former bosses and co-workers that your current flame too no longer thinks you’re that awesome. Way to add insult to injury, Facebook.
You can hide it from your Timeline. But what you can’t do is remove it from the feed … where people will inevitably post a slew of comments you could probably really do without, like:
“So sorry, what happened?”
“Call me! He’s a jerk!”
“LOL bro, she cheat on you?”
“You’ll find someone else!”
You can avoid this by changing your Facebook relationship status so it won’t publish to your feed.
The way around this is pretty simple, and involves settings.
First, go to where you would change your relationship status to “single” or “in a relationship.” Next to that is a privacy setting, where you can select “private,” “custom,” “friends,” or “only me.” Pick “only me.”
Your relationship status should disappear entirely.
Now, after 24 hours, you can change your status to whatever you’d like it to be, and keep it private, or make it public.
The change won’t publish to your feed at this point as of today, but you can use it as a subtle “ask me out” signal or simply to confirm to nosy parties that you’re indeed no longer in a relationship with your ex and avoid directly discussing it.
Have you been burned by Facebook relationship status change awkwardness?