I’ve been trying to figure out how to make the Facebook relationship status meaningful for me. It doesn’t let me write in what I want (single by choice), so I thought that maybe I could expand the meaning of relationship – back to its meaning of relating to others. A couple semesters ago, I was in a class where we spent intensive amounts of time with three philosophers. So, I felt like I was in a relationship with them: I was constantly relating to them, after all. Facebook did not let me acknowledge that. You cannot write in what or who you are in a relationship with unless they are on Facebook and then they have to acknowledge this. It cannot be a one-sided obsession. Clearly, Facebook’s meaning of relationship is limited. Very limited. Anything that can, at least potentially lead to marriage. Couplemania in action. And this meaning is enforced by the rules Facebook is imposing: We cannot self-describe our relationship status (unlike religious or political views); we cannot even be in a relationship with a non-Facebook entity. There are several Facebook groups that are protesting this but in a heteronormative culture those protests are falling on deaf ears. If anybody has any ideas on how to break the relationship status (short of creating fake FB pages, which Facebook tends to remove), please post in the comments!
Added on October 18:
There might be a Facebook app that allows us to change the couplemanic profile box. I haven’t quite figured out if it actually replaces the box or simply redirects people to a more detailed page, which would kinda defeat the purpose, imo.