Something about public proclamations tends to make them more official. Wedding vows, for instance, seem to seal the deal to all who are present. And Facebook relationship status updates kind of have the same effect. I guess that’s why it’s such a big deal that Prince Harry’s now ex-girlfriend Chelsea seemingly made their most recent break up official by changing her status on Facebook to no longer being in a relationship.
Most of us have been there before, either one of the participants of an ended relationship or a friend that merely witnesses the proclamation on our Facebook newsfeed. Not to mention, public proclamations on Facebook seem to be the trendy thing for celebrities to do these days. But why is Facebook, of all things, such a powerful factor in Harry and Chelsea’s breakup?
Those news feeds are so darn viral. Viral in the sense that they spread across one’s Facebook social graph like wildfire. Everyone will see the announcement of one’s breakup. It’s just a fact of life.
Once it’s been spread across Facebook, it’s been spread across the world. Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to social networking, so posting something on Facebook is the same as posting something on a billboard in New York’s Times Square. Metaphorically speaking.
Everyone will be asking questions. Facebook friends can easily comment on a relationship status update, so posting one’s new single status is just asking for attention and all the immediate and direct questions that come along with it. Doing something so drastic as to change one’s relationship status means that one’s likely ready to deal with the social consequences.
Facebook is more likely to “promote” one’s single status update versus one’s “in a relationship” status update. That’s an unofficial statistic but check your newsfeed and tell me which type of status update you see more often. It gets more attention. Do you remember how much press Harry and Chelsea got when they first started dating? Neither do I.