I swear there has been an increase in engagements on Facebook just in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps it’s due in part to the fact that summer may be halfway over, and happy enough couples are scrambling to fulfill their happy (!) quota for the season. Or maybe they need to book NOW to get a decent place for a summer wedding. What’s better than a fall and winter full of engagement photos, questions about napkin sizes and where to seat people you don’t really like!?
I can handle an engagement here and there. Maybe once a month, but that may be pushing it. When it’s my actual life friends, I’m truly overjoyed. When it’s a parade of Pinterest addicts you met in high school math class and their boyfriends in middle management who jerk off to Hentai, my feelings take a different, less enthusiastic turn.
I’ve deduced some possible reasons for the influx of our acquaintance’s recent engagements:
Election year! They love the idea of getting married in front of their homosexual friends, because it’s always fun to do stuff other people can’t, much like rolling your tongue or weird finger tricks
Cute people are convinced they won’t find anyone better, or that their cuteness might run out (sunscreen and gym will fix that)
Settling for a guy/gal with a decent job. Not good, but decent, which is sadly relevant in today’s economy
Someone is pregnant with “traditional” parents (which really means the newlyweds are spineless hamfarts)
Shared mortgages are secretly an aphrodisiac
Splitting the cable bill, rent and AC sure beats paying for it by yourself
The divorce rate in this country is 50%, or something close to that. So, technically, that means that half of all these marriages are gonna end by one of the following:
An unhealthy obsession with fictional supporting characters of one season television series on the now defunct WB
There are just so many uncertainties in a world full of crap relationships and blood diamonds, that we’ll just have to let the swift hand of fate deal their cards. But you believe me this: We can suck it up through the wedding photos, bachelorette parties and beef jerky dancefloors knowing that at the end of this dark tunnel, there is a light. Divorces have to be entertaining, right? Then we can REALLY watch some shit unfold on Facebook. Invest in your defriends wisely. One day, these newlyweds may make great divorcées. It could be their calling. Who wouldn’t want them to fulfill their destiny? Besides, There’s nothing better than a “new independent woman” with a Facebook status to update. I almost can’t wait.
Remember being stranded at the mall in the late 90s, and only feeling security in the fact that you had a quarter and there was a machine that would take it in exchange for one grim, helpless phone call? Then there was 1-800-CALLATT which was just a big fuck you to whoever you had to call.
Plus remember how scary it was to hear one ring?! who’s calling me?! Who knows I’m here????
Some of these unique devices still exist. Even more rare is to find one that still works AND doesn’t have a clipped cord. It’s a historical, technological monument!
But really. Thank God we have cell phones people. Just thinking about not having one gives me anxiety.
If you’ve found yourself graduated from college and wanting to keep learning without paying a ridiculous amount of money, check out Coursera.
A very informed friend sent me a link to a website where you can take a very limited amount of courses from schools like Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and U of Michigan FO FREE.
An excerpt from their website explains what the driving force is behind the site and free online classes from some of the top universities in the world:
“We are a social entrepeneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. We envision a future where the top universities are educating not only thousands of students, but millions. Our technology enables the best professors to teach tens or hundreds of thousands of students.
Through this, we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.”
Read more on the background of Coursera from the New York Times here.
There’s also another website, Udacity, that offers limited computer science and cs-related courses for free. Their twitter account simply states “Democratizing higher education.”
This is simply amazing and a really cool step into free education through the power of the internet and interconnectedness. The internet was invented to share pictures of cats for the sharing of information, and making education available to all through the seemingly limitless power of the net is a strangely progressive step, especially in a world that is obsessed with high profit margins and the Kardashians.
The basic format of the online classes are taped lectures and some homework assignments. So it’s like Youtube, but without all the bat-shit crazy commenters and with a little more elbow grease.
The course selection on both websites is highly limited and centered upon computer science and technology, which is useful in an every-growing technological world both personally and professionally. This is an amazing first step into the world of open source, free online education that does not discriminate, unless of course you don’t have an email address and refuse to register for free things. It’s nice to know that there are people in the world working hard to provide education and information to the people regardless of the personal economics of the masses. Right on.
Right now there are a bunch of computer science related courses that start today (April 23rd) on Coursera and more that start at different times throughout the year. Udacity allows you to sign up for their courses at any time, which is beyond convenient to manage in between everyone’s 2-3 part time jobs. Computer Science 101 anyone?! We can share notes!
I had 4 years of unread emails because I literally forgot about an email account that I used in high school and while I was studying abroad. It was a case of forgotten password and probably a lot of ex-boyfriend emails that I never wanted to look at again.
I had a billion emails from Papa Johns, Barnes and Noble and a few wayside Linkedin invites. Also, before Facebook took over the world, Brazilians used Google’s Orkut social network, and since I had finally recovered my password, I could look into a little time capsule that was left behind from my sparklier days.
This is what I love about social networking and Facebook pages. To be able to go back to 2008 when I was living in Brazil and see my Orkut, or to 2007 when your Myspace page was BLOWIN UP and had 10,000 friends is a luxury for memories when we are old.
It also gives a peak into how your love life was doing at the time. I know who I was dating during this email address, and I read some email exchanges that were pretty cringe-worthy. Like, desperate, can’t-let-go-of-shitty-first-love desperate. Yikes. The whole “let’s be friends!” bullshit that I’ve thankfully left behind (because it NEVER works) was written over every breakup-themed letter I’d written while using this email. I’m so glad I’m not 20 anymore (because 24 is so much better! HA.)
It’s fascinating to see what kind of things I was writing to ex-boyfriends, and what they were writing to me. Being a little bit older and hopefully a little bit wiser, these messages are time capsules of figuring out this whole love biz. I was unsure, sensitive, bitchy, insecure and just trying to get along dating in a foreign language and culture, while still being stuck in contact with a past bf that was totally self-destructive. Take out the foreign element and you’ve got practically any 20 year old discovering how to act with people in relationships as semi-adults.
This is also why Facebook’s timeline is a good idea, even though we all hate the shit out of it now. I never delete anything from Facebook, because I want to preserve the virtual time capsule of my life. I want to be able to look back and read posts I exchanged with friends and family, pictures and their comments, being happy with old boyfriends, pictures of random things from around the world, etc. How cool would it be to look at your grandma taking shots when she was in her 20s, or to read how people spoke to each other back then? Tres cool.
My Google homepage recently revealed a new tab (or I just now noticed it): Google Play. Here at Google Play, you can buy music, books, movies and Android apps. Oh, no iPhone apps you say?! Shocking!
This will seriously only be interesting to me and probably a lot of other people if this creates some competition for the pricey shit over at the iTunes store. Because really, if we stopped renting movies from actual video stores for $3.99, what makes anyone think we’re going to ‘rent’ a 24-hour digital copy for that much?!
They need to lower their shit to Redbox prices. I think people would rather drive to Redbox and spend $1.29 on a movie than rent one for $3.99 at either iTunes or Google Play. Especially since there is barely any overhead cost in renting a movie online. It’s just downloading. At least with Redbox we get the actual video, and can keep it for longer than 24 hours (once we start watching it. iTunes has some pretty sophisticated rulez) with an extra charge (the beauty being that the extra charge is within our power, and we’re all power hungry mofos who love being in control). iTunes telling us we have 30 days to begin the movie and then 24 hours after that to watch the movie is bogus and self-harmworthy. It causes our brains to melt in judgmental disgust anyways from A) watching something presumably dumber than rocks that was made in Hollywood and B) vastly overpaying for it.
It’s no surprise people want the fuck out of our money, but come on. Sell it to us cheap and we’ll buy it. Otherwise that shit gonn’ get stolen. That’s what capitalism is, right?!
What has become the status quo in terms of stating your relationship on Facebook?
Back in Facebook yesteryear (2006) it was exciting to post that you and Billy Highschool-love were staying strong, even after freshman year started. It was a warning to potential suitors (and possibly a reminder) that you are, in fact, dating some guy from some other town.
That was when we were younger, and when Facebook had still been for college students only. How has the Facebook relationship status changed and how are people using it now?
Let’s look at our options:
Single. Probably the most striking FB relationship status. It normally yields either a “yeah, no shit” or “seriously?! we HAVE to meet up with him” reaction from any given stalker.
In a Relationship. Seen by FB friends as “yeah, I’m still with him” or “that shit is gonna crash and burn in like 1 internet year” (about a week).
It’s complicated. The most volatile FB relationship status. It shows your brazen attitude towards letting everyone know exactly what’s going on in your relationship.
Engaged/Married. Same shit, unless there’s a crash and burn revelation by either party and it turns into a furious SINGLE. Mostly translated by viewers as “Oh, good for them,” “I better get invited to that wedding” or “that’s not going to last very long. They are both batshit crazy.”
In an open relationship. Yeah, unless it’s a friendship faux relation, nobody cares. You’re “in a relationship” asshole. There’s nothing less attractive than other people’s drama when you’re trying to get your freek on.
Widowed. Sadsies. “That was really, really awful. Who wants drinks?” (you know it’s true)
Separated/Divorced. Depressing, yet probably yields more jubilation and sick satisfaction to your FB viewers than any other relationship status. “Fuck YES I’ve been waiting to hook up with them since junior high!” or “Knew it! Who wants drinks?”
In a civil union/In a domestic partnership. It’s either true, or it’s some boring white 20-something couple trying to keep the spark alive. “Oh.”
BLANK. The elusive, mysterious blank.
Most people, at least on my friend list, stick to the holy trinity of in a relationship, single, or married. Straightforward. No muss no fuss. However, once in a while your dramatic friends begin to update their relationship status daily: “In a Relationship.” “Single.” “It’s Complicated.” “In a Relationship.” “SINGLE.” “REEEEALLY SINGLE.” “So totally single I’m going to talk about it for 9 months because I clearly have obsessive tendencies and a penchant for oversharing!” I really which that last one was an actual status.
There are also the faux relations, where two friends decided to be virtually married or dating a friend forever. Good for friends everywhere, bad for potential dates stalkin’ on your info.
Then, ever so often, you run across a couple who leaves their status blank, but have been together for like 3 years. When you think of it, if you’ve been together that long and all of your friends know this, it’s really not pertinent information.
On the other hand, there are the couples who have been together for like 4-6 months and are still kind of in the honeymoon period of officially being a couple, yet leave their FB relationship status mysteriously blank. Is it because they don’t want people to know that’s who they’re dating, or is it simply a case of not caring about the FB relationship status?
One factor in omitting relationship statuses on Facebook is the fear of virtual breakups. It can be stressful and embarrassing to go through a break up, not to mention one that people can comment on or even ‘like’. Gross. It just leaves a lot of annoying “I’m so sorry! You’ll find someone better, I KNOW it!!!” comments that don’t make you feel better and make you want to jump off a bridge into a lake filled with needles. Relaying your most recent pain and heartbreak to a few people you care about and a LOT that you don’t is just another added stress of keeping up with relationship statuses on FB.
When not in a relationship, that I will gladly post, I prefer to be a blank. I think it’s the best way to be single, because you’re not stuck with this ‘single’ title. If you start casually dating someone, you’re not immediately pressured to let everyone know by switching your ‘single’ status to something else. There’s also an added air of mystery surrounding your relationships and dating life which is a beautiful thing in this digital age where everyone shares everything with each other.
Clearly everyone takes their FB relationships status differently. What’s your Facebook relationship status?