This was first posted on Mar 15, ’09 5:14 PM as “Status Update” on lalarimando.multiply.com.
I just shrugged off all these musings about social networks and how people unabashedly share daily details about themselves to the world. To my mind, it’s a stage that people go through when change is bulldozing up old mindsets. They had no personal effect on me.
Well, none until I changed my status in Facebook.
On my Facebook profile page are my birthday, network (i.e. Philippines), and my status, “Single.” I must have entered these info when I first joined Facebook, missed to update it afterwards, until Facebook’s founders decided to toy with the site’s look, eventually ending up with the layout with these info right smack on my profile page.
I patted myself on the back for not specifying my birthday year. One security conscious move against the hackers and identity thieves out there, I said. Good thinking, Lala.
Then for a minute, I mused about my status. Nothing wrong, I guessed. But did I really want that announced to the world? I get all kinds of invites from people I hardly know, people not in even my six-degrees circle. Plus, of course, there were the usual blind-date suggestions and what’s-wrong-with-you’s from those among my circle.
It was almost 5am then. It was one of those nights when I had too much coffee, wanted to be productive, but too exhausted to do anything work-related. I started scanning what’s out there as far as my virtual “life” is concerned, and went through my different social networks, blog, and other accounts. Cleaning up my Facebook account was all but natural to do.
I navigated around and deleted the “Single” from my Facebook profile page. Immediately, my profile page noted, “Lala is no longer listed as “single.” Good. I then sent quick hellos and how-are-you’s to old contacts. I finally went to sleep. It was February 26.
Three hours after, I woke up to about 6 unread text messages in my phone. Five of those texts were asking who my new boyfriend is.
An hour later, I was staring at my email box and was amused by several private messages and a few Facebook posts that were copied in my email, ranging from “Please explain” to “Who’s the lucky guy” to “Why was I the last to know?”
Days later, the Facebook status-related questions continued pouring in—via email, texts, or coursed through people who I interact with on a regular basis. It actually became transatlantic talk. Friends all the way in Europe wanted to know more details. A cousin who lives Down Under wanted—no, demanded—for a blow-by-blow account. My sister asked me over a Saturday breakfast: “X person asked me to ask you who your new guy is.” Someone I bumped into in a social party threw his arms around me when I entered the room, then yelled, “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!” Excitedly, he asked one question after another. “Who is this guy? What’s his nationality? How old? What’s his job?” Etcetera Etcetera. He’s in my Facebook contact list.
For the many times I have to explain that the “rumor” is not true, I ended up with a standard answer: “It was an administrative effort to clean up my Facebook profile page. I’m still single.”
Having to go through this initially hit me as heartwarming. There are people who are actually concerned. Of course, some were just nosey, but some seemed genuinely concerned.
So far, I haven’t dated or gone out since February 26. I know my crazy work sked is partly a reason. But sometimes I also wondered if I dampened my chances to be asked out because I changed my Facebook profile.
Meantime, a naughty friend suggested that I change my Sex info in Facebook to “Unidentified.”