I Need to Vent. Hello, Facebook.
By DOUGLAS QUENQUA
March 17, 2010
WHAT is the sound of an awkward silence on Facebook? If you have to
ask, then you probably don't have friends like James Gower and Ashley
Andrews, high school sweethearts from Spring, Tex., who are both 22
and engaged to be married this May.
Mr. Gower, a master of the passive-aggressive status update, lobbed
this one in January: "How is it my birthday is only one day, but my
woman's last a whole damn week?"
Ms. Andrews, seemingly not one to watch a ball go by, took a full
swing with this comment: "GET OVER IT!!! UGH!!!!!!"
Mr. Gower replied by calling his fianc a name that can't be printed
here, until the exchange became the social networking equivalent of
shattered china at a dinner party.
Eventually, Skyler Hurt, 22, a friend and a bridesmaid, intervened:
"Hey, you guys know we can still see this right ...?"
It's a question being asked a lot these days as couples, who once had
to leave the house to fight in public, take their arguments onto
Facebook. Whether through nagging wall posts or antagonistic changes
to their "relationship status," the social networking site is proving
to be as good for broadcasting marital discord as it is for sharing
vacation photos. At 400 million members and growing, Facebook might
just replace restaurants as the go-to place for couples to cause a
As score-settling on Facebook has grown commonplace, sites like
Lamebook have begun documenting the worst spats (which also happen to
be the most humorous). On Facebook itself, people can join several
groups with names like "I Dislike People/Couples Who Argue Publicly
For most couples, the temptation to publicly slander each other is
overpowered by the instinct to prove to their friends how happy they
are, reality notwithstanding. But for others, arguing in front of
others comes as naturally as slamming doors.
While a hot temper (or two) is often to blame, there are people, like
Mr. Gower, who view Facebook as an opportunity: How better to show
everyone what his future wife puts him through?