Over winter break, I got engaged to the most wonderful woman in the world. It was certainly a happy and joyous occasion. Unable to contain myself, I promptly updated my Facebook profile to proclaim my elation to all the world. However, upon returning to campus, the joy was somewhat diminished by a single haunting question asked by the many well-wishers of the Brian Thompson Fan Club.
“Are you really engaged, or just Facebook engaged?”
Of course I am really engaged!
Why would anyone think otherwise? I paused to consider. Then I realized what is to blame for this problem: pretend Facebook marriages.
The institution of marriage itself is threatened by these so-called “marriages.” At age 21, I should be proudly leading my friends in becoming the first to be married. However, owing to the prevalence of Facebook marriages, my big life news is only a blip in the mini-feed amongst many other alleged nuptial activities.
Glancing at the mini-feed today, I am inundated by scores of Facebook marriages. Friends pretending to marry each other. People marrying fake Facebook profiles. Cats marrying dogs. Of course, as fair disclosure, I was married to the Diablo II dungeon boss “Coldworm the Burrower” for a year before my fiancée got on Facebook, but I was a silly freshman then. On a sadder note, Facebook terminated Coldworm’s account without notice; one day it was gone. A piece of my heart went missing. My beloved Coldylocks was taken from me without so much as a notice that she was in violation of the terms of service. My eulogy for that proud and maggoty creature who Facebook cruelly ripped from its 150 friends at various universities (how bored are you to search Facebook for Coldworm?) would easily fill this column.
But I digress.
I am appalled at the prevalence of this Facebook lifestyle choice that so many young people are making. Is a Facebook profile committed to a nominal Facebook marriage any place to develop a impressionable young application? I think not. The little app would be unable to learn a single true profile value. It would go around thinking that anything could signify a committed relationship. Soon we would have apps poking each other in the mini-feed, recklessly painting politicians’ profiles with graffiti, and inviting all of their friends to take movie quizzes that they created.
Admittedly, even without Facebook “marriages,” these activities are taking place all the time in our Facebook society.
What’s the harm in experimenting a little as a youth, you ask? It is downright immoral. When Jesus took the time in the Bible to spell out just who could and could not get married, he never specifically said that people should be allowed to form Facebook marriages just for fun. The human race has existed for thousands of years without the abomination of the Facebook marriage, so I don’t see why we should allow it now.
On top of deceiving friends and family, these confused profiles are influencing the young and vulnerable high school students on Facebook. We can’t have that, can we?
While I personally find it encouraging to see that love is very much alive and well in cyberspace, I think there are better ways for two people to declare themselves BFFs than to become married on Facebook. The trusty four-color friendship bracelet has served well since the first grade; why stop now?
Therefore, I will be writing to my congressman to demand legislation banning frivolous Facebook marriages that corrupt our youth and morally bankrupt our culture. Youth voters, as the voices for change, must force presidential candidates to take a stand on this pressing issue.
Brian C. Thompson is a senior in Branford College. His column runs on alternate Wednesdays.