That some feature the tendency to pass on more or less redundant information constantly is no big secret, and probably one of the main reasons why you are reading this blog now. Also, if you were bothered by this fact, you would probably not read it – thus, I refrain from a fundamental discussion on the necessity of sharing irrelevant information with the public. It’s pretty straightforward.
However, society values hearing about certain occurrences more than about others, occasionally. Aside from the general imbalance in appreciation of pictures against written words, there are particular life-events that we generally consider as happier than others. Sure, a “We are pregnant!!!!” might be slightly more life-changing than a “I got an electronic toothbrush!!!” (though this would be practical right away and not only in 9 months to 4 years), and thus trigger more likes. But I am not talking about different levels of importance here – I am talking about direction of acknowledgement.
Have you ever wondered why, when people change their relationship status on facebook, for instance, everyone not only clicks on like automatically, but even congratulates them? And with everyone I mean even those who have no clue about the person’s life nowadays, have probably seen the person, with whom they are merely acquainted with, the last time 7 months ago on that one event where everyone got drunk, and never even met the person’s new partner. Because, honestly, if my two good friends team up and I always thought they would make an awesome couple, and it just took them a while to figure it out – well, then I probably know of this long before facebook does, and I have already told them what a good idea this is – in person. I would probably not go on and congratulate additionally on a life-event status. Out of the mentioned reasons, and because I find it kind of dull.
And then what is the underlying thinking of appreciating this, anyways? That being in a relationship is some kind of an achievement – there, she finally got someone to stick with her. There, he finally gets laid. Or do people automatically assume that changing from single to being-in-a-relationship increases the happiness level by infinity? Everyone who has ever been in a serious relationship most certainly knows that this is not the case, that there are pros and cons for each side. That usually we think the grass is greener on the other side, no matter on which side we are standing: singles are having the time of their lives. Adventures, glorious sex, interesting people non-stop, only fun. Whell, why do they stare full of envy at those happy couples, who never have to go to bed lonely, who have someone to cook with, discuss important thoughts with and love them crazily with flowers and rainbows every day. To be honest, it both sounds a tiny bit utopian, doesn’t it?
So considering we do know the pros and cons, and we have taken an elaborated decision for ourselves to be happy no matter in which life situation we are – why do we keep on congratulating those who change their relationship status into committed? Do we also turn around and congratulate all our single friends for being independent and happy? Well, we should!
And I am not talking about congratulating about a break-up here. That would be just mean. On the other hand, if people think starting a relationship is only butterflies and unicorns, they look at the exact same range of marginal change when switching from one life-situation into the other, just at the other end. So why do we celebrate extreme situations, claiming this is the whole cake?
Maybe we should finally stop romanticizing relationships to such an extreme. Maybe people would have a healthier approach to them then, some day. We should rather go and congratulate people who are already in a relationship, since, let’s be realistic, several decades or so. Because that would be a real achievement.