By living part of our social lives on the Internet, we've come to have to do things online as well as in real life. If you make a new friend, the world knows you're now buddies because you'll add them on Facebook, too.
But it's not always harmless alerts about friendships — sometimes you have the unhappy duty of reporting that you're no longer in a relationship. Even when it's someone else, it's awful signing into Facebook and seeing that one of your friends went from being "in a relationship" to "single."
Britain's Prince Harry is the latest victim of a loud Facebook announcement; when he and his longtime girlfriend Chelsy Davy recently split, the news media found out about it from Davy's Facebook status change.
To hear an argument for not displaying relationship status, read more.
And it's not just celebrities for whom the invasion of privacy is awkward; people comment on the change for all friends to see, inboxes are filled with "what happened?" messages. If you've chosen to display your status when you're in a relationship, you pretty much have to change it to single. For this reason, I wonder if it's better to not share that information at all. (Especially if you're in the "it's complicated" bracket and have a tendency to change to back and forth from single to in a relationship and back again — just keeping up with those is exhausting!).
Your close friends that you have interactions with beyond Facebook will know about your personal life, and there won't be any uncomfortable messages from people you rarely speak to asking if you're OK. It may seem extreme, but keeping mum could be best for everyone.
Where do you stand on displaying relationship status on Facebook?