Have you ever been slightly uncomfortable when the couple just a table over from you starts getting up in each other’s business while you are trying to eat your lunch? You are not alone. Over eager Public Displays of Affection, or PDA, have the tendency to make most people want to gouge their eyes out with rusty spoons, or at least look away.
While disdain for excessive PDA is commonplace, something that is not as well known but can be just as pesky is when that PDA pops up on Facebook. Unlike normal PDA, where the guilty party is usually just blissfully clueless, digital PDA is usually done on purpose to garner attention.
Is it really necessary for someone’s significant other to post ‘ILOVEYOUSOMUCHBABY’ on his or her wall several times a week? Is it also necessary to post their weekly anniversary—yes some people do this—as a Facebook status? Every week?
This kind of digital PDA isn’t all that bad, but it still comes up in other people’s feeds. Generally, how much someone loves their partner doesn’t involve their 576 other friends on Facebook, so the public display seems kind of over the top.
To be fair, everything else on Facebook is over the top too, but personal, intimate relationships are special and matter more than time-wasters like Farmville. When people have to broadcast how much they love someone online, they are trying to advertise their relationship and its success.
This can also come off as an insecurity. Trying to convince the Facebook population that you’re in love does not demonstrate contentment with your relationship.
Putting all this attention into how people perceive a relationship is attention that could be put directly into the relationship itself. Showing off a relationship on Facebook has nothing on actual intimate couple interaction. Studies show that increased Facebook usage increases jealousy in a relationship, so maybe all that love on Facebook should be redirected elsewhere.
It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important when posting something to Facebook, so people should take care to make sure they have their priorities straight. It would be a terrible tragedy for such a loving couple to break up after posting their love all over Facebook—terrible, and incredibly inconvenient to try and delete the evidence before the Facebook stalkers see it.