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Love Story: Facebook Edition

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 12, 2009 4 Comments

Over the last months, I have been following a friend’s trials and tribulations in love, a narrative mediated through the terse dozen or so words of Facebook status updates (a popular micro-blogging feature on the site). I reproduce below the exact updates, with the date stamps.

Enyd: finally found someone who makes me smile :). 7/20/2008
Enyd: is wondering what he sees in me… ;). 7/28/2008
Enyd: “i really really really, really do love you…” 9/1/2008
Enyd: “I think i’m made to fall for u–u’re worth it.” 9/14/2008
Enyd: is having huge butterflies in the stomach 9/16/2008
Enyd: is boreeeeeeeeddddddddddddd. wish to meet him real soon…9/16/2008
Enyd: is furious 9/20/2008
Enyd: “i wish my god u’d stay,,,.” 10/5/2008
Enyd:–i stay,,to watch u fade away~. 10/6/2008
Enyd: i love u b,,,,!!10/7/2008
Enyd: guess im really falling for u Brian,, 10/8/2008
Enyd: is still madly in love with B,,,!!!! 10/9/2008
Enyd: is in love with brian.. 10/11/2008
Enyd: “im afraid to love u,,more afraid to lose.but listen–ill wait for u B. 10/12/2008
Enyd: Brian, i’ll wait forever if i have to,,,. 10/19/2008
Enyd: is trying to [expletive] forget him.find sumone else, and MOVE ON. 10/20/2008
Enyd: — It hurts, u know. IT [expletive] HURTS. 10/21/2008
Enyd:”When you go,,would u hv the guts to say ‘i don’t love u,like i did yesterday’,,? 10/22/2008
Enyd: Brian, think of me when u sing,,,i’ll miss u. 10/25/2008
Enyd: can’t wait to see who the next guy is,,. 11/1/2008
Enyd: –dude,MARRY ME!! 11/9/2008
Enyd: “all the flaws in u makes u simply perfect,,like no other,,and yes, i do love u..” 11/13/2008
Enyd: i chose to love u.dont let me down,, 11/16/2008
Enyd: is that your wife and your kid i saw? well, let me tell you–I DONT GIVE A DAMN. i still want u 11/25/2008
Enyd: Will u give me a chance? Cause i think im falling for u. Honestly,i miss u. i do. 12/2/2008
Enyd: Mon cher, tu me manques,,bisoux-je t’aime.. 12/3/2008
Enyd: how can i love u when i cant even meet u? 12/6/2008
Enyd: i still want u.but honestly,u suck. 12/13/2008
Enyd: ur just like the sun.looking straight at u simply burn my eyes,,. 12/16/2008
Enyd: dream of me dear,,coz i’ve been dreamin of u since yesterday,,. 12/17/2008
Enyd: “please let our memories live on,,. 12/21/2008
Enyd: I love u damn it! and u just doesn’t seem to care! 12/30/2008
Enyd: imissuimissuimissuimissuimissu!!! get ur [expletive] back here quick!! 1/5/2009
Enyd: is feeling so gay right now. 1/5/2009
Enyd: u’ll regret the day u didnt take me home. 1/9/2009
Enyd: no matter how hard it is,i’ll b fine without u. 1/11/2009
Enyd: is trying to carry on,,but its really hard knowing the fact that u won’t care,,. 1/12/2009
Enyd: is fragile. 1/14/2009
Enyd: is feeling so broken right now.. 1/17/2009
Enyd: “u r a dream i will never catch..” 1/19/2009
Enyd: im letting u go.we will never work out anyway.besides,we were never really friends..u get that? 1/21/2009
Enyd: there’s someting u shud know,im not staying unhappy for long ;). 1/23/2009
Enyd: how do u manage to ALWAYS hurt me in the end? 1/26/2009
Enyd: that alphabet on my body might seem foolish to the world,,but not to me.not at all. 2/2/2009
Enyd: I am gonna get better soon, cos i love you, im letting you go,,.2/4/2009
Enyd: i’ll pretend that im okay. 2/5/2009
Enyd: is still not getting over that [expletive]. 2/7/2009
Enyd: im ready to close the door,but dont expect me to turn away.ill wait for u. 2/11/2009

The extraordinary fact is that this “tale” interweaves two affairs of the heart, as I recently learnt, yet the updates are almost seamlessly woven together, and progress smoothly and reverse chronologically (if you’re following it on her profile), without really hinting at the chaotic internal complexities of the love triangle. She is torn between an old love, and someone new and promising she meets, yet the updates capture nothing of that complication.

As “legitimate voyeurs,” that is, most of her nearly 800 friends, glimpsing at her sorrows and struggles through the tortured pithiness of the updates popping up irregularly in News Feeds, we learn only the unmoored, unanchored, free-falling, and partial story of her heart. Is this the new love story?

PS. Thank you my sweet, dear “Enyd” for your permission and for offering to share your story. Hope you have a lovely and loving Valentine’s Day. Much love, U.

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4 Responses to “Love Story: Facebook Edition”

  1. Cindy on: 13 February 2009 at 1:30 am

    I seem to remember a contest on NYTimes awhile back with the theme, “Love in the Age of Facebook.” Relevant, hm?

  2. Youki on: 13 February 2009 at 7:41 pm

    What a fascinating story. We’re familiar with the “love letters” genre, but I wonder what kinds of digital narratives will endure 20, 30 years from now.

  3. daveski on: 15 February 2009 at 10:36 am

    This makes me wonder about the history, the genre of status updates. Will we ever, will facebook ever allow us to ‘tag’ our own or friends’ updates instead of just ‘commenting’ on them, or ‘liking’ them? Assemble malleable histories read through our status?

    Has Enyd seen this? I hope she likes the labor of love from a friend!

  4. Usree Bhattacharya on: 15 February 2009 at 7:56 pm

    “Enyd” read it before anyone else did. She liked it.

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