The social network's cutesy update collects the history of users in a relationship on a single page — drawing howls of protest from privacy advocates and individualists
If you're one of the millions of people who bravely ticked the "in a relationship" box on Facebook, congratulations: You have a new profile that pulls the photos, status updates, and likes of both you and your beloved onto a single page. Facebook has offered "friendship pages," which collect all the correspondence between two Facebook friends in a single place, since 2010. But a recent and arguably adorable upgrade automatically curates the interactions between any two people listed as "in a relationship" and places them on a page with the cutesy address www.facebook.com/us. Some couples may love the idea of such a public relationship history. Others are quite squeamish, balking at the idea of an automatic page obsessively documenting their relationship. Let's focus on the latter. Here, four disgusted responses to www.facebook.com/us:
1. "I want to vomit"
"But WHY do I want to vomit?" asks Jennifer Wright at The Gloss. "Probably in part because I hate anything that is cute" — but also "because I believe you are still individuals, even when you're in a relationship. You're perfectly capable of sharing pictures of yourself and your partner without needing to combine your entire identities onto one page." And what if you break up? Changing your relationship status to "single" is painful enough, but "when you break up, where does the Facebook couple's page go? That is going to be like a knife right in your heart-brain."
2. "Facebook finally devolves into a bad rom-com"
"Could someone kindly fetch me a cap of mouthwash? I think I just puked in my mouth a little bit," says Michael MacDonald at Canada.com. "I know that founder Mark Zuckerberg recently got married to his long-time girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, but someone in Palo Alto has to stand up to this love-crazed social media guru and say enough is enough. We get it, Zuckerberg, despite all the odds, you got married to a real-life person and, as a result, all of your subjects have to follow suit and advertise their happiness online. Your personal Revenge Of The Nerds story aside, though, is this really the best Facebook can do?"
3. "You have infantilized my relationship"
Facebook "is way off the mark with proactively creating couples pages which automatically curate people's relationships," says Emma Barnett at The Telegraph. "Mr. Zuckerberg: By all means keep giving people new tools — as you did when you created Facebook. But when you start doing things for us — the experience is anything but social or remotely positive. You have infantilized my relationship for me with the creation of www.facebook.com/us. Only I should get to do that. And you may have just forced me, a newlywed, to take finally take the plunge and break up with my husband on Facebook."
4. Why on Earth is this "even a desirable feature in the first place?"
"Why wouldn't Facebook make it something you can opt out of, or at the very least send affected users a message to let them know it's being created for them?" demands Rebecca Pahle at The Mary Sue. "For me, these are mostly irrelevant questions, as I'm not in a relationship and have no plans to put it on Facebook if that changes. But have fun with your shiny new (unwanted) Facebook pages, couples! We singles will just have to stick with having our privacy violated by FB in the normal ways."
Other stories from this topic:
- Analysis: Has Facebook finally entered the smartphone era?
- Fact Sheet: How Facebook and Twitter are trumping sex
- Burning Question: Does Facebook need a 'want' button?