Making BFFs in a DSL World

A guide to romance, friendship, and everything in between in this dizzying digital age.

digital-copyIn a time where "it's complicated" is a life direction and profile pictures have taken over as the windows to the soul, relationships are simultaneously advancing to new levels and being watered down to abbreviations and acronyms. This has spawned confusion worldwide, but fortunately, SPOT comes to the rescue by offering instant answers to your top ten online etiquette FAQs.

1. If we're friends on Facebook, does that mean we're also friends in real life?
That would depend on your definition of "friends in real life." If your minimum requirements for friendship are "we met once at a bar on a night when I may or may not have been intoxicated" or "she raises her eyebrows slightly at me whenever we pass by each other in the corridor," then congratulations–your 2,578 Facebook friends are also your real-life friends. However, if your friendship standards fall along the lines of "we've heard (and/or smelled) each other's farts" or "we escaped the claws of death together," then please stop fooling yourself; you're not as popular as you'd like to believe.


2. After a breakup, when am I supposed to change my Facebook status?
Three to five days after the breakup is a respectable period. This gives you enough time to absorb the fact that you are now single, and allows you to prepare for the barrage of sympathetic questions, unsolicited advice, and suggestions regarding nights of drunken debauchery that will undoubtedly materialize on your Wall. Please take note that your new status should be accompanied by the removal of all online traces of the failed relationship, including but not limited to couple photos, couple albums, and cutesy comments. Also note that the three-to-five-day period only applies to changing your status from "in a relationship" to "single." A change from "in a relationship with Person A" to "in a relationship with Person B" may require a bit more time.

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3. Oops! One of my friends posted about our plans on my Facebook Wall, but not everyone in our group is invited. What's the best damage control?
First of all, don't delete your friend's post (especially if it's been on your Wall overnight already), as this is an obvious admission of guilt. If the exclusion is simply because of space or budget constraints, then own up to the embarrassing mistake and text your other friends an honest explanation. If there are other reasons, however (i.e., "they're feeling-close kasi," "they're always making plans without ME anyway," or "the sight of the tips of their noses make me throw up in my mouth a little bit"), then maybe this is a sign from the heavens that you should face the problem in a mature, straightforward manner instead of being a sneaky backbiting bee-yotch.


4. The head of our company is on Facebook. Should I invite him to be my friend?
There's really no reason not to, unless you spend the whole workday playing Pet Society, answering (or worse, creating) quizzes, and exchanging flirty Wall posts with your married supervisor. Whether or not he approves your request is a different story, which may have a direct relation to your performance as an employee, your reputation around the office, and the length and tightness of your work outfits.

5. My Dad is on Facebook! Should I invite him to be my friend?
Props to you, because your Dad is cool. And if your Dad is cool, then of course he should be your Facebook friend. Just make sure you delete any incriminating, heart-attack-inducing photos involving Tequila, that ex-boyfriend he hates with a passion, any illegal substances, and indecent exposure. And Tequila.

6. Someone invited me to be his contact on Multiply, but I don't want to approve his request. What should I do?
Do you remember how your Mommy taught you to ignore that annoying little brat who kept pulling your pigtails, and you took her advice and he eventually left you alone and moved on to a new target? Thankfully, Mom's "ignore-something-until-it-gives-up-and-goes-away" wisdom still applies to the world beyond the preschool playground. Anyone who has an ounce of sensitivity in his system (and did not graduate from Stalker Academy) is bound to take the hint.

7. Is flirting on Twitter actual flirting?
Yes, but please be reminded that Twitter flirting is much easier than flirting in person. That spontaneously witty boy who gives you butterflies online may have the personality of a can of peas in real life.


8. OMG, my ultimate celebrity crush tweeted back!!! Can I assume that he's totally in love with me and that we'll live happily ever after?
No. Please, please, please stop daydreaming that the love of your life will someday hop up and down on a couch, on national television, to announce his unconditional, irrevocable obsession with you.

9. Is "luv ya" the same as "I love you?"
No, because there are absolutely no shortcuts to love. Ask your lola; she'll gladly tell you how your lolo courted her for three years, and how they were a couple for six months before he finally got to hold her hand. Besides, someone who can't even use proper spelling in declaring his feelings for you will probably be too lazy to get up on Sunday morning to join you and your family for breakfast, or drive you to the hospital when you're about to give birth to his child.

10. If I post a YM status update, then decide that it sounds shallow and stupid and delete it right away, did I really post it?
If it's already past 4 a.m., then you probably don't need to worry because nobody was awake to read it anyway. On second thought, if it's already past 4 a.m. and you're still online, then you probably DO need to worry–about getting a life, or at least a life in the real world.

Artwork by Warren Espejo.

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