(Fragment 03) Facebook Updates "Status"

[Start reading this series of fragments here.]

I’m stunned. I had no idea I’d gained this much influence. But I finally blogged about the “Petition to Facebook to create ‘Widowed’ as a relationship status” and a week later, they friggin’ did it.

(Facebook also added the status, “in an open relationship,” which, personally, I thought was covered under “it’s complicated.” So can someone please explain what statuses remain to be called “complicated”?) (No, wait, don’t. Thanks.)

It’s not exactly Valerie Jarrett commenting on Loralee’s Looney Tunes or Dooce forcing the hand of TWO whitegoods manufacturers, but it’s still been quite a week for Social Media-mediated change. Thank you, Danielle Fait, the young widow who founded the FB group!

Of course I have to diminish my own success and tell you how nutty I am: I joined Facebook partially so I could join this group and protest the exclusion of my (non)marital status. Whatever happened to “I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members”?

Or maybe it's the world that's backwards, at last. Remember the jokes about Y2K being a real-life Revenge of the Nerds? Maybe Social Media is finally turning rejects into leaders?

* * * Comments * * *


efrvsnt said...

Hey! Good for you!

I'd guess, self-deprecation aside, that that feels like a really amazing accomplishment. You don't have to be dooce or looneytunes to have a real, measurable impact.

And not to downplay dooce and looneytunes here, but ... well, maybe to downplay them a little bit -- sure, dooce got a fixed washer and another donated to a charity (yay, dooce!), but YOU have paved the way to protect people from countless awkward, strange, and unwittingly painful conversations.

And while looneytunes got interviewed by Important People, hers is just one tiny voice in a swelling chorus of loud and belligerent ones. And she's kind of speaking to the choir -- it's what Obama wants anyway, so he just chose a different mouthpiece. Not to downplay him or her, or their efforts together.

But YOU. Widows don't have to say they're married and answer those hard questions any more, the ones that make well-meaning but clueless people kind of back away. And they don't have to say they're single and deny the existence of the spouse they love.

YOU DID THAT. Not all by yourself, but it was YOUR VOICE that was the tipping point.

You earned that.

Suddenwidow said...

Well done, Supa!

I am thankful for everyone involved in making this a reality! Although I hate the word widow (actually I hate the fact that I am one), it's much better than declaring "it's complicated".

Keep up the good work!


Widow in the Middle said...

I have just always appreciated how you have identified yourself as a young, remarried widow. Your acknowledgment of how the widow part of us doesn't just go away if we remarry is such a significant realization. Anyway, I wanted you to know that your perspective really hit it on the head for me. It makes so much sense! If I remarry, I will say that I am a widowed, remarried mom - but I am not going to ditch the widow label - it has become a part of me.

You are getting a big cheer and pat-on-the back from me in regard to your action with the Facebook "widow" label.

Abigail said...

Well done. Who knew a website would actually listen and implement a change so quickly. My immediate impulse of course was to dash over to FB and change my status, but then I stopped. People would see that I had changed my status from single to widowed and suddenly it felt like a step backward. At least in social terms. My friends would think "aw, there she goes again, perpetuating the widow thing. Can't she just bloody well move on?" So now the question is, in social media what does it mean to be single vs. widowed?
I say this as I head off alone to a Gay wedding. Perhaps "It's complicated" works after all.

Well done Supa. Its a step towards making widowhood a little more mainstream, even if this widow is scared to death of it. (haha - that is almost funny somehow).

Split-Second Single Father said...

Thanks for all your hard work on this Supa! After I read this I immediately updated my relationship status and posted a comment about the change. I don't make a big deal about my "widowed" status to my friends/family, but I also don't think it hurts for them to know that I identify as such now. It will be interesting to see if anyone comments on it.

Anyway, thanks again for making this happen. You have more pull in cyberspace than you realized!

Anonymous said...

HEY! Danelle Fait here, and everyone is WELCOME! :)


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