Students claim friends as children, spouses on Facebook

By Julie Dimas

Normally, holding someone’s hand, changing your status to “in a relationship,” exchanging rings, or running for the cutest couple would not be considered a new trend. However, at Lane there has been a new trend that involves doing all of the above with your closest friends.

Nowadays, close friends go to social networks, such as Facebook, to declare their love for each other. They change their relationship status to “married,” “in a relationship,” or “it’s complicated” with their closest friends as inside jokes.

The reason behind this social fad is simple according to various students who have acknowledged that they are a part of it.

“I think it shows how close of a relationship you have with [your friends] because it also shows that you’re comfortable enough to let the whole Facebook world know that you are “in a relationship/married/engaged, etc,” Alexis Morin, Div. 030, said.

Mabel Martinez, Div. 048, agrees.

“I think it’s becoming more popular among people without them even noticing, but I don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s just a new way to let someone know that you care about them,” she said.

Although this trend may not seem all that weird, some people push their fake relationships further than Facebook.

“[My friend Zulma & I] always pretend like we’re married, or we’ll hold hands in the hallway. She gave me this ring one day that looks like an engagement ring. When people would ask, I would tell them that my fiancé gave it to me, and they would just look at me weird, but I didn’t care,” Lourdes Guillen, Div. 044, said.

Others even hoped to run for cutest couple, even though they weren’t seriously committed to the other person.

“[My friend and I] decided to run for cutest couple because [she and I] thought that we were cute together because we are both short, and we just wanted that memory of being together,” Fabiola Lucero, Div. 044, said. “I felt a little bummed out [when we couldn’t run], but I understood that it was for ‘real’ couples.”

Even though these fake relationships may seem harmless at first, they have caused some misunderstandings to arise.

“My friend from grammar school, whom I haven’t talked to in a year, found me on Facebook and asked if I was really bisexual, and if I actually had a girlfriend,” said Morin.

While some people care, others don’t mind the confusion.

“Once in a while, [my friend and I] hold hands just because our hands meet. [One day], we walked into Jewel holding hands on our way to buy food. Then this lady [who worked there] saw us holding hands and asked if we were lesbians. We told her ‘yeah’ and she was like ‘naw’ [you’re not]. Now, every time we see her there we hold hands,” said Guillen.

Others take a much more subtle approach to display their affection for their friends by adding them or referring to them as their “siblings” or “children” on Facebook.

“I was a youth leader for the freshman connection program during the summer and I got really close to a couple of freshies that started calling me their mom,” Jessica Hoyos, Div. 049, said. “They kind of act like my daughters too. They tell me stuff and ask for advice, and I yell at them when they do stupid stuff, but I also help them out as much as I can.”

Even though females are usually the ones that display these close relationships publically with their friends, guys also have their own discreet way of establishing their close relationships with their guy friends through a term known as: Bromance.

This term became popular through an MTV competition show, called Bromance, starring Brody Jenner, who used the show as a means to find a new best friend.

Although the show was criticized for its lack of authenticity, this term refers to a genuine, close friendship.

According to urbandictionary.com, “‘Bromance’ describes the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males.”

Andres Ayala, Div. 023, explained how he has known his best friend since sixth grade and how they have grown so close that he considers him a brother.

“When I got a girlfriend, he was the first person that I called. I was like, ‘Oh my God! Guess what?’” Ayala said. “That’s how our friendship is. I could just express myself [with him]. I could say anything to him without worrying [about] how he’s going to react.”

Nevertheless, he also acknowledged that sometimes his close relationship with his friend, Tony, has affected his other close relationships.

“My girlfriend is always like, ‘You look like a couple.’ In a way it seems like I have both—a boy friend and a girlfriend. It’s weird…I don’t think they like each other because I don’t know how to share my time with both of them,” Ayala said.

In the end, regardless of whether close friends decide to be “in a relationship,” be “siblings,” be each other’s “children,” or be “just bros,” they all acknowledge that they do it to show how much they truly care about each other.

“I think it’s a growing trend because a lot of people think of their friends as like another family,” Grecia Ocampo, Div. 041, said. “Not to get cheesy, but that’s how I see my friends. With my friends we have a ‘’mom’’ and ‘’dad’’ and other family members. It’s pretty funny. I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re still friends even without getting ‘married’.”