Facebook’s Five Love Languages

In facebook, popular culture, Uncategorized on April 17, 2008 at 3:04 am

Gary Chapman is famous because of his pop Psychology hit The Five Love Languages (Subtitle: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate). For some reason this book is on my parents’ bookshelf, along with the Teen Version. Generally, we prefer to scream about Arab Nationalism or Marx or the semantics of the term ‘Tribal’ at the dinner table, so I don’t know why this is on their shelf [it’s on the bottom shelf of the ‘Applied Linguistics’ section. Yes, we have an ‘Applied Linguistics’ section. And people wondered why, at age eight, I already wanted a PhD], though my mom is known on occasion to cite one of the Big Five as one of our love languages. [Mine is Touch. My brother Joel, who is known for being obnoxious and mooning people, is an Acts of Service guy. Stefanie, who is the most self-confident sixteen-year-old in existence, enjoys Words of Affirmation. Get my drift?]

Anyway, Chapman [who doesn’t even have a Dr. prefix. Hmmm. Oh well, probably more legit than Dr. Laura… I hope.] posits that there are five Love Languages [no more, no less] and that each human has a preferred Language and that is how you and your mate can be compatible. By knowing and recognizing and catering to their love language of choice.

The Big Five?

  • Words of Affirmation

  • Quality Time

  • Receiving Gifts

  • Acts of Service

  • Physical Touch

Yeah, yeah, so there’s maybe some kind of legitimacy, as in: I like it when my S.O. brings me coffee in the morning [Acts of Service!], and I like huggin’ and kissin’ [Physical Touch!], and yeah, it’s kind of nice when Gentleperson Caller tells me I’m Da Prettiest [Words of Affirmation!], but confining me to one Language? That just seems silly! Especially in Century 2.0- that is, Now. Shouldn’t the Five Love Languages be adapted to the cultural context that we’re in?

Thus, I present to you The Five Love Languages as translated by Facebook. Do Enjoy, and tell me what yours is so I’ll know how to treat you on the Popular Social Networking Site next time I am logged in.

    Wall Posts = Words of Affirmation

    ‘Words of affirmation’ is apparently the pop psychology term for compliments. This might be my love language, but I have such a huge ego that I could survive if I never got another compliment again. I will get another compliment though, because I am awesome. In order for your Facebook friends to compliment you they have to verbally play an active role in your internet life. The best way? Why, write on your wall or comment on your posted item, of course! Nothing affirms your existence as a loved and popular Human than having a lot of people write on your wall. Preferably they are from various networks, and preferably your best friend with whom you are ‘Married’ hasn’t monopolized it with YouTube montages of Usher and pictures of LOLCats.

    Graffiti = Quality Time

    How exactly might one gauge Quality Time on the FB? As of now, Mark Zuckerturd has not, will not disclose whether or not someone has been stalking your profile incessantly, thus spending Quality Time considering your Internet Persona [though there was that terrifying article a while back that indicated that Facebook staff actually know who you’re stalking. Yikes!]. However, ever since Facebook launched that sickeningly obnoxious slew of Applications, it has established several ways to emphasize your commitment to QT with that Facebook-Subject-Of-Thine-Affections. No, it is not indicated by the slew of application invitations from that one creepy dude from ECON 101 [Click. IGNORE. Click. IGNORE. Click. Delete Friend.], or the Scrabulous partner who hits refresh at the office all day [Ben Dwertman, I think it’s your turn BTW]. The most exemplary Labor of Love, nay, Language [!] of Love, is writing Graffiti on your wall. Because writing Graffiti is HARD! When I saw this Graffiti Wall post from my friend Ellen, I knew that our friendship had been affirmed. It would have been better if it was a real mural in the train yard behind my house, but that’s not Web 2.0 infinity now, is it.

    Gifts = Receiving Gifts

    I’ve always thought that Receiving Gifts is the stupidest Love Language ever because it means that you’re a spoiled little motherfucker, unless you consider a gift like, a bottle of Jim Beam or something, or if your Mate is ultra-crafty [I dated someone who used to make animals out of tin foil or silverware. That was cool, I guess. D00d’s love language was definitely Gifts though, because he gave me 16 original My Little Ponies® for Christmas one year.]. So too with Facebook gifts. Did you know that you have to pay like one whole freaking dollar for some shitty little avatar or a lipstick stain or a teddy bear? This also means that you have to give Zuckerturd your credit card information which is a HORRIFYING IDEA. There are free gifts sometimes, usually promoting some FB-sponsoring Company [the most recent one was promoting the DVD release of Juno, which I still really like btw, haters], but if you get a free gift, you know that the only reason you got is because it was free, and thus the Gifter in question is a cheap bastard.

    Tagging Photos = Acts of Service

    Acts of Service is a cheap shot because what differentiates it from giving and receiving gifts? Hard labor? Money spent? Cop-out. So what’s the biggest act of service someone could do for you on Facebook? Something that will affirm that you are a meaningful entity in the social networking site world- that is, something that will make you appear to be popular [having over 500 friends doesn’t cut it anymore, Dwertman]. We’ve already established that Wall Postings and affiliated comments make you look great, but what’s greater? Having tons of pictures of yourself. As a Facebook savvy friend and I once confirmed, it is really important to ensure that you have more photos of yourself tagged by other people than of yourself, because otherwise people are just using you for your digital camera or you need to empty your Photobooth cache [cuz that shit’s ooold. Which is not to say that I don’t luv it]. Pictures also prove that you were at an Important Event. Whenever an Event occurs and my picture is not posted within 48 hours after Said Event, my Facebook esteem level drops a notch. So, the hidden heroes of Facebook, those kids armed with a camera at all times, are doing you and your Popularity a massive Act of Service. You. Are. Loved.

    Pokes = Physical Touch

    Physical Touch is also a cop-out Love Language in my opinion, because who doesn’t like being touched? Really. Unless you are committed to entering a life of monasticism and prayer, than you like being touched. Case closed. The web, or Facebook anyway [this is no Second Life, yet. THANK GOD.] doesn’t yet allow a mechanism for us to, you know, touch people. The closest thing to it is Poking, which is one of the oldest Facebook mechanisms in existence! In fact, dinosaurs like me can remember a time when your profile DID NOT HAVE A WALL and you could STILL poke the cutie who lived upstairs. Kindof like how sex preceded the human social construct of other expressions of love in our Homo Sapiens history! Anyway, poking is a totally forward move and most people who utilize this 2.0 version of flirting are total creep-o’s. [Exhibit A: random Egyptian men]. However, for some, it is a modern way to tell someone you just might want to be inside of them!

    1. whatever, you LOVE lolcatz and usher

      your wife

    2. throughout an insightful foray into the benefits of modern not-so-fragmented communication, thanks for pointing out the obvious yet oft-ignored overlap of the Big Five. giving gifts aren’t acts of service? maybe in the sense that i have so much money that IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER how much i spend on you. it’s JUST A GIFT.

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