Is Your Relationship an Online Overshare?
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and this social media moderate is making a specific appeal to all you social network fanatics out there: Get a room.
Before you call me the green monster, I can honestly say that this plea does not come from a place of jealousy. In fact, I love seeing my friends happy (a G-rated happy), but advice from some relationship experts may make you re-think your instinct to publicly display your relationship via the Internet.
Putting your relationship all over social media can be risky business. You’re not just sharing information about your life, but you’re also sharing private details about the life of your significant other. As we all know, opposites (sometimes) attract, so while you may be comfortable documenting your relationship online, your significant other may not.
Not sure where to draw the line? Here are a few tips on how to play it cool:
According to Laurie Puhn, author of "Fight Less, Love More," if it’s in your nature to share information about yourself in real life, then there is nothing wrong with putting it on social networking sites. However, if someone comments on your excessive online activity when it comes to your relationship, listen up! You don’t want your family and friends to be annoyed with your relationship as they see it from the Internet. Ask yourself this: Would you call a friend of yours and talk about your relationship every day? If not, then don’t subject them to it on Facebook.
Proceed With Caution
As Puhn points out, your group of Facebook friends, Twitter followers and other social connections does not solely include your close friends. Make sure that the information you’re sharing about your relationship (and life in general) is appropriate for your entire audience.
Also, ask yourself the golden question BEFORE you post something: What would my significant other think? Would he/she be comfortable with what you’re doing? Try to put your relationship first. Social media expert Peter Shankman suggests having the rules laid out before either of you start sharing.
Just because you exchange messages, “poke” each other, share pictures or tag one another, that does necessarily mean that you’re communicating. Shankman says nothing will ever replace face-to-face conversations in a relationship. Most importantly, do not use social media as a way to passive aggressively send a message to your mate. If you have an issue, turn off the electronics and talk it out.
If you didn’t have the pre-sharing talk that Shankman suggested earlier, you may be forced to have the post-sharing talk. When your mate has posted something that you are not comfortable with, Puhn advises to be BLUNT! Share your standard of privacy, because if you don’t, you'll be left wondering what else your partner is telling people about you. This conversation is great indicator of how the rest of your relationship will go, because if he/she cannot agree to respect your privacy, then it’s likely that your significant other is more interested in appearances than reality. If that’s the case, breaking up might be the right decision.
But Don’t Be Afraid
You can use social networking to help your relationship as well, so don’t be afraid to tweet, post, pin, etc. For instance, if there’s something you see that your mate would like, post it to their wall or tweet them. Use it as opportunity to let them know that you’re thinking about them. Plus, your friends will be happy to see that you’re happy and have found someone special.