Relationships are challenging. Have Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other sites complicated relationships even more? How much of a threat do they really pose?
Social Media and Relationship Strategies for Dealing With it
My grandpa told me he blamed the rising divorce rate on the automobile because of the opportunities it offered to venture outside the home. Today, you don’t even need a set of wheels, a partner can stray with the click of a mouse, right at home. We’ve all witnessed various strategies used by couples to minimize trust issues on social media sites:
The joint Facebook page.
- Sharing passwords for transparency.
- The profile picture of the couple to let the world know the other is taken.
- Displaying a relationship status. Again-adding the “taken” tag.
Being Naughty or Nice – Knowing Right From Wrong
In real life, people don’t carry signs about a relationship status or wear a picture of their significant other or spouse on their shirt, but many wear wedding bands. Yet, a wedding band isn’t always a deterrent to those willing to trespass on a marriage, and there are many married cheaters who hide rings or wear them when cheating. So does the online profile increase the threat to the relationship?
I recently had a guy flaunt our relationship on his Facebook page via check-in and status updates. I later discovered he only took me out of the closet a week after his ex-girlfriend changed her status to ”in a relationship”, and refriended her around the same time to rub it in her face. Despite his denial of using me for such motives, I was able to verify the timeline of events with a mere glance at her page. So while social media provides more opportunity for bad behavior, the digital footprints can make it harder to cover up.
Whether you wear a ring in real life or display a “taken” online profile, is online activity going to increase the odds for misbehavior? I’d argue that while online activity offers more temptations and opportunities for mischief, the distinction between real world and online interactions will be irrelevant when a person’s is heart faithful. I believe a trustworthy person who has integrity and a conscience isn’t going to lose those qualities by participating in social media. A person without those qualities can go the other way, and use every opportunity, online and offline, to act naughty. If you’re wishing your mate would close his/her account, defriend so-and-so, or change a relationship status, you may just really be wishing for a different, more trustworthy person.
Written by Dana Altman