The day I met my husband, back in 2009, one of the many questions he asked me (along with the request for my phone number) was whether or not I was on Facebook. I immediately told him “No”.
I did not blink. I did not stutter. I just looked him dead in his eyes and lied.
Why did I lie to him? Well, I didn’t want this newly-met stranger perusing my social media page, being all nosey about what I was doing and who I was doing it with. Back in 2009, I was all about the happy hours, dancing on couches with my girlfriends, and house parties. I was a social butterfly who traveled frequently with a pack of fellow girlfriends, and we had a GAT (Good Ass Time) whenever we linked up.
I saw no need for this stranger, who would ultimately become my husband, to know this about me or make assumptions based on the pictures I chose to share with friends and family. Along with the majority of the other dating people of the world, I wanted to show him my representative first, then slowly introduce him to everything that encompasses my world, including my love for an afterwork cocktail (or two), and partying with my homegirls.
To date, my husband and I still do not follow each other on social media. To be quite honest, it’s just not important to either of us anymore. It has become a non-factor in our marriage. We are both “friends” with each other’s family members, just not each other. He chose to give up social media altogether some years ago, and recently rejoined once our daughter was born.
In my twenties, we did not have the convenience of getting to know potential mates via social media. As I come from a different era of dating, I cringe a little bit when my younger brothers and sisters don’t know about writing down a potential suitor’s phone number on a napkin, THEN calling to ask them out, THEN getting to know them outside of their perfectly presented lives on their social media pages. In my day, we did not have the ability to cyber stalk our significant other’s every move, which, in hindsight, I am greatly appreciative of.
Despite my personal opinions and current stance on social media, many girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, and hook-ups do follow each other . For some, it’s a non-factor in relationship, but for many, it’s a major source of contention.
The fact is, some marriages have ended due to inappropriate social media behaviors. We’ve all heard stories of spouses who chose to seek attention from others on numerous sites and apps. It’s not that social media is the cause of these indiscretions, but it is most certainly a tool that has made it easier for those who choose to step out.
On the flip side, there are some couples that have chosen to attack the “evils” of social media by either creating a joint page (for both husband and wife) or giving the other complete access to their account. Some significant others have established “rules” about what should and should not be shared with the world, specifically regarding children and very personal matters.
Determining you and your partner’s social media rules is, of course, all subjective to YOUR relationship. It is each individual’s choice to either use social media with good or bad intentions. No matter what, for a relationship to be successful in spite of social media, there absolutely must be a level of respect.
How do you use social media with your partner? Do you have strict rules or just it flow? Should you avoid following your significant other?