Miss Annabelle – Managing Relationships In a Social Media World. How to Address Each Others Online Presence.
You’ve got a good thing going for you — maybe its long term, maybe it has just started. Maybe it’s in that funny middle ground. Wherever you are at in your relationship, however, there will come a point where you and your partner will have to address each other’s online presence.
In the age of information, more and more people are living, loving, and working online. While it might be tempting to slip into the frame of mind that what you say and do on the web ‘doesn’t count’… it really, really does. So, how do you keep a lid on all of the crazy hustle and bustle online without your partner blowing up? Well…
First of all, avoid adding your partner on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+ [or whatever] if you can. It will make things smoother overall in the long run. However, if the curiosity is too much or they are very insistent about it, add them. You can set it up on some social websites to only see certain posts or a limited amount of content, and it might be a good idea to set it up that way or you could quickly get overwhelmed or annoyed. Getting on Instagram and seeing the breakfast you just made them is cute the first 3 times.
Once you add them, you will most likely have access to every drunken revenge tagged photo, smiley face comment from their exes, and rambling post from their mom on their page. Don’t let it bug you! Remember that a lot of their presence online is an archive and a lot of it is going to be from a time before you. Water under the bridge, and all that. However, if you notice that a couple hours after your boyfriend left for “work” and a random girl comments ‘today was great! ;)’ on their wall, it might be time for a chat.
The same thing works in reverse, as well. Your partner will be able to see all of the public photos and comments on your page as well. If you feel like some of the content is inappropriate or irrelevant to your relationship, you could do a little cleaning up. However, you don’t want a sudden blank page where all of your things pre-relationship were, as that could raise some flags. You’re not 007.
You also don’t want to ‘like’ or comment on every comment/share/post that your partner makes. That can be seen as clingy and annoying to both your partner and their friends and family. If they complain to your lover, they could get embarrassed or exhausted and that’s no fun for anybody.
Speaking of their posts, don’t read too much into them. If they are being vague or having a rough day, gently broach the subject in person. But if you are overanalyzing every word and punctuation mark, it’s time to take a step back. The same works in reverse, so if your partner is constantly “hovering” online ask them carefully to stop breathing down your neck. You need virtual space sometimes too!
It isn’t a good idea to talk about your relationship problems online. If you wouldn’t stand on the street corner and belt it out, don’t put it online either. Same goes for more intimate comments and photos. VDA [Virtual display of affection] can be just as much of an eye roller as PDA. So, for the sake of friends and family keep it positive and PG-13.
Also relating to friends and family, you really don’t need his third cousin twice removed on your friends list. Ask their permission before adding friends and family, then do so selectively. Think about it this way, do you really want a potential (or actual!) mother-in-law to see that candid shot of you at Buffalo Wild Wings? Didn’t think so.
So there you have it! The best ways to keep things simple and smooth between you and your love on the web. Remember to always use your best judgment in person and online, and never let a photo or a level on Candy Crush get between you and some down time with your partner.