Being inseparable in a relationship has been taken to a new level by a lot of social media users. As if it wasn’t enough to live 24 X 7 with someone, a lot of couples seem to closely follow each other’s activities on social media. A like on your profile picture is mandatory, so is a nice comment if you have posted something thoughtful or your latest professional achievement. But how much intimacy is too much, when it comes to carrying your relationship to the virtual realm? Is it better to give your partner some space, so that they won’t have to think about your reaction to everything they post? In times when every little thing can lead to animosity, wouldn’t it be healthier for your relationship to turn a convenient blind eye to your significant other’s social networking avatar?
- A lot of couples sync their social media lives with their offline relationship.
- But when you are constantly in each other’s line of sight, does it become difficult to speak your mind?
- Should couples give each other some space on social media so that they can post what they want, without thinking about what their better half would feel about it?
- Leading separate social media lives also gives you a chance to hang out with people outside of your common circle.
In times when every little thing can lead to animosity, wouldn’t it be healthier for your relationship to turn a convenient blind eye to your significant other’s social networking avatar?
A 2013 study whose results was quoted by Psychology Today, found that a higher level of Facebook usage was associated with negative relationship outcomes. The study also discovered that the relationships in question also experienced Facebook-related conflicts. However, these results are barely surprising, if we consider how social networking platforms are largely used to express opinions. It is one thing to sit in front of each other and express your views organically over an issue, simultaneously answering questions which they raise, and then it is another to write a long social media post on a subject which they may find controversial.
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The gap in conversation offline and online can lead to a lot of trouble. For instance, you went to a restaurant for dinner which was picked by your spouse and the experience was unpleasant. But instead of discussing it with your partner, you went on to write a post criticising the restaurant which your partner may take personally. Or maybe your partner has posted a particularly nasty meme taking an indirect shot at relatives on your side that has caught you off guard. Wouldn’t such incidences lead to unnecessary hostility?
Leading separate social media lives gives you a chance to explore networks outside of your realm as a couple. You can make new acquaintances according to your liking, not having to care about what your partner will think about them.
But what is the correct approach here? Should you always check first with your partner before you post anything on social media, especially if it concerns them in some way? Perhaps, and etiquette does call for you to be civil enough to inform your partner if you are closely connected online. The other solution could be a mutual understanding of leading independent social media lives. Of giving each other freedom to post as and what one deems fine. Such an arrangement requires you to turn a blind eye towards your partner’s virtual misdemeanours also. They may be writing in-depth blogs on relationships (like yours sincerely) or taking a strong political stand which you do not approve of. But you mind your own business, as do they.
Such an arrangement can be very convenient, as it makes social media one less thing for you to bicker over. It is like separating your work from your personal life or having a digital me-time. Also, leading separate social media lives gives you a chance to explore networks outside of your realm as a couple. You can make new acquaintances according to your liking, not having to care about what your partner will think about them.
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Communication is said to be the key to any successful relationship. And while social media may have opened a virtual world for us, it has diverted us from having one on one, face to face dialogues that may help us resolve conflicts and bond better. So perhaps it is in the best interest to rather keep your relationship alive offline and bypass each other’s social media profiles, isn’t it?
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.