How NOT to let social media ruin your relationship
By Ursula Lauriston
Social media has connected the world in ways people never thought possible. Today, a man in Washington, D.C. can carry on a digital relationship with a woman in Argentina. They might never meet in person but they might certainly fall in love.
After Rep. Weiner’s myriad of Twitter affairs leaked to the public, every news outlet with little credibility and lots of airtime decided to bring together a group of talking heads to debate the mindboggling question – what is cheating? Is sending a message on Facebook or a naked Twit Pic count towards infidelity? Well, Twenty Something’s, before you use one more brain cell, let me set the record straight — YES.
Here’s the deal — if you have to think real hard about it, it’s probably wrong. Most people who have been cheated on will tell you that the sexual intercourse or flirting is not what hurt the most; it’s the dishonesty, disrespect and disregard for your significant other. So yes, if you’re flirting back and forth on Facebook or Twitter, you’re cheating.
Did your relationship suffer a social media punch to the face? Follow these steps:
Switch your perspective
Ask yourself how you would feel if your mate/spouse sent a flirty Facebook message or Tweeted a photo of themselves to someone
Talk about it
Set ground rules on Twitter and Facebook behavior. If someone sends you an inappropriate message, tell your mate about it before they have to ask and let them know what actions you plan to take next.
Empower your mate
If your mate asks about a Facebook post, don’t get defensive. This shuts down communication and creates suspicion. Have an ‘open door’ policy with one another and put the relationship before social media.
So turns out you have been flirting over Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or a host of other sites. Whatever you do, DON’T pull a Clinton or Weiner. Tell the truth the first time and decide whether or not you want to be in this relationship. Understand that digital trust has just been broken and that this is just as hurtful as flirting with someone you met at a bar.
Every day we give our email address, name, date of birth and tons of other information to websites and marketers. Then we go post every mundane thing that comes to our mind on Facebook or Twitter. We THEN go cry about our privacy being broken when a mate wants to know what we’re doing on these sites. See the disconnect? The bottom-line is, if you’re with someone you love and trust, be open and honest with them. And that includes being open about the people you communicate with and the actions you take on these sites.
You’re welcome Twenty Somethings!
Ursula Lauriston is the author of Twenty Something, a social diary blog where she sounds off weekly on dating, D.C nightlife and events, career etiquette, and more. During the day, Ursula stays in step with the pulse of DC with her work as a Deputy Press Secretary on Capitol Hill. Follow me on Twitter.