Social media & Relationships

Must everything be out in the open for all to see?

The title says it all. The purpose of this topic is not to shame those who share relationships on social media but to bring to light the many issues that arise from it, if one is not careful & possibly ways to do it without making it an open book full of dirty laundry. Social media can be a curse or it can be the best thing to happen, but it falls in the hands of the person utilizing it and how much they are willing to share with their peers. Most of the time, social media comes back to bite us when we least expect it because new updates happen; oops now we can see past memories with people we used to date or were friends with, oops, pictures we thought disappeared now come to the surface once more .. giving us goosebumps of who all might have seen it, oops our spouse finds out we are cheating because the person contacts them via messenger (oh bet you thought you could get away with it, huh?) not always will you. 

 

Relationships in this day and time, sound more like jokes — I laugh at them because the majority of them lack any type of substance but a pretty face and a couple of good pictures to prove they are dating and had dinner together. This is all sunshine and rainbows, but the BIG but is, how much should people know and why is it important to share your love life on social media; or is it not important to you at all to share your relationship status online? 


Personally, I have dated someone who felt that posting our relationship and pictures were important for all to see, she enjoyed the satisfaction it gave her when we would accumulate tons of “likes” on social media, it was almost a “high” for her to see how popular our picture was and the amount of comments we had. I didn’t notice this in the beginning because in the newly stage — most couples share their pictures and relationship status online as long as both parties agree to it, and are comfortable with the decision and I didn’t mind it myself. As our relationship progressed, I just observed small things, like getting upset when a picture of us didn’t exceed a “good” amount of likes, or how happy she was when we had an abundance of likes — she was keeping track constantly, giving me the inside scoop on how well our picture was doing. I honestly didn’t care half as much as she did because I knew we were cute together and didn’t need the validation (sure it was nice to see others agreed and enjoyed our happiness on screen) but it didn’t make me love her any less if the picture didn’t get 100 likes — she was beautiful to me regardless of the amount of likes a picture got. 


On the flip side, I dated someone who wasn’t a fan of posting a ton of pictures of us online but had to have the relationship status posted on social media. Never got a reason why the status was important to her but it might have been for obvious reasons: we were dating exclusively or maybe it made her feel more secure in the relationship. I don’t know. Either way, the whole posting pictures thing with her was not her favorite past time.. mostly because she felt like not everyone needed to know what we were doing and not everyone needed to know what we looked like together. I never argued this, because in all reality, it didn’t bother me all that much because before this — I was private about my sexuality on social media (only the people I told, knew about it) but I didn’t feel everyone needed to know my sexual life; especially if they aren’t an important figure in my life BUT, because she wanted the relationship status posted, I took the scary dive and did it. 


Neither relationship prospered. Both relationships tumbled and came to an end fairly quickly — for different reasons. None of which had to do with social media. The one thing I remember about the two relationships and what they had in common was both parties wanted pictures of us removed and both parties didn’t want to have the relationship status changed for the public to see when we broke up.  Two things that make me question whether having a relationship public on social media is worth it; 1) is it worth posting pictures on social media of a relationship to have them taken down? and 2) is changing the relationship status on Facebook necessary in the first place if you don’t want the break up exposed to the public? Hmm. 

I’ve come to realize many people who post statuses about their relationships; sometimes say too much about their personal life — they expose dirty laundry that isn’t meant for the world to see but hope to gain support from others who may understand and may offer advice, the problem being that they only see ONE side of the story. This creates bias opinions. Personally, when I dated my first girlfriend at 18 years of age, I did a whole lot of exposing dirty laundry — and nothing good came from it. In fact, it only made my relationship that much quicker to end, but for some reason, I assumed if I posted it online for everyone to see, she would see it and respond (it was childish) but I was naive.  In recent relationships, I haven’t been one to expose dirty laundry or talk harshly about my partner after a break up or during a rough patch; although this recent break up in July of 2017, I handled it on social media and mainly because I was angry and wanted to spite her; I was hurting badly, and didn’t know how to manage my emotions at the time. It bothered her when she seen the post, not because they were horrible and mean but because they shown my pain and my frustration about the relationship & she felt like not everyone needed to know outside of her, that whatever happened in our relationship that bothered me or that I missed shouldn’t have been posted online for the world to see. I disagreed and I don’t regret the post because I felt like what I posted was reasonable and appropriate and it shown my hurt — I wasn’t seeking attention from anyone, I just wanted to release my thoughts out loud not caring who or what read them. 


For me posting online about relationships has its positives and negatives. It’s ups and downs. It’s probably not a good idea to talk about your dirty laundry on FB unless people are able to get both sides and not just one side of the story from you. It’s probably not a good idea to flood your FB with pictures of you with your significant other because most people don’t care that much and don’t want to have their newsfeed full of your pictures, It’s most likely unnecessary to change your relationship status because as long as both parties know the status of their relationship that’s the most important but with changing it comes satisfaction that other people are happy for you. Depending on your motives, relationships and social media don’t have to be a bad a thing, but it does come with risk and issues could arise if one chooses to not be cautious of what they post. Like anything else in life: “Having too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing”.


Please feel free to leave comments — share, like and follow! Thank you for reading. 


Shay-lon 




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