Relationships On Facebook: Where To Draw The Line
Aged 14, sat at my laptop, writing five statuses a day, I’d be the first to vouch that Facebook is a social network, so stop moaning when I use it as such. However, aged 19, writing a status once in a blue moon, mostly using the network for just that – networking – I have grown wise to the annoyances that flood and plague our news feeds daily. Relationships.
Conscious of now sounding like a bitter girl pining for an other half, let’s clarify: relationships are cool. They really are. Finding someone else who matches you – not just on Tinder, but in outlook and emotions – is tremendous. With the exception of nuns and men of the nights’ watch, everyone should give it a go – just not in my face.
Having said that, in small doses, relationships on Facebook don’t have to be smug and uninteresting. They can flourish. So, here are some boundaries that distinguish the happy couple from the couple you want to hunt down and silence.
Statuses – The Good
Do take caution here. Don’t litter Facebook with your declarations of love unless something significant has happened like an engagement, the birth of a new child, marriage, or he bought you a Mulberry. On a serious note, relationships that are posted about excessively on Facebook don’t scream “I’m in love”, they say “I’m insecure; I want everyone to know how strong we think we are.” There should really be a privacy agreement in place between a couple whereby some things are okay to discuss with friends, some with family, others with nobody, and many more away from the eyes of bored acquaintances you added on Facebook three years ago but never speak to. Nobody, not your family, your school friends, your colleagues, and especially not your mum’s Facebook-savvy friends want to know about your sex life, for example. Romp away – honourably and passionately in private.
Posting a cheeky post on your partner’s timeline embellished with a wink and an in-joke could have been done over text, couldn’t it? As irritating as this will read to those happy in relationships and bored of said complaints, it’s not as irritating as the antics of many couples who are so devoted, so enchanted and so engrossed in their relationship that they routinely turn to the keyboard to express such emotion. Come off it. Romance isn’t totally dead; buy a rose, hire a plane with a banner behind it, go for a date night and rekindle those heavy emotions that otherwise drag you down all over the Internet.
Statuses – The Bad
So, you’re in love? But, wait. Twenty minutes after tagging your partner in that mushy status, you’re now having a very blatant dig at him or her? Please deactivate your Facebook account. Or talk to them. Although we rely heavily on messaging apps, verbal communication remains the best way to handle such issues. And, if you do have these issues, that’s tough, unfortunate and undoubtedly painstaking – but shouldn’t it also be personal? Would you walk into a hall filled with 757 of your finest Facebook friends, climb onto the stage and reveal all of your dirty laundry into a microphone? Thought not. So, what’s different with doing that online? This is where the concept of the keyboard warrior comes in. Make way for the lamb that turns into a wolf when faced with a screen as opposed to the person they so ardently oppose via Facebook.
Facebook as a tool for expression is so poignant, hence why so many people seek revenge on there. Humiliating a person for their mistakes in front of hundreds of friends and gossip seekers has never been so easy. As scandalous and interesting as it may be though, I really didn’t need to know that your girlfriend cheated on you in a field and came home muddy (true story) when I’m drinking my apple tea. So, the moral of this story is if you have a bad day, then cry to your heart’s content, console in a friend, but not 757 friends. Because nine times out of ten in such scenarios, the person filling up news feeds with their personal turmoil will be back to their declarations of love before you can say “not again”.
Photos- The Ugly
Say “cheese”. Your boyfriend looking really, really awkward at having his photo taken in a restaurant thus meaning that he’s just staring into his cutlery is not the sign of a happy couple; it’s a reflection of a happy-go-lucky, pressuring partner, desperate for their next chance to gloat online. This is a fine balancing act. Get it right, and you’re perceived as a truly adorable couple. Getting it right consists of sharing photos with some interest or significance behind them. By all means take pictures. Take selfies if you have to, but this isn’t fruit and vegetables here; there is no need for five a day.
Taking a cheeky snap, a one-too-many snap, or a stale snap is unwanted. The picture will simply drown into the online abyss, noticed only by those agitated by your Facebook behaviour, not hailed by those who admire your relationship. Thus, the slightly creepy, slightly intrusive after-sex selfie is one you can take – it’s your prerogative. Cherish the picture by all means, but please don’t throw in my face what, when reduced of sentiment, is merely a sweaty, rugged photo of two post-coital bodies under the sheets.
Healthy relationships are not born on, sustained by, nor expressed mainly through the Internet. As noted, yelling to your Facebook friends, “Look at me, I’m in love”, as opposed to “Went to the zoo today with my partner”, or “We’re engaged”, only sends out a message of insecurity. This person thrives off others witnessing the spectacle that is their love, and thinking just how strong it must be after they pin up statuses daily about it – but trust me, they don’t thrive, they get nauseous and uncomfortable. Take it from me, less is more where relationships and Facebook are concerned.