If you use Facebook or Twitter then you have probably seen plenty of relationships die in front of your very eyes throughout your experience. It hardly ever is a quick and quiet death, is it? The relationship is slowly tortured and revived several times before the unhappy couple finally puts the poor thing out of its misery.
Now I admit, I’ve had my share of Facebook/Twitter related spats with my ex, especially towards the end of the relationship. I didn’t like some of his Facebook statuses and comments, he didn’t like how I didn’t mention him much at first. He didn’t like some of my tweets, I didn’t like his “friend’s” butt being displayed on his wall. I’ve also seen my share of back and forths between couples and friends that almost never ended well.
With the internet becoming such a huge and vital part about how we communicate with one another, one has to ask if the internet is responsible for ruining relationships. While sites such as Facebook and Twitter have the power to bring us closer together, do they have the power to tear us apart? Before I state my opinion on the matter, I’ll present you with the evidence.
Changing the Relationship Status: Whenever you change your relationship status, there’s always some kind of response. When you enter into the relationship, there are always well wishers who are extremely happy for you. Then there are those who become Sherlock Holmes and want to know the who, what, when, where, why and how long of the relationship. If the relationship ends or it becomes “complicated” the detectives return to find out what happened. People “like” that the relationship has fallen apart, they trash your partner, and of course threaten to bash his or her face in.
Pictures: Got a little too wasted at your best friend’s birthday party? Struck a seductive pose with someone of the opposite sex? Take a picture of the dog licking peanut butter off your body? If it gets on Facebook or Twitter, you may be in trouble. Your significant other, mother, father, cousin, teacher, boss and even total strangers can see the picture and some people may not like it. This is bound to set off a chain reactions of phone calls, messages and wall posts.
Status Updates, Comments and Wall Posts: We all have moments where we post or tweet things in anger, sadness or just for spite. There are times where we just post things that we consider completely innocent and our friends or significant other find it offensive. This sets off a chain reaction of comments, text messages and calls that leave both parties feeling angry and spent.
Instigators, Agitators, and Haters: There is ALWAYS going to be someone who wants to break you and your significant other up and they will try to do it by any means necessary. They will try to use your partner’s pictures, posts and comments against them. They will be flirtatious or abrasive to your significant other and that’s bound to cause problems.
Give Me Your Password: The password swapping conversation is bound to come up. If you don’t give it up, your partner is going to think you have something to hide. If you do give it up and your partner doesn’t like a message or something else private, your still in trouble.
Now to the fun part. Is the internet ruining relationships? In my opinion, no. The people who are USING it are. Don’t believe me? Watch me work (err tell you how to avoid or solve these problems for those of you who didn’t understand what I meant).
The Relationship Status Change: The point of this is to publicize your relationship. It’s like a flashing sign that says “______ is with me. He or she is mine so back off!” To avoid the issues that come along with this change, erase the setting from your profile all together. Explain to your partner that you, he or she and everyone important in your lives know you’re a couple. Assure them that you are only interested in being with them and no one else. That’s how it was done before the internet right?
Pictures: Don’t post any pictures that may cause a problem for you. If you are unsure if they’ll be considered problematic, show your parents or your significant other the pictures and gauge their reaction.
Status Updates, Comments, and Wall Posts: Rule of thumb: if you’re angry, drunk, high or depressed, step away from your computer and cell phone. These emotions and states lower our inhibitions and filters. The best way to avoid any backlash is to do what our parents always told us. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Instigators, Agitators, and Haters: Delete or ignore their comments and messages. Delete them from your profiles. If you’re not going to respect my significant other or my relationship, then you don’t respect me. It’s that simple.
Give Me Your Password: This is kind of a lose lose situation. If you don’t give it up, you are thought to have something to hide. If you do give it up, you may have nothing to hide, but something may set your partner off. So what can you do? Explain that in any relationship privacy and trust is important. Although giving away your password is a sign of trust, your partner wanting it and using it is a sign of distrust.
Sound off. Do you believe the internet is ruining relationships or do you think people are just using it as an excuse?