How to Create Social Media Rules in Your Marriage
It was a picture-worthy moment. She snapped a pic and promptly posted it to Instagram with the words, “My love! #alwaysandforever #makesmehappy”
Then the unexpected happened. Her “love” turned to her and said, “Did you post that?” Enthusiastically, she said “Yes!” He said, “You didn’t even ask.” A bit puzzled, she said, “It’s a great picture of you. What’s the problem?”
The problem was, he didn’t want his picture posted on social media.
Interestingly, this couple’s experience with social media isn’t uncommon. In plenty of relationships, one spouse uses social media as a way to express themselves. They love sharing about life in general. The other spouse might have a totally different posture toward social media. They limit what they post for the world to see. Maybe they aren’t on social media at all. They might even have mixed feelings about their spouse putting so much “out there.”
The Pros and Cons of Social Media
Social media has so many positives. It allows you to stay in touch with people you might not otherwise see or hear from. But, just like everything else, social media also has potential potholes. Social media can have a real negative impact on your marriage.
Whatever you post on social media, you’re inviting the world to see and pass judgment on via comments, likes, shares, etc. Without some understanding and agreement about what social media engagement looks like for you as a couple, this can be an ongoing area of conflict for any couple. The question for most couples is: How do you get to a place where you mutually agree?
Decide What Works for You as a Couple
It’s helpful to start out talking about what really matters. The ultimate goal would be for those who like to be on social media to be out there, but not at the expense of their marriage relationship. So, it’s helpful to think through what respect in marriage looks like when it comes to posting on social media. Have a conversation about what kind of boundaries you want to have with posts on social media.
Topics to Cover:
- How do you make sure what you post doesn’t reflect badly on your spouse or embarrass them? Don’t forget about your kids and your employer(s).
- If you want to post a picture, do you agree to ask permission first?
- When it comes to sharing political views, are there certain things you agree to stay away from?
- What about personal family information? How much is too much?
- Are certain topics totally off-limits to post about?
- What about exes and old flames? What about the opposite sex in general? (Defer to what makes your spouse secure in your love.)
- How much time will you spend on social? (Discuss some tech-free times and zones. This creates space for the conversations that keep you connected.)
- If you’re having a disagreement with your spouse, is putting it out there for everybody to see ok? What if you’re “asking for a friend?”
- How will you guard against the comparison game — comparing everyone else’s marriage highlight reel to your real life?
Social media is a well-entrenched part of our culture. In your efforts to keep your marriage healthy, perhaps the best thing you can do is pause for a minute and ask yourself, “Is what I am about to post potentially harmful to my marriage?” If the answer is yes, hit cancel and move on. It’s pretty unlikely that any post is more important than being on the same page with the one you love.
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