Social media is so much a part of our lives these days, it’s easy to forget there was ever a time without it.
It can be wonderful… it’s a great way to keep up with friends and family and share news, pictures and your thoughts with the world.
But, like most things on the Internet, social media has a dark side. A lot of drama happens there, and the effects might be more wide-ranging than you imagined. Remember, something shared just once on social media is out there on the Internet forever.
Even if you manage to avoid getting sucked into the harmful online drama, social media can affect your marriage by making you less attentive towards each other. How many times have you seen a couple out enjoying a coffee together, with both of them scrolling through their phones and ignoring each other?
Social media can bring people closer together, but it can also create barriers and shut you off from your partner.
Here is how you can protect your marriage from social media. Try out these nine tips to reduce negative impact on marriage caused by social media.
1. Agree On Boundaries with Your Partner
It’s a good idea to agree on social media boundaries with your partner before anything goes wrong or causes friction in your marriage.
Everyone is different. Your partner might be comfortable with you talking about your love for them openly, or they might be more private and prefer to keep your relationship off social media.
2. Don’t Play the Comparison Game
Social media isn’t real life. It’s a carefully curated mirage. People choose what they want the world to see and deliberately craft the impression they want to give.
Think about your real life relationship. Think about what you love about it, what you want to nurture, and what you’d like to see improve. Talk to your partner about your actual relationship and leave the comparison game to other people.
3. Never Go On Social Media After a Fight
It’s all too easy to say something you regret on social media, but before you can take it back, your partner has seen it, or someone else has seen it and told them.
Snide remarks and veiled jibes only cause further harm and risk damaging your relationship. If you’ve had a fight, leave social media alone while you resolve your issues with each other.
4. Set Some Unplugged Time
Don’t let social media creep into every moment of your relationship. If one (or both) of you is always scrolling through your timeline, even at dinner time or in bed, the other partner is going to end up feeling ignored, like they don’t matter.
Agree on some off-limit times, such as meal times or date night, and give your partner your full attention.
5. Be Transparent
Social media can be a bit like a terrible party game where things get whispered from person to person until the meaning is lost. You can avoid that by simply being transparent on social media.
Don’t post anything you wouldn’t be like your partner to read. It’s also a good idea to think twice about who you DM and why; keep things transparent so there can’t be any misunderstandings later.
6. Don’t Look Up Your Ex
Most people have felt the urge to stalk their ex, just to see what they’re up to. However, it’s best avoided.
If your partner sees you’ve been stalking your ex, he might wonder if you miss that person or still have feelings or him. You and your ex are over and done with. Respect your current partner by keeping your ex off your social media profiles.
7. Always Ask Instead of Assuming
It’s really easy to read into things you see posted on social media. If your partner posts something or does something that leaves you feeling jealous, uncomfortable or confused, just ask her about it.
Don’t let social media activity define your relationship. Put talking to each other above reading each other on social media, and never jump to conclusions.
8. Never Air your Dirty Laundry in Public
Any problems you have with your partner belong between the two of you. Don’t air them on social media, no matter how frustrated you are feeling.
Taking your issues public carries the risk of making your partner feel betrayed or humiliated. Social media is great for sharing pictures of your latest holiday, but it’s not the place to discuss your relationship.
9. Remember the World Is Watching
It’s so easy to send a message or post a picture on social media that we sometimes forget the whole world is watching what we say.
Before making any post on social media, remember that everyone on your timeline can see it. Even if you have security settings, you can never assume anything is completely secure online, either. Obey the golden rule: if you wouldn’t be happy to share it with the whole world, don’t put it on your timeline.
When it comes to social media and your marriage, it’s a good idea to put some thought into what you both feel comfortable with, and remember to focus on your real-life relationship, not the social media version of it.