We’ve seen it all; “In a Relationship” to “Single” in a matter of months, Battle of the Exes via Twitter and a barrage of sad photos on Instagram. It’s official, we’re in oversharing land folks. Gone are the days of simple and easy relationships.
While there’s nothing wrong with sharing, we run into trouble when we spill every detail of our love lives (or lack thereof) for the world to read and retweet.
Here are our 10 Social Media commandments on how to handle love, relationships and break-ups via social media.
1. Thy Shall Not Stalk
It’s the King of all Social Media behavior. It’s so easy (and tempting) to keep tabs on your ex (or current crush) via Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram. Our lives ARE on display, but resist the urge to check his status every 5 minutes hoping he’ll profess his love for you via Facebook. Ain’t gonna happen. If your willpower is lax, defriend your ex to really break that behavior.
2. Thy Shall Update Relationship Status with Caution
You know those people. They’ve gone from “It’s Complicated” to “In a Relationship” to “Single” in a matter of months. And every step of the way people have commented. Is it me or is it weird when people comment on your single status with “I’m Sorry” or “You’ll find someone”? Spare yourself and simply leave this blank. If updating your relationship status on Facebook is a requirement of your relationship, you may want to rethink it.
3. Thy Shall Vent to Friends Not Facebook
If you feel the urge to bash, berate or exhale…. wait! Put down the smart phone, step away from the Facebook and get out of the house. Call up a close girlfriend, who you trust, and bitch to her. She’s your real friend, not the 800+ people on Facebook. And trust me your coworkers don’t need to know that such and such is a f**king loser. Been there, it never ends pretty.
4. Thy Shall Keep PDAs to a Minimum
You’re in love and it’s a beautiful thing. We loved your vacation album and your wedding photos were beautiful. But your Me & Him album is where we draw the line. 50 photos of you kissing in the park, kissing in the car, leaning on his shoulder, holding hands is a bit gratuitous. That’s what scrap-booking is for.
5. Thy Shall Use Private Messaging
Twitter is how we communicate. Need to reach someone, tweet them! But discretion must be paid and you and your significant other should know what is (and what’s not) for the Twitter streets. Quick example:
@hislove: Hey babe @herguy!
@herguy: @hislove hey my queeen. Can’t wait to see you later!
@hislove: @herguy me either. I’ve been thinking about you allllll day
@herguy: @hislove me too, wait til you get home. I’m going tear you up!
Clearly this should have been a text message or a private one at least. Like Mike Jackson said, “Keep it in the closet, not Twitter”. Paraphrasing of course.
6. Skip the Blissdom Updates
Again being is love is great, but how authentic is it that every status update in the last 24 hours is about how happy you are? This one kind of hints to the relationship status. What if you go H.A.M. on the lovey-dovey updates and you break up? You’ll have a digital record of how happy you used to be. Food for thought.
7. Skip the Pity Party of One
Much like #6, resist the urge to talk about how lonely you are, how much you want/need/will kill for a date. Don’t break into the “Men are dogs” tirade. No one, outside of your close friends and family, need to know the inner details of your love life or lack thereof. And again, stuff you put on the Internet, doesn’t die.
8. Thy Shall Keep Your Circle Tight
Befriending the ex on social networks is a tricky matter. If you’re over it, then by all means approve. If you’re over it and still want nothing to do with the person, then don’t. Remember these are your social worlds and it’s well within your rights to decline anyone. It’s neither petty or immature, it’s your prerogative.
9. Thy Shall Not Fish
Fishing isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s simply heightened by social media. Posting pictures of your scantily clad body asking if people like your dress, is fishing at its finest. Sending random women direct messages of how beautiful they are is fishing at its finest. Stop dropping your hook in every social sea hoping you get some bait.
10. Thy Shall Discuss Social Networking
If you’re in a new relationship it would behoove you to discuss your stance on social media with your boo. What interactions make you uncomfortable? What do you think is unacceptable behavior and vice versa? The two of you should be on the same page regarding social media use and what is acceptable behavior. Remember trust is key on and off the Internet.
Social networking is a new tool and it’s not always clear the do’s and don’ts when it comes to relationships and dating. When in doubt use discretion. If you wouldn’t want a room full of strangers to know then don’t post it. You know what they say, loose lips sink ships. Basically, keep your love life off the social streets.
What are your social media love commandments? How do you conduct your personal life on social networks?