While more wars have been fought out of love than hate, many more hearts have been broken out of social media than anything else.
“Why did you add him to your friends list?” “Why do you keep liking her posts/retweeting her tweets?” “Why does she keep commenting on your posts about me?” “Why is your office mate always so close to you on your photos?” “Why haven’t you changed your relationship status yet?”
These and more are the issues we face today, when Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other social media sites have become such an integral part of our lives. So many small, seemingly insignificant things can make or break our relationships—and even our marriages. A lot—if not all—of our information is readily available on social media, and the concept of personal and couple privacy is being constantly challenged.
So, before your next bae and you become entangled and drowned in the double-edged sword that is social media, consider the following tips to put some order and propriety through all the tweet and status post banalities. [Read: How social media is killing your relationship slowly]
Social media etiquette – 15 things happy couples must always follow
Ladies and gents, here is the happy couple’s guide to social media etiquette. If you want a great relationship with your significant other, make sure you’re keeping these in mind!
#1 On your relationship status. Your relationship status as a couple must be a mutual decision. Considering the power of social media, it will be a problem if one person changes a single status to “in a relationship” with you, while you remain single. However, if your partner doesn’t want to post a relationship status on Facebook, understand his or her stance and be mature about it.
#2 TMI is really TMI. Stop the overdose of information. You may be over-the-moon with your partner being such a wonderful person and you’re bursting to tell the world all about it; however, learn some self-control. Not everyone appreciates seeing all the inner-workings of your relationship, and keep in mind that the most important things in life are better enjoyed in private. [Read: 8 kinds of annoying social media users that make you want to scream]
#3 Your profile page is not a pity party. Avoid posting about nasty fights and angry messages aimed at your partner. Whether it is on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other site, you can’t solve anything by airing your dirty laundry. At best, your friends will laugh about it behind your back. And at worst, your partner will hate you more for it.
If you really want to talk to someone, send them a private message, give them a call, or better yet, talk to them face to face.
#4 “Friend” with care. Facebook is a great way to connect with long-lost friends and family, but it’s a whole different thing when you accept friends left and right. Social media is great for sharing things with your close and trusted family and friends, but it’s a no-no to add people to your friends list just because you want more likes and shares. And it’ll always leave your partner wondering if you have something more in mind each time you add someone who could rouse your partner’s jealous streak.
#5 Ask for permission. You and your partner share private and intimate moments, even the goofiest or most mundane ones. So, before you post that funny picture of your disheveled partner in her jammies as she recovers from a cold, or him close to tears after a basketball game he lost, ask for permission. It’s one thing to talk about it with your friends and another to share it with the world. [Read: 8 little texting mistakes new couples make often]
#6 Public exchanges. PDA has now turned digital—especially when you can send your loved ones icons and emojis. However, it’s good practice to keep your cute and cuddly exchanges out of the public eye. Sure, some people will find it sweet, but your partner is most likely the only one who will truly appreciate it. That is, if he or she isn’t embarrassed by it. Regardless, most people will find it off-putting, so please don’t do it in front of everyone.
#7 Fight in private. So, you don’t like how your partner responded to you when you called him or her out for being too clingy. You post about it on social media and the next thing you know, you and your partner are exchanging angry tweets or comments for everyone to see. Then you get mad at someone for telling you that Facebook isn’t the place to fight—and you call that person names. This is just plain tasteless and rude. Keep your fights off of the internet.
#8 The matter of pictures and selfies. You and your partner should discuss what kind of pictures and selfies you post or share in social media. What kind of photos are within your partner’s comfort level? Should you delete your group pictures with your ex in it? What about the photos with your ex that your common friends tagged you in? Should you guys post titillatingly romantic photos of you kissing or making out? Those are definitely something to think about. [Read: 9 couples love trends that are seen most often on social media]
#9 The ex-factor. Should you still be friends with your exes, especially if you have an amicable split in the first place? Although it’s okay to still follow or be social media friends with someone you used to date, you should still consider what your partner feels about this or imagine what you would feel if the tables were turned.
#10 “Friending” your partner’s friends. It’s alright to establish good rapport with your partner’s social circle, but don’t circumvent the middleman when “friending” his/her friends on social media. This means you should first ask for permission from your partner, and be genuine about it instead of plainly scouting for your next squeeze as you build your roster.
#11 Friend updates. So okay, you have changed your privacy settings to your common friends when it comes to your posts about your relationship. After all, you can’t help it: you’re basking in the glow of romance, and often this comes with heated arguments. Guess what—your friends can get tired of your rollercoaster relationships, so keep personal stuff off the internet.
#12 Telling off “the past”… of your partner. How do you tell a past fling or an ex to stop posting on your partner’s wall without sounding too possessive, arrogant, rude, or just plain crazy? How do you tell your partner that their nice responses to the opposite sex on social media can be taken as flirting and that it should be stopped? Too much jealousy in a relationship can be a deal-breaker, and you absolutely don’t want to be that type of person on social media.
#13 Respect boundaries. In our world of over-exposure to all kinds of information, even very personal tidbits, boundaries can easily be crossed—especially when it’s someone you are overly familiar with. Talk to your partner about what he or she is comfortable sharing on social media, and you should also be honest about what your expectations and comfort levels are.
#14 Never compare. What’s worse than taking cheesy photos and publishing cheesy tweets or posts on social media? Comparing your ex with your current one AND posting it on Facebook. Not only is it disrespectful to your ex, whom you at one point shared a special bond with, it is also embarrassing to your current partner, who may think you will do the same to him/her if or when your relationship ends. [Read: Couples and social media: How much to share and where to draw the line]
#15 Don’t create a fake page. Whether you want to troll your ex or see if your partner is being loyal to you, never create a fake profile. It may seem funny or interesting at first, but it’s a lot of effort for something that won’t really add to your relationship or your personal growth. In fact, it’s juvenile.
It can be a jungle out there, in that good ol’ social media site. There are many predators and even more prey. You can find yourself having a great time, but you can also get hurt. If you’re not careful, you can get lost inside, at the expense of your real, personal relationships. So, before you lose your partner or spouse just because you weren’t thinking before clicking, stick to the etiquette above.
Know when to keep things to yourself and when to post things for everyone to see. You don’t have to give the public a play-by-play of your relationship, just so they can validate your happiness. The best things are better left in private, and even if you can control the people who can see your posts, it’s still not a great idea to shove your life into their faces every single day.