It may be tempting to post lots of updates about your relationship on Facebook, but Alan Finnegan is here to tell you that’s a bad idea in the long run.
As a singleton you can find yourself desperately trying to avoid your friends’ Facebook posts about their relationships, or simply hiding their posts, because the last thing you want to do is read about their latest, fabulous holiday together, or their blissful nights out together, or their undying love for one another. But when the tables turn and you finally nab yourself your own partner, it can be equally tempting to now brag about how super your love life is, so sad singletons like you once were can read on in envy.
But, be warned. Talking about your relationship on Facebook can lead to all sorts unforeseen of difficulties.
Going on about your love life is a lot easier to do online than it is in person, mainly due to the fact that you aren’t subject to interruptions. But for most people Facebook is about sharing moments with friends to start a discussion. Not a whole lot of online conversation can come from a status with a <3 symbol along with a tag of your boyfriend. Yet, if you are the type who does this, a lot of conversation might be going on behind your social networking back. Plus, if you are committed to updating your relationship status as some people are, you might only end up having a public reminder of your rocky relationship.
Facebook is public. People can screen-grab your comments to show other people, who you may not even know about. In that way, there is really no such thing as privacy on Facebook.
Who is actually paying attention when you share information about your relationship on Facebook? There are two types of users visiting your page. The first is the Concerned User, who wants to know if you’re happy and that’s all. The second is the Gossip, who wants to know the ins and outs of your relationship so he or she can talk about you to other people.
Concerned users will ‘like’ your status when you say you’re in a relationship. They will like your photos and check-ins. They like seeing the trips you take together, and they’re always wishing you well. That is where their online interest ends.
The gossip only appears when you post something dramatic. He or she will engage in your status update in some way and then start private messaging you, looking for more information. They just want the dirt on your relationship so they can share some juicy gossip behind your back, the way the local gossip did back in the days before social networking.
The people who you spend the most time with offline will be the ones who genuinely care about your well-being and relationship issues. They are the ones who you should confide in, rather than confiding in an untold number of less caring people online. When the shit hits the fan in your relationship, pick up a phone and have a one-to-one bitch with your best friend instead of posting on your Facebook page. Letting the world know what a crap boyfriend you have will not help solve matters between you both. It will only escalate the problem, and once it’s out there online, you can never take it back.
Facebook is not a diary, folks. The only thing that Facebook asks about your relationship is whether you are in one. Tick the box and think no more about it.
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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