Like it or not, social media is undeniably here to stay. Be it Facebook or Twitter, most of our relationships are and will continue to be somewhat broadcast into the public spectrum. Sometimes it’s difficult to find an appropriate point to cast a line between utilizing new technologies and maintaining a sense of privacy.
Here are a few tips to help you manage your girlfriend and your friends list.
1. Keep friends close and Facebook friends further.
One of the most refreshing things about social media, particularly Facebook, is how easy these sites make it to keep in touch with old friends. Be it elementary school classmates or the guy you took German 1 with, you can partake in their victories and defeats.
The difficult thing about this is that sometimes we forget that when we think of sharing something online, we also forget our fourth grade teacher might run across it.
Manage your privacy settings. They’re there for a reason. Watch what you post, particularly about and to your girlfriend du Jour.
Remember that your love might feel real now, but in 10 years your wife might not find your love poems and Something Corporate lyrics to another woman so charming. Don’t be afraid to use social media, but just don’t forget that what is put online stays online.
“Wait for things to stabilize with your new
girlfriend before announcing her to the world.”
2. Always feel like someone’s watching.
You know that girl you had a crush on in middle school? The one that sometimes on rainy days or maybe a drunken evening you peruse through every photo she’s ever been tagged in?
Don’t be ashamed. We all do it. It’s natural curiosity. Just remember, all of those cutesy photos you’re taking of you and your current girlfriend are there for as long as you hold a Facebook account.
Reflecting our previous point, remember that the girl you meet at camp when you’re 17 is more than likely not the one you’ll marry. Being in love is amazing and the impulse to share it with the world is normal. Just remember that you are, in fact, sharing it with the world.
3. Don’t be a status swapper.
Wanting to share your relationship with others is perfectly natural. It shows your exes you’ve moved on, your high school classmates you can land a girl, and your mother that she can stop telling you older virgins are valued in many cultures.
Just make sure when you edit your relationship settings, the person on the other end is on the same page. It’s the subject of tongue-in-cheek blog entries and even one really bad pop song, but becoming social media (or for our purposes Facebook) official isn’t something to enter into lightly.
Wait for things to stabilize with your new girlfriend before announcing her to the world. Maybe even wait a few months. After all, Facebook breakups are one of the most uncomfortable aspects of breaking up in real life.
It’s always OK to keep some bits of your life between you, your girlfriend and your closest friends.