Thursday, March 03, 2011

Boundaries in marriage and Facebook

Sometimes you gotta take a break from all the adoption drama (you can literally witness my rollercoaster of a day yesterday here and here) and explore something different but equally important.

Like Facebook.  :)

I read an article recently that talked about how Facebook is potentially dangerous for marriages.  I was immediately interested, because I've long thought Facebook has the potential to be incredibly, um, awkward.  Both my husband and I have Facebook accounts, though neither of us are particularly active on there (he less than me for sure, though.  I like to read the stuff on my feed, but I don't post statuses all that often.  Kevin hardly visits the site at all.) 

We have a very transparent marriage to begin with, so nothing is happening in secret.  We know each other's various passwords, just because, and we're both quite open about those sorts of things.  That DOESN'T mean there's never an "I'm not comfortable with such-and-such" sort of social media moment.  We had one of those recently, in fact.

Facebook is extra strange (and this is maybe where the danger lies) because it enables you to have conversations you wouldn't necessarily have with people you wouldn't necessarily be conversing with.  In other words, members of the opposite sex, people who don't know your spouse, exes.  Hmmmm.  Should a wife be instant messaging (so essentially privately emailing) with another man?  Should a husband be instant messaging with another woman?  Does it matter?

Now neither Kevin nor I are overly concerned about any of this.  We trust one another.  And I think Facebook is kind of fun.  But we've always had decently strong boundaries in our marriage, and maybe that's why it's more or less a non-issue, but something we've had to navigate just the same because all of a sudden we ARE in contact with random people we've known in the past.  So I CAN see why and how there are potential "issues" with Facebook.  And why the "rules" change a little bit when it's social media vs. "real life".  It seems easier and more harmless I suppose for a member of the opposite sex to friend and message you, as opposed to call you on the phone to chat.  But it's still communication.  And, apparently, a factor in divorce.

So what do you all think about marriage and Facebook and social media boundaries?  There's a blogpost here that includes a survey on these issues, and I enjoyed reading the responses.  'Tis a strange world we live in for sure!


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