Is social networking bad for a relationship? I’ve read a couple of articles about it, and I can certainly see the “YES” side of the argument. But I also think it’s just an excuse. I think if the relationship is shaky to begin with, then social networking just exacerbates the problem.
I read one story about a guy who wondered why he should be friends with his wife – “I see her at home and we talk about our day every day, so why would I have her as a friend on Facebook?” My question is, why wouldn’t you?
Because, no matter how much I may trust my husband, I would have to wonder what it is he doesn’t want me to see.
That’s the bottom line, as far as I see it. Either you have something to hide, or you don’t. If you don’t have something to hide, then you don’t care. If you do have something to hide…well…
It doesn’t begin or end with romantic relationships. What if someone sends you a friend request, but you don’t want to be friends with them? And, I’m learning, people have a different idea of friending “strategies.” Some will approve anyone who requests to be a friend. Some will only approve actual “friends” and struggle with approving acquaintances (or friends of friends). Some only approve really close friends. Which is right? They all are. It’s a very personal decision.
But when you’re the one that’s not approved for a friend request, or you’re the one who only sees filtered content, or you’re the one that has been unfriended by someone, regardless of how friendly you actually are with the person, it still stings.
Back to the husband I mentioned above that’s not friends with his wife. I kind of get that, even if I don’t agree with it (exactly for the reason I mentioned). But I also think that social networking is more about connecting with people you don’t normally talk to in the course of a week, month, year, decade. You stay up to date on their lives, without having to make the effort to email or call, without clogging up email with huge picture files of the kids in the pumpkin patch. You catch up with old high school and college friends, without having to go to the over-priced reunion across the country. The people I really care about, I already know about their lives. I don’t need Facebook for that.
As for my romantic relationship, since The Pilot is away so often, our Facebook connection makes me feel closer to him when he’s far away. All I have to do is log on, and I can see pictures of him and enjoy his smile. I can enjoy his sense of humor in his wall posts. I can get a sense of his day, wherever he is. And, on the lucky times when we are both online at the same time, I can IM him and we can talk.
And, honestly, today that thought is the only thing keeping me from closing out my facebook account. Because I’m kind of not feeling Facebook lately.