Disclaimer: Some of the links in this column lead to content with adult language.
With the large amount of time people spend online these days, it's no surprise that many of us have found aspects of our love lives playing out there as well. And social sites such as Facebook can make maintaining romantic relationships even more complicated than it already is. Last week, I offered some guidelines on looking for love on the site. Well, now it's time for some tips on dealing with the repercussions of actually finding it.
Part II: Maintaining the love
This may not be the most popular piece of advice for some, but I still say DON'T make your relationship status public. Though I can see some arguments for publishing this little tidbit on your info page, such as wanting to appear available (or unavailable) to someone in your network, there are at least as many reasons to just keep this information on lock down. Think about it: do you really want everyone you're connected to on Facebook meddling in or even knowing about your private life? Personally, the only people I want privy to my affairs are the ones I communicate with regularly in real life. Also, as a good friend of mine so wisely noted: "NOTHING'S PERMANENT, PEOPLE!!!"
But if you do tinker with your status at all, DO be aware that it gets posted to your wall. This realization was brought home to me when I elected to remove--not even change--my relationship status and the action was noted on my wall. I wasn't quick enough in deleting it and had to field an unsolicited question from a friend when it really wasn't anything that I cared to explain.
Finally, DO keep the minutia of your private life private. For instance, when the rest of us are subjected to your incredibly cloying exchanges, we throw up in our mouths a little--and then ridicule you behind your back. Conversely, DON'T air your dirty laundry on Facebook. Unless, of course, you have absolutely no class.
None of this is to say that you shouldn't share anything about your relationship on the site. Of course it's great to be able to post photos of your vacations together, your marriage, your kids...heck, I'm even a fan of the occasional "has the greatest husband in the world!" status update. Facebook is sometimes the main medium through which people keep in touch with close friends and family; in fact, DO consider setting up a special friends list just for them. You can then elect to share certain private information to that group alone.
Tune in next week for the final part in the series, which will address the protocol for dealing with the end of a relationship. In the meantime, please share your own tips and experiences in the comment section. Don't agree with some of my advice? Feel free to argue your own points below!
Last week: Facebooking for love, Part 1