Ah, Facebook… favourite place of attention-whoring girlfriends and boyfriends, husbands and wives, and commitment partners everywhere. And I am proud to call myself one of them.
For me, Facebook is primarily a networking tool for resources of all kinds: business, personal, pleasure, and charity. But that doesn’t stop me from posting pithy dialogues between my significant other and me. And why should I? He’s funny. I like to start bacchanal on Facebook; it’s the perfect marriage of ideas.
Some men may not like to have their wives/girlfriends posting they ‘bizness’ all over social media. But Chef doesn’t care. Really. He doesn’t care. Because he’s not on Facebook.
*gasps of horror*
Nope. My husband is not on Facebook. And I’m cool with that.
Mind you, I wasn’t always cool with it. But I’ve learned how to pick my battles within the last few years. I am a Facebook addict, but it’s really not that important if Chef is on there or not. And if you follow my sound reasoning, you’ll see why:
Facebook does cause confusion in de romance
If I had a dollar for the number of articles that talk about how Facebook played a central role in a spectacular relationship mashup, I coulda set up myself bigger than Dr. Phil. Check out this article, where it’s claimed that Facebook is responsible for 20 per cent of divorces in the UK. And if you google Facebook and breakups, you’ll get a whole lot more.
From catching your boo cheating, to finding more ways to cheat on your honey, the social media network has not been great for relationships. It creates more bacchanal than togetherness. So it’s a good thing that I don’t have to go check Chef’s profile on the regular to ensure that he did not friend his ex-girlfriend, and she did not post a cute and nostalgia reference to their days together on his wall. Because I’m not going back to jail. I’m not.
Facebook is not necessarily for everyone
My hubbie is a chef. [All the significant others of chefs just went, “Ahhhh!” and nodded in comprehension.] He runs a restaurant. He has no time for things like Facebook. He loves gaming and watching anime, and he barely has time for those things. Sometimes, he barely has time for me!
Unlike his wife, Chef does not do procrastination and idle chatter. You’ve heard of the strong, silent type? He was the prototype, especially on the silent bit. So the idea of posting his thoughts in the public realm does not occur to him. Catch up with friends and relatives, you say? “If they want to talk to me, they could call.” Insert my facepalm here.
Some people are honestly too busy, too shy, too preoccupied, and/or too interesting to be on Facebook. If one of them is your honey, don’t knock it. It’s just not their scene, and that’s who you chose to be with.
It really shouldn’t be a deal breaker, and if it is, you may need to spend less time on Facebook and more time figuring out why Facebook is so important to you. Did you buy 10,000 shares when it went public or something? Wanna friend me?
Facebook really has nothing to do with your relationship
Every generation has a ‘thing’. For some, it was a world war. For others, a sexual revolution or slavery. Ours has communication overload, and I think that Facebook and Twitter are central metaphors for this phenomenon. But while other generations were clearer on not letting the ‘thing’ that defined their generation define their relationships, our generation…not so much. We often let our smartphones, iPads, laptops and instant messaging services get in the way of true communication with our mates. I’m not judging you. I do it too.
Still, maybe we all need to take a look at our communication habits, and see it they’re really helping us to communicate. It’s great when Facebook reminds you that someone’s birthday is today, and you post on their wall. But when’s the last time you actually dropped by their workplace, with a little cupcake from Linda’s Bakery, and said out loud, “Happy Birthday”? A long time, right?
And Facebook can create the same kind of distance in a romantic relationship, if you let it. It’s cute to tag your girlfriend in a video of a mushy love song, or to post a photo of sexy lingerie on the man wall and write: “Hey sexy … you want to see me in dis or wha?” But it can’t compare to the time you actually spend together, talking things out, loving up, working through a budget…in short, communicating.
Mark Zuckerberg can’t help you with that; he has his own problems. His Facebook stock is down, and he has a new paediatrician wife to keep track of.
So, on the days that Chef is at home, I try to sign off and pay attention to what he’s saying. From time to time, I elect not to post the day’s grievances, and talk to him about what’s happening with me too. While racking up likes on a witty update is fun, it would be painful to witness what someone would write if they got divorced because somebody was studying Facebook more than the relationship. However, that person will not be me.
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