Not long ago, I wrote about a study that found a connection between Facebook and the quality of one’s relationship. It was believed that spending too much time on Facebook was detrimental to the relationship. But it wasn’t just the extensive amount of time spent on Facebook that was wreaking havoc in relationships, it was the jealously that was said to be induced by Facebook.
Nevertheless, jealously isn’t the only thing that compromises the quality of relationships when coupled with Facebook. It’s the airing of their dirty laundry and spouse bashing that has led to the demise of countless relationships. Somehow social media has become a sounding board for our issues — not just political or moral issues but relationship issues as well.
Status updates have become a platform for venting, but some people move beyond participating in the occasional rant and engage in the attacking of character. Humble brags about how great one’s spouse is are replaced with complaints about all of the things they do wrong. In some instances these things are said with a hope that a spouse will see and perhaps become further aware of what they did wrong in case they don’t already know. Other times, they are emotions spilling onto the computer screen in hopes that friends will reach out to offer support, validation and serve as a reminder that one is not alone.
Recently, I came across a video on HLN. The video showed a woman having a major emotional meltdown. Her husband filmed her, their marriage already appearing very fragile and on the brink of divorce; the video perhaps showing the side of her that her friends may not have been accustomed to.
According to her husband, the picture that she had painted via social media was one in which he was the “bad guy.” And while the video only captures a small moment in time in their relationship, the manner in which she carried herself would suggest that he isn’t solely to blame for their relationship woes. Since we don’t know the couple or what happened behind closed doors we can’t really say what led to the demise of their relationship, but if you ask Jim, social media is to blame.
So what drove Jim to post a video on YouTube of his wife having a tantrum for the entire world to see? In a world where tit for tat appears to still reign, his rationale was because of his wife’s frequent complaints about him via social media and in particular, Facebook. According to Jim, his wife would tell her friends that he was “this big, bad guy” and that he had done “everything wrong.”
But Jim and his wife’s story is similar to that of countless couples. Teenagers aren’t the only ones airing their dirty laundry and personal matters via a status update. Adults are also doing it. In the heat of the moment many people will take to Facebook and let their spouse have it. Because telling your spouse you are pissed isn’t enough, in order for them to really get it, it is absolutely necessary to not only tell them but also a hundred of your closest friends. Only it’s not necessary.
It can be scary when social media bashing becomes a vehicle used by angry spouses. Once you put something out there on the Internet, it’s there. You may be able to erase it later but you can’t erase it from your memory, your spouse’s memory and all of your friends who are likely wondering why you always put your business online in that manner (and maybe why you are still with them if they are so horrible).
For those who can’t refrain from bashing their spouse online you may want to think twice. The time spent downing your Mrs. or Mr. could be better served elsewhere, like working on your marriage or deciding if your marriage is worth working on. If it’s beyond repair still resist the urge to publicly bash. It is hurtful and you never know who is reading. Besides, regardless of how terrible your spouse may be, you married them and you’re still there. Ask yourself how you would you feel if your Facebook feed was filled with your faults written by the person who made a vow to honor and cherish you. If you need support from friends reach out privately. Yes, spouses can be annoying and make us crazy sometimes, but odds are your spouse feels the same way about you.
For more on the story of the husband who blames social media for the demise of his marriage and the video visit HLN. What are your thoughts on people complaining about their spouse via social media?
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