Relationships are hard, and Facebook hasn’t made them any easier. Not only can the ups and downs of a long-term relationship be a struggle, but seeing your significant other post hurtful words or pictures on their profile can make a frustrating fight or breakup significantly worse. Social media is a relatively new way of communicating and sharing our lives with friends and family, and there really isn’t much etiquette when it comes to using social networks like Facebook to share a relationship. Here are five good ways to use social media when you’re dating.
Have a conversation: When it’s clear you’re actually in a committed relationship, have a quick, honest conversation about how comfortable each of you are about using social media, including your Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, to share information about your relationship. If you are not on the same page about tagging each other in photos or documenting every dinner and date, this could lead to serious strain — and eventually, the demise of the relationship.
Don’t air your dirty laundry: Even if you have “the talk” about what you are comfortable sharing on Facebook or your blog, it is never okay to use social media to vent about your latest (and to-date, greatest) fight with your significant other. No one wants to hear about your drama, so save it for your mama. And even then she’ll get tired of you calling at midnight about your on-and-off again relationship.
It’s not that complicated: Mark Zuckerberg thought he was so genius for inventing the relationship status indicator, but you’re not that cute for continually changing your relationship status from “single” to “complicated” and back again. Your friends aren’t so dumb for knowing what’s really going on — and it’s not that you’re actually ever going to get back together with your ex for a fairy tale ending. Don’t embarrass yourself.
Keep it professional: If you’re dating someone in your industry, keep it professional when attending work-related events, banquets, or conferences. You may want to hold each others’ hands, hug, and kiss, but this will only destroy each of your professional reputations and insult your own dignity. Keep your hands to yourself for a few hours.
Don’t be a jackass when it’s over: Breakups suck, but there’s no reason to be a jerk about it (ala Zuckerberg from the Social Network). Being rude to or about your ex on Facebook or Twitter will only make YOU look like the asshole, even if it was the other way around. It could also ruin any chance of getting back together. This doesn’t mean you should be berating or insulting privately with a Facebook message or Twitter DM, either. People can easily copy and paste, making your private message instantly public.