These days we live our lives with one foot in the real world and the other on social media. It’s almost as if it isn’t on Facebook, it didn’t happen. As #zlotybaby discussed in her recent post, Facebook is full of oversharers and we have all probably been guilty of this at some point. Whether you are one of those people who post too many ‘my precious child just threw up all over me’ statuses or like yours truly, feel the need to ‘check-in’ at all of the coolest places in Cape Town, just to let the world know you aren’t a complete Sad Spinster stuck at home watching the whole back catalogue of SATC with only the cat for company – we are all somehow complicit in this social media obsession.
But how about when it comes to relationships? How much should we be revealing on social media? Just last week Facebook announced plans to help ease the pain of break-ups by launching a new feature that hopes to spare users from constantly seeing posts and pictures from the ex. This tool is designed for people who want to show some semblance of maturity and not totally block their ex-lover from Facebook but still want discreetly avoid being slowly tormented by thoughts of what could have been.
It seems like a good idea in theory, right? Breaking-up is always difficult. But in the pre-Facebook era, at least you could simply avoid places where you’d be likely to bump into the ex, distance yourself from mutual friends and burn all the artifacts that reminded you of that chapter of your life. But these days, even if you’ve removed or even blocked your ex on social media, they always have a way of popping up when you least expect it. Maybe they’ll comment on something or a mutual friend will tag them in a post. And then all those memories just come flooding back! Let’s face it, none of is above having some reaction to our past relationships – whether it’s sadness, regret or anger, no matter how ‘mature’ we pretend to be we are all susceptible to these emotional triggers.
At the end of the day, most exes (unless you’re an ivy women/man who has too many to name) probably had some significance in our lives and even removing all traces from them from our lives isn’t going to erase them from our memories completely. There comes a time when you still have face the people, places and even inanimate objects that’ll remind you of that someone who maybe broke you heart. So while the new Facebook feature may help in the aftermath of a break-up, it’s hardly a fool-proof solution.
So when it comes to social media and relationships, I’ve think the best approach is prevention rather than cure. Like many people I was once young and naïve and in that honeymoon period of a new relationship decided make things F.B.O ( Facebook Official for all of you elders out there) and declare to the world that: ‘I AM NO LONGER SINGLE BIAAAATCHES!!!! ’. Sadly, this enthusiasm died out quickly when that little encounter came to an end and I had to be far more discreet when it came to revealing my new found singledom.
Clearly, the moral of the story (I am pretty sure many have had a similar experience) is that no matter however sure you are about having found your Prince Charming, nothing in life is certain (apart for death and taxes) so it’s best to keep social media oversharing to a minimum. It may seem like a great idea to tell the world how wonderful your significant other is (simultaneously rubbing your single friends noses in it), but maybe in the long run its better you just tell him personally in a WhatsApp message. That way if/when the relationship falls apart, you won’t have to face this additional public humiliation.
Now give us your thoughts Dear Rinsers. How do you feel about sharing the intimate details of your love life on social media? Is it destined for disaster? Does our generation’s obsession with social media simply serve to make relationships more complicated and break-ups more difficult? Answers in the comments below.