Don't let social media interfere with relationships

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Nebraska Coach Scott Frost famously issued a solemn warning to potential football recruits last year:

“And I’ll tell you this right now, if there’s anything negative about women, if there’s anything racial or about sexuality, if there’s anything about guns or anything like that, we’re just not going to recruit you, period," Frost said. "Piece of advice for you: what you put on social media, that’s your résumé to the world. That’s what you’re trying to tell the world you’re all about. That’s how you’re advertising yourself. Be smart with that stuff.”

It was a good message for college-age students of any gender looking for a potential life partner.

And not just while they’re looking, it’s perhaps even more important after they’ve found a life partner.

Conflicts that lead to divorce are as old as marriage, but the ability to broadcast them electronically can put the process in overdrive.

Think about it; not that long ago, it was impossible to “like” each others’ posts, announce important life events to strangers or air “dirty laundry” at the speed of light.

More and more, divorcing couples are adding social media to growing apart, infidelity and family pressures to reasons for their breakup.

How does that happen?

For one, social media allows us to see our partner’s life apart from us — stories, photos, activities in which we aren’t a part of can exacerbate a disconnect.

You may be able to travel back in time when you weren’t a part of your partner’s life. Pictures of him or her with an ex can make a struggling relationship worse.

Divorce attorneys know all about social media’s role.

-- 81% of attorneys discover evidence on social media.

-- 66% of cases use Facebook as one of their principal sources of evidence.

-- A third of all legal action in divorce cases is caused by online affairs.

Of course, disputes that arise from social media can have a positive result if it causes couples to talk through and resolve conflicts.

Angela Bisignano, PhD of GoodTherapy.org offers ideas for social media etiquette with your partner:

-- Practice shared accessibility. Unless you’re bound by confidentiality professionally, consider sharing accessibility to computers, smartphones and other devices.

-- Allow your partner to be your “friend” or follower on social media.

-- Post images and words that convey respect.

-- Ask yourself how you would feel if the posts were turned.

-- Exercise accountability. Don’t share problems with someone in a way that might lead to an emotional or physical affair. Instead, talk to your partner, a trusted confidant or a licensed therapist.

-- Consider sharing passwords

-- Set time limits. Spend time with your partner rather than on social media.

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