Or so I've recently read. I've also noticed an increase in complaints among my clients that "he/she never gets off her phone" as well as arguments around who's "friending" whom on Facebook. Never mind all the other social media options like Instagram and Snapchat and - Aaarrgh - Dating Sites!
While social media has certainly helped us all stay in touch with people more, it also has it's dark side. "Digital infidelity" is now a thing, and more and more couples find themselves losing trust in each other and questioning just what exactly their partner is doing "on that phone all the time!" Emotional affairs carried out via internet may be just as damaging as an actual physical extramarital affair.
Ways to protect your marriage in the social media age
- Don't spend more time on social media sites than you do interacting with your spouse.
- Get a joint account and/or share passwords.
- Talk to your spouse before accepting friend requests from old friends - particularly those you might have had a thing for in a previous life.
- Don't post anything you wouldn't be totally comfortable posting if your spouse were reading over your shoulder.
- Use social media only to brag on each other and build each other up.
- If you've got a beef with your spouse, talk to him/her directly with a heart to resolve the issue. Don't air your dirty laundry on social media.
- When you are together, put the phone away, shut the computer down and look at each other. Try to remember what having a conversation without emojis is like!
Cherish your marriage
Keeping a marriage healthy is work even without the digital distractions. In our day and age, it's imperative that you actively take steps to help your partner feel cherished. A great first step is turning that phone off. If you are currently already experiencing conflict in your relationship, it might even be time to close those social media accounts. "Hey honey, I've just closed my Facebook account because I'm aware it's taking time from you and the kids..." Wow. <3 <3 <3
Angela French, LMFT