I love social media. I'm all over it - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, etc... I love how it's allowed me to keep in touch with friends all over the world, reconnect me with friends from decades ago, and build new ones in our ever so busy lives. Even with Twitter, I cannot thank this tool for how many awesome women I've been able to connect with because of it. Social media is fun when it comes to dating - you can instantaneously see how your love is doing throughout his day, see the comments from those in his life, virtually flirt back and forth, ... social media provides tools for building authentic relationships --> but in the world of dating, it is truly important to remember to consistently use the more traditional means in growing faith, trust and strength in your love: holding hands, talking on the phone, going on walks, cuddling, kissing, and eye contact (some of my absolute favorites).
As much as I love social media, there are some new challenges and changes it has produced in the world of dating and love. Some things I've learned and will share:
1. Online personalities do not necessarily present the real person as they are in real life. The person who you may interact with and see online is not necessarily the same person in person. Why? The person you are building in your mind from watching the conversations and persona's online creates a person that is a little different then who that person is in real life. Without the other communication cues like facial expressions, body language and tone, what else do you have to work with? None - you interpret with the lens and bias that you hope to find in this person.
2. Over-analyzing will drive you literally insane. I'll be the first admit it, I've been on both the receiving end and the one giving my partner grief over this. Is he posting on your Facebook wall 5 times a day - is he obsessed and a stalker? She has guys commenting and posting flirtatious comments to her posts - should u worry? You had a fight and he has stopped commenting on your wall - is he ignoring you? She un-tags herself from photos with you in them - is she hiding something? Oh my freaking goodness, love can make a person do some ridiculous things, that's for absolutely sure. I've been there, I'm there. But - if you're feeling insecure, social media can have the potential to pour highly flammable gasoline on it triggering responses a zillion times more magnified than necessary. My advice (and I continue to struggle with this as I am the analytical type) - take a chill pill. Actions speak louder than words - how has he been treating you in real life? Plus, I think men look at social media as more an informational tool than women. Women love social media because the world of relationships is intermingled with it.
3. You can see all the action your ex is getting. Some girl just posted on your ex's wall that she had a great time last night - WHAT? You just broke up last week!?!? You see the pictures and comments. Some advice: maybe it’s important for you to carefully watch your Facebook feed to make sure that nothing comes up that will cause any hurt to any exes, or maybe if you're the sensitive ex, you're responsible for clicking “hide” in the news feed until you’re over it. If at least one of those things doesn’t happen, it can get painful for one person, minimum. Whatever, it's none of your business. It's none of their business. You two are no longer together. Move on. Here, the best advice is, ignorance is bliss. De-friend, hide the feeds, out of sight is out of mind. Move on - what the point of pining over someone that's moved on without you?
4. Breakups and new relationships are public. I hate this part. There's literally a documented history of all the stupid relationships I want to forget in the world wide web. When do you change your status from single to taken? When do you change it from taken to single? When do you share that first picture of you being a couple with someone? Or man, you've heard of people publicly dumping another by merely changing their Facebook status. (Totally messed up). I tend to wait about three months or so before letting others know - yes, it's none of their business, but by then, I usually am so smitten I'm DYING to share with the world my happiness with my man.
5. Again, social media is a compliment to the relationship. Don't use it as a replacement - take the time to spend quality time with the one you love, real quality time talking, eye contact, taking walks, holding hands, walking side-by-side, ... and my most favorite, cuddling. <3