Post it all on Facebook?
As people become increasingly comfortable posting every thought and action on their Facebook or Twitter pages, some couples are finding that what happens within the confines of a relationship doesn’t always stay there — it ends up online. So where does one person’s right to post a status update end, and another’s right not to have his wife’s 435 friends know that he cried during the romantic comedy at the Globe begin?
Sometimes the lines are stark: one member of a couple wants nothing about his or her private life revealed online, while the other posts everything – from cute pictures of the children to details about his wife’s recent food poisoning. Other times, the limits are blurred, with both members of a couple revealing some details online, but at odds over what’s fair game.
Experts say that differing notions of privacy are an age-old relationship issue. But sites like Facebook and Twitter have complicated things, both by broadening the gossip circle to co-workers, casual acquaintances, childhood buddies, and by making it more likely that word will make its way back to the subject.
That observation doesn’t come as a surprise to Dennis Burns, 38, a real estate developer and broker. His girlfriend loves posting pictures to Facebook, a pastime he doesn’t mind, except that it’s gotten him into “trouble’’ with friends and relatives who are surprised to see pictures of him visiting their parishes when they had no idea he was in the area.
Privacy recently became an issue for all Facebook users, not just those creeped out by having their lives exposed. In December, the company made controversial changes that critics say push users to share more of their information. Facebook users who want to change their privacy settings back can do so.
But alas, even tighter privacy controls can’t eliminate all relationship friction. The reason: the posts that cause disputes are going out to a circle of friends the poster wants to keep updated. It is therefore important that couples talk about the parameters of posting when it comes to modern technology. Things like status settings, posts of pictures and even comments in general, have the potential of spiralling out of control.
While there may be some persons who want to show the world what their world is all about, their partners may be more conservative and private. At the end of the day, bedroom business is just that – and posting “dirty laundry” is a recipe for relationship disaster!