Online Social Networking Etiquette For Couples

Facebook, Myspace, and other online social networks have become an integral part of our social and dating experience in recent years. Their use is ubiquitous, particularly among twenty- and thirty-somethings, yet they’re still fairly new mediums. That being the case, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what is and isn’t appropriate to discuss and post on these sites. When you change your status to “In a Relationship,” what counts as over-sharing, and what could be detrimental to your romance’s success? You’re putting your relationship out into the public eye, so it’s absolutely necessary to think before you type.

You Can’t Take Back What Is In Print

There are two hugely important things to remember about what you post online—everyone you’ve listed as a friend can read or see it, and it’s now officially in print. That means that you can’t take it back as easily as you could if you just said something in person. If you say something embarrassing about your significant other, post a picture that they’d prefer remain private, or something else that could similarly upset them, you can take it down after the fact. However, most people you know have already seen it. That’s an argument waiting to happen, no question. It’s probably best that you check in with your girlfriend or boyfriend before posting anything that directly involves them, and if you even remotely suspect they might be upset by it, just don’t do it. Additionally, remember that certain things you post will be visible to your significant other’s online friends, which could include their family members. The fear of your girlfriend’s mom reading that you think her butt is hot should be reason enough to keep things clean.

Don’t Argue With Your Partner Online

You should also always remember that Facebook and Myspace are not appropriate forums for arguing with your significant other. Not only will you make all of your online friends feel incredibly uncomfortable (no one likes to bear witness to other people’s disagreements), but once things calm down, it will be horribly embarrassing for you and your partner. Now other people know all about the dark side of your relationship. Furthermore, there can be legal implications down the line—some divorce lawyers are actually starting to use comments and posts from social networking sites as fodder in custody battles and settlements. This is a good reminder, yet again, that once things are in print, they can come back to bite you.

Don’t Be Overly Mushy Online

So what if you don’t argue online or post unflattering pictures of your S.O.? What else is there to worry about online? Believe it or not, posting too many positive or mushy remarks can be equally un-cool. If you’re posting on your mate’s wall once a day about how much you love them, you’re opening yourself and your relationship up to judgment from your online friends. Most people aren’t going to see that and just think that you’re the most romantic couple ever. They’re going to wonder if you’re making such a big deal publicly because things aren’t going so hot behind the scenes. Additionally, there’s just an element of the annoying to this behavior. You should be telling your significant other that you love them on a daily basis in person, not online. Someone’s Facebook wall isn’t an inbox, either—if you need to ask your spouse to pick up some milk or want to tell them about your day at work, do it over the phone or in an email. In general, don’t post anything on your girlfriend or boyfriend’s wall that you wouldn’t post on a regular friend’s wall, and you’ll be just fine in love and online.


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