How Social Media Impacts Real Relationships
A recent radio guest, Jennifer Gardella, PhD, is a social media consultant dedicated to helping small business owners and personalities position themselves on the internet. She is the owner of Your Social Media Hour a website providing full social media support at a low price point. Jennifer is also the proud owner of NJ Divorce Mom where she shares her life experiences and musings as a single mom, raising three daughters and dating in the 40+ world. She met her “special someone” on an online dating site, and has a wealth of experience to share with listeners on Last First Date Radio. Working closely with me, Jennifer has honed her “woman of high value attributes” and approaches her life as wanting a romantic relationship – not needing one for fulfillment. Jennifer Gardella firmly believes that the “sign of any great relationship is no sign of it on Facebook.” While she may post the occasional picture or comment, the heart of the relationship is where she wants it to be, in the real world just between the two of them. Jennifer shared how social media impacts real relationships. Following are loosely transcribed highlights from our radio segment, The Effect of Social Media on Your Relationship.
Jennifer, how do you protect your privacy if you are dating online?
Don’t disclose any private information until you are ready – your first and last name, your address, etc. Set your privacy settings to the strictest settings. And remember to be safe when meeting someone for the first time. Make sure to meet in a public place.
When in a relationship, how do you suggest couples talk about social media?
Have an open conversation from the very beginning. You need to talk about your online activity. Have a social media prenup – discuss how much you want to share publicly about your relationship. And do not try to hide anything. If you’re in a serious relationship, you should not be hiding behind passwords or your screen. If you are doing something online (like communicating with another person of the opposite sex) and you do not want your partner to see, that is a problem. If your partner shuts his screen every time you walk in the room, you’ve got a problem. It is the job of both partners to act responsibly and make sure the other person is comfortable. Keep it all open and accessible.
What else should couples discuss about their social media activity?
Discuss when/if to change your Facebook status to “in a relationship”. When do you friend, follow, or connect with each other? Do you comment on each other’s posts? Will you tag each other in pictures? Can you include his kids in pictures? Is it okay to be posting photos of exes?
Should you watch how much time you spend on social media? Absolutely. Many couples spend way too much time on social media. Ask yourself, are you connecting with others in cyberspace while you should be spending time with your person? Social media impacts real relationships. It’s so important to connect face to face. Shut your screens! To listen to the entire podcast and/or download for your future listening pleasure, please click here.