The world is online. Okay, well, not the earth, but most human beings are using the Internet on a daily basis. Social media has become an integral part of most of our lives and that means having at the minimum a Facebook account. People my age, late 30s, are married and may have kids. The married people try to look objectively happy on Facebook with their photos of Carribean vacations and selfies on the beach. There’s a reason they call Facebook “Fakebook,” because not everything as is happy is it seems. What goes on behind closed doors is different than what we see online. Some of these couples could genuinely be happy, I’m not that cynical, but there are definitely plenty of people who display a different persona online than who they are in “real life.” They know who’s watching them and they want to appear as if their life is pristine, they never spill coffee on white items and their marriage is without problems. I call shenanigans! Nobody’s relationship is perfect and what’s the point in faking it?
Fake it to look good for your family
There are many people who are overly concerned with their family’s perceptions of them. They want to appear like they’ve got this whole adult thing down. They made a good choice as to who they married and want to show that person off online. Their family sees them smiling with their husband or dancing at a bar with their wife and thinks “wow, what a happy marriage.” That’s because this is what the couple is putting forth for social media consumption. In their house when they let loose, they’re fighting over money problems or infidelity.
The truth may be liberating
Not everyone fakes their relationship online. In my early days of blogging, I talked about my marriage a lot, the good and the bad. There are many people who do the same and they’re called “bloggers.” I have friends who write about their marriages on their blogs. That’s more common than complaining or writing challenging relationship problems on Facebook. However, I’ve noticed that Twitter is a more suitable environment where people feel the need to scream into the proverbial void about their failing marriages. Whether they’re cheating on their partner, thinking about separation or in the process of getting divorced Twitter is the place is bitch and moan about your marriage problems. People are on there because there’s a feeling of safety and anonymity on Twitter as opposed to Facebook, which is the epicenter of your family who is only there to make sure you’re making the same life mistakes you’ve always made. I can speak from personal experience and say that when I was going through separation, my Twitter homeys were there to support me.
Don’t talk about marital problems online or do?
When I was going through separation my attorney told me not to blog. It was hard to hear those words. I wanted to write about my feelings and get support from my online community. At first, I was mad because this blog has always been my safe space. However, if she hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have created Stigma Fighters. When I couldn’t write about myself I opened up the forum for others to tell their stories about living with mental illness and low and behold that’s how Stigma Fighters was born. I was silenced and others got the opportunity to speak!
To talk or not to talk about your marriage, that is the question?
I don’t know what the answer is, but I know that talking about your marriage can be risky. The best place to talk about your relationship is probably not Facebook but rather in marriage counseling. When you discuss your marriage online, You’re leaving a permanent imprint of your relationship online. The question is, what do you want to remember? When your kids grow older (if you have kids) would you feel comfortable with them reading what you’ve written? Or maybe you don’t want to think about that and you want to get your feelings out. There’s no right answer as to what you share about your relationship. You do what works best for you!