By: Hillary C. Wright
Over the past few months, an overwhelming amount of new relationships have blossomed. This past holiday, I have seen even more holiday engagements than ever before. So many of my friends are flashing their huge rings with pride like they’re earned prizes. (Not that I blame them. If it was me, I would be showing them off too!) And with taking such huge steps in their lives brings the obvious splashes across social media. Phrases like, “We’re engaged!” and “I said ‘Yes!’” are displayed on numerous social networking sites, with Facebook leading the way. While I will gladly congratulate my friends by comments, likes and retweets on these happy occasions, I hope you aren’t planning doing the same for me. That’s right; I said it. You most likely will not be seeing my relationship blasted on my social media platforms.
I know what you’re thinking… “Why?” Then there are the ones who think that you aren’t really “official” until you change your relationship status. Before you call me to tell me I’m nuts (my sister has already expressed a similar sentiment) especially given my obsessive posting of photos and interesting articles, hear me out. I am all for publicly recognizing relationships. I actually look forward to walking into the grocery store and introducing my significant other (let me be clear: I have no such one in my life as of yet) to acquaintances and friends who I may see in there. I can’t wait to walk arm in arm into a restaurant with my guy and kindly inform our waiter that it’s on one check. And I will be thrilled to finally be able to publicly display my affection in the form of kiss. I’m a girly girl. I’m just sappy like that. I’m one of those girls who cries every time I watch The Notebook, swooning over Ryan Gosling. I love the idea of dating and being in love. I love the concept of commitment and marriage. I’m just not willing to share it with the entire world.
For one thing, I’ve seen so many of my friends or acquaintances proudly parade their relationships on social networking with words, quotes and photos symbolizing their romances. Don’t get me wrong. It can be quite entertaining. But, a month later when the relationship goes sour, they have to change the relationship statuses from “In a relationship”, or even “Engaged” to “Single” or “It’s Complicated”, thus keeping their followers constantly notified of the nature of their love lives. And doll, I have seen it all. Some, who I like to call the immature ones, go from relationship to relationship and don’t have any problem letting the world know of their latest romantic conquests. Then there are the ones who post every sweet gesture their significant others do: a bouquet of roses and thoughtful gifts, complete with the creative and colorful Instagram photos to prove it.
Now while I say I won’t put my relationship on social media, I also won’t swear it off completely. Things can change. I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t share your love life on social networking. I’m simply saying that I don’t think it’s particularly for me. And I know that for some of my friends, posting updates about their relationships works for them. Take my friend Faun Crenshaw. After a whirlwind romance, Faun married the man of her dreams in 2011 and gave birth to their first child just over six months ago. She posts many photos and the occasional compliment of her husband on Facebook. But according to her, she has a limit, and she remembers to keep things in perspective.
“My husband makes the balance pretty easy because he deleted his Facebook account around a year ago,” says Faun. “[Since] he’s not on social media, I’m not tempted to pop over to his wall and leave sugary notes or ask him questions. Therefore, it forces us to communicate in person, which I love.”
While she admits that her scrolling, posting and updating can sometimes be addicting, she doesn’t plan on giving it up. “I don’t want to give it up because it’s also very convenient and allows a small world to become even smaller in keeping up with family and friends and networking,” she says. “I’ll post sweet pictures of my husband and praise him casually on Facebook. I think leaving relationship components private and positive is key. We’re not perfect, but I don’t think the world needs to know it. That’s reserved for God and my confidants.”
If one day I meet and marry my soulmate, I may decide to share some tidbits with you. It won’t be every day. They will be few and far between. I definitely won’t change my profile picture to include him. I’m fine by myself. And private matters, including yelling matches and fights, will stay private. No one has made the cut yet, but when he does, you will most likely know when you see him accompany me to the post office on Saturday morning.
Is your relationship on social media? Why or why not? Email me at [email protected] or tweet me @HillaryCWright .[divider] [/divider]
Hillary C. Wright is a legal assistant at a law firm in Lebanon, Kentucky. She is also a freelance writer whose work has been seen in local and area newspapers and on online publications including Glass Heel and Career Girl Network. She enjoys writing about women, gender and millennial issues as well as hard news stories. Email her at [email protected], connect with her on LinkedIn, and follow her on Twitter @HillaryCWright.