“But It’s Not Facebook Official” and Other Social Media Relationship Woes

As much as people can joke about how your relationship isn’t legitimate until it is “Facebook official,” let’s call a spade a spade- it’s 2012, how you represent your relationship over social media is actually a big deal.

When I was in New York City a few weeks ago, my two-year-itch, on again, off again, Mr. Big to my Carrie had a really serious conversation with me, and we decided to become official. Cue heavenly chorus. “But don’t expect me to go changing my Facebook relationship status or anything,” he says.

Stop right there. I’m a Twitter-addicted, always have Facebook open on my desktop, would rather read blogs than do homework kind of guy. I’ve finally got the relationship of my dreams, and we aren’t putting it on Facebook? How do I navigate these waters?

First, I needed to think what was important to him and to our relationship. Clearly he takes this seriously and considers it a private matter not to be broadcast to the masses.

On the other hand, I’ve been telling friends about our saga for literally years now, so this climactic “we’re finally official” moment needs to be made known.

I opted for a compromise. I made my Facebook status “Todd Plummer is in a relationship.” No names, no specifics, just an update. It was simple, it got the point across, it protected my boyfriend’s wishes to keep some things private, and it reminded me that if somone on Facebook doesn’t know by this point who I’m in a relationship with, they obviously don’t know me at all and don’t deserve further information. The status received the requisite number of likes and I was satisfied that this important life moment had been appropriately publicized.

The Facebook relationship status quandary left me feeling a little confused about my social media presence. How many of my 2000+ friends do I actually want to know about the intimate details of my personal life?

And when my editor emailed me, complaining I don’t write enough, and that she had seen the Facebook status and listed it as a potential writing idea, I realized that everything you put out on your social media can be used as fodder against you.

Suddenly, my boyfriend wasn’t an old-fashioned curmudgeon, he was right. When it comes to relationships and social media, less is more. It protects your privacy, and it protects the integrity of what matters most, relationships with the people you love.

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