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Is facebook complicating relationships? Many are connecting online with old friends, distant family, and unfortunately at times old flames. Problem is, these relationships are not in 'real' time they are virtual relationships, ones maintained and fostered online.

I spoke to a few individuals recently and one person in particular did sheepishly admit to me that she intentionally posts pictures on her Facebook for accolades and praise of others. She feels that she still does not measure up and wants to show the world, mainly friends, that she is valuable and she does have a decent life. We went on to process during the discussion that it is more about her proving to herself she is valuable and hiding behind putting it up to 'simply' share with others. Now, don't mistake, not all Facebookers are emotionally underdeveloped but this great networking tool can be a haven for such persons. The profile photo is one such indicator. Have you noticed the men and women that have near-glamour shots for their profile image? We are not talking about an image with their spouse or one of them with their kids but a photo of them in a 'hey-look-at-me-i-am-so-beautiful' kind of photos. If you are a social networker I caution you to be aware of your networking time and don't develop and foster a sense of core-Self based on trite comments online or simpleton surveys people create. Instead, use social networking to build your relationships and catch up and stay connected; remember to ensure you are not shying away from what is key, physical real time human relationships. 

Elizabeth Bernstein recently wrote an article that hit home with me and I resonated with similar sentiments in her article on WallStreet Journals online site, Business News & Financial News - The Wall Street Journal - WSJ.com. Here is a small piece of her article that captures the essence of what she offered that I felt compelled to include in this article. "Like many people, I'm experiencing Facebook Fatigue. I'm tired of loved ones-you know who you are-who claim they are too busy to pick up the phone, or even write a decent email, yet spend hours on social-media sites, uploading photos of their children or parties, forwarding inane quizzes, posting quirky, sometimes nonsensical one-liners or tweeting their latest whereabouts. ("Anyone know a good restaurant in Berlin?")"

She couldn't of said it better. My individuals that didn't really develop a core Self earlier in their development are using Facebook to support their underdeveloped ego and esteem. She was right on the mark in her article at WallStreet Journal's online site. If you're a facebooker, ensure you keep your primary relationships 'real-time' and avoid the virtual world of connecting except for occasional updates and photo exchanges.



Copyright: No part of this article in section or full may be reproduced without permission from the author Justin Stum, MS LMFT. The one and only exception is for educational purposes and only if the contact information below for the author is fully cited here in article.

Justin Stum, MS LMFT, 321 Mall Drive Suite I-101, St. George Utah 84790
 435-986-1777, www.pathwaystherapy.net
 

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This describes what my stbxw does. She's on Facebook ALL of the time. That's where she reconnected with the OM that was part of the reason for our impending divorce. In the future I will not be with someone who's on Facebook constantly.
 

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I love Facebook - and am on it quite a bit... but it can be very harmful to a relationship when one spouse blocks another and carries on in very "unmarried" ways. ALmost anything can be ruined when misused... and the internet as wonderful as it is- makes it so easy~
 

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All social networks provide temptation, opportunity, and anonymity. In the old days you'd have to risk meeting someone someplace and hope nobody you knew would see you.
 

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I think if you have total transparency in your marraige, and willingly share near EVERYTHING with the other- just cause you genuinely WANT too -after all -this gives us something to talk about every day, then Facebook is just another Joy of life & not a threat. Me & my husband both have it, we know each others passwords & always talk about anything that happend on there to the other, the funny things we read, who we chat with, what our college aged son is up too, catching any new pics of him, we share it all.

I check it nearly every day, but hardly ever use it - no interest in the games & seems silly to post everything you are doing all day long, none of my friends lives are that interesting, and mine surely is not. I prefer anonymous forums much more so. I Do have a ton of pics on mine - Photograghy is a BIG hobby of mine, and yeah, tons of pics of the kids , friends & my family. I rarely post on my wall, maybe 10 times a year- if that. I enjoy the network -for seeing what others are up too, looking at others pics, that about sums it up.

It has never been a harming factor in our marraige in any way
 

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My husband does not have FB. I love it, because it has helped me reconnect with old friends and family. He has never asked to see my page, but if my hubby wanted to look at my FB profile, I would have no issues with that. I have absolutely nothing to hide.

I can't imagine sharing EVERYTHING with my husband. Even in marriage, some people still need some degree of private space. I will always keep a journal and I would be livid if he read it. I do not open hubby's mail, nor do I eavesdrop on his rare phone conversations.
 

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THANK GOD my husband has never been into online networking sites.

I don't use it other than to chat with close female friends.
 

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I can't imagine sharing EVERYTHING with my husband. Even in marriage, some people still need some degree of private space. I will always keep a journal and I would be livid if he read it. I do not open hubby's mail, nor do I eavesdrop on his rare phone conversations.
I understand others are different. I really do. We likely are VERY ODD in the scheme of normal marraiges. But it really IS our way, our desire to BE this OPEN. I feel it has given us a very successful marriage, neither of us has ever felt pressured, or the other was invading thier space, nothing like that, we both love that the other is interested & wants to be near and share. Again, I know that sounds ODD.

My husband is not a man who needs his "CAVE", his private time, it is a rarity I am sure in men. We have talked about this, I told him he is STRANGE in this way, Not like other men. But I love that about him. There is nothing he cares to keep from me, and nothing I care to keep from him. Very little offends us either, we are not bent out of shape if he looks at a sexy woman and I catch a glimpse of a hot guy on the beach, for us, that is just human nature, not a slap in the face to our love for each other in any way. He calls me a dirty old woman and I call him a dirty old man. It's all good

I started 2 journals, one for our family & one just for "US", I guess I look at this differently, I see no me, I only see "US". I would be happy if he wanted to read that, but I tell him so much I put in there, he has no reason to go there. He already knows!

We would think nothng of looking at each other's mail, his mail is my mail , or being in the room when the other is on the phone- always. We have guy friends that call me to talk sometimes (I am more of a talker of the 2 of us), because I am the way I am, he has no worry what so ever if I talk to these friends. There is no room for suspicion. It is one of the things he loves about me that gives him the most TRUST. He wants that. And I want it in return as well. I've never questioned him on anything where he has given me the slightest "push back" -that he is seeking privacy from me. EVER , and we've been together now 22 yrs married plus 8 dating.

Again, maybe RARE -but it works beautifully for us. We are a PERFECT match in this respect. :) I'd NEVER find another like him, this I am sure. I will hold him extra tight tonight! :)
 

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No need to justify your choices to me, SA. Sharing everything clearly makes both of you happy, which is completely healthy. :smthumbup:


We choose to maintain a few boundaries, so that we can each maintain our independence and autonomy...such awareness makes it even sweeter when we share decisions and events.


Every couple has their own unique way of interacting. None of them are wrong, just different. :)
 

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THANK GOD my husband has never been into online networking sites.

I don't use it other than to chat with close female friends.
Sorry - not meaning to pick on you personally - but that's a big part of the problem with FB.

One day, a guy comes along - and it only takes one guy - who catches your interest. Then, you spend the same amount of time chatting, but just less time with the girls. And to your Hubby - it all looks the same.

Facebook - iPhones - they make it easier to conceal inappropriate behaviors - especially when one spouse is willing to take advantage of the other's trust.
 

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It wasn't the people I was connecting with (no EA's, exes, etc...just female friends) but it was the TIME SUCK that Facebook caused. I was addicted. It was crazy.
 
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Sorry - not meaning to pick on you personally - but that's a big part of the problem with FB.

One day, a guy comes along - and it only takes one guy - who catches your interest. Then, you spend the same amount of time chatting, but just less time with the girls. And to your Hubby - it all looks the same.

Facebook - iPhones - they make it easier to conceal inappropriate behaviors - especially when one spouse is willing to take advantage of the other's trust.
Connect with whom? LOL I don't accept friendships from people I don't know and I don't look for anyone.

I honestly have 40 friends (most of those are family) and I normally just post pics of my cute kids ;) , or chat with other moms who have had a long day :)

No men, besides my brothers and with that, it's not often we chat.
 

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Connect with whom? LOL I don't accept friendships from people I don't know and I don't look for anyone.

I honestly have 40 friends (most of those are family) and I normally just post pics of my cute kids ;) , or chat with other moms who have had a long day :)

No men, besides my brothers and with that, it's not often we chat.
That's great.

I was really, truly just sitting here, wondering how people used to have affairs in the "old" days! Back when you had to either use the "home phone" to call people, or even leave the house to talk to other people. Must have been a lot more work!

But the time suck you referred to above should be a big red flag on its own that there might be issues. If you'd rather play farmville than spend time with hubby, you are vulnerable - right?
 

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If you'd rather play farmville than spend time with hubby, you are vulnerable - right?
Vulnerable to what exactly? Taking her husband for granted?

From what she described, she has pretty sound boundaries regarding male friendships on that social networking site.

No male BFFs that she is busily sharing her deepest thoughts with into the wee hours of the night, so what is she supposed to be vulnerable to doing?
 

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Vulnerable to what exactly? Taking her husband for granted?

From what she described, she has pretty sound boundaries regarding male friendships on that social networking site.

No male BFFs that she is busily sharing her deepest thoughts with into the wee hours of the night, so what is she supposed to be vulnerable to doing?
First - to clarify - I don't know her story. Said above "not meaning to pick on you..." Speaking in general terms.

If your marriage can be overtaken by fake farming, its vulnerable to a lot of different things.

Or - even if you spend more time talking to family or girlfriends - on facebook - it could be an issue if your H (or wife) feels they aren't getting enough quality time with their spouse.

A spouse with too much free time who is feeling a bit neglected is not a good thing.
 

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That's great.

I was really, truly just sitting here, wondering how people used to have affairs in the "old" days! Back when you had to either use the "home phone" to call people, or even leave the house to talk to other people. Must have been a lot more work!

But the time suck you referred to above should be a big red flag on its own that there might be issues. If you'd rather play farmville than spend time with hubby, you are vulnerable - right?
I had an affair in the "old days" lolll it was very easy.
 

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NG, I agree. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with social networking sites (obviously... AHEM... tam...). However, there must be boundaries and, IMO, transparency. Do I tell my husband my every move before I make it? Of course not. But it's all open for him to see whenever he wants.

In terms of facebook specifically, I completely agree that it can open you up to certain things if you aren't guarded. I had two different instances in my short lived time on facebook. In one instance, a guy from high school friended me. He sent me a pm that was totally inappropriate. I told my hubby about it and blocked him. Another guy friended me and did the same. I told him that my husband was sitting right there reading what he'd just written to me. He went through the roof as though I'd betrayed HIM by sharing a message with my husband.

I don't think that's the norm with facebook but it happens. Boundaries have to be in place. We make it a point each evening to put up our phones and computers to spend time together. Otherwise, like you say, hubby would be bonding with phone games while I ban people on TAM (Just kidding--maybe ;) ).
So - ummm...whatcha wearin?

;)
 
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