Newlyweds bring together their past histories in many ways. This is includes social media history. Couples often have a shared reputation based on each individual’s past. Social media is perhaps the fastest and most common way people form impressions of us.
Some spouses may find it difficult to adjust their social media activity in married life. The reasons for this may include:
Struggle to Keep a Personal Identity:
A spouse may need time to understand the shared identity of marriage. Some newlyweds feel a loss of freedom in thinking twice about who they interact with and what they post.
Solutions: Sit down and discuss your social media profiles before issues arise. What is acceptable will vary from couple to couple. You should get a sense of each other’s comfort level and adapt accordingly.
For instance, your spouse may feel uncomfortable how you are tagged in a friend’s risqué posts. Meanwhile, past photos of club nights, skimpy beach attire or pub crawls may no longer be appropriate as husband and wife. Your current career, family and friends may also no longer reflect these photos.
Here are some tips to adjust your social media profile:
- Work with each other to remove past photos and posts that make you uncomfortable. Be understanding and willing to compromise. Avoid ultimatums and bullying.
- Limit how you can be tagged in photos and posts of others
- Control how searchable your profile is
- Change your profile picture to portray current life stages. This photo does not have to include your spouse, but consider their input about what picture is appropriate.
Your work may require heavy use of social media. Facebook and Google + are time and cost efficient ways to brand your business. LinkedIn allows you to quickly network with business contacts. Your spouse may not be comfortable with the comments and interaction on these platforms. An invitation to dinner for a celebration or introduction may be misunderstood.
Solutions: Be sure to separate business and personal accounts on social media. This has benefits for your career and marriage. A Facebook page with personal and business posts has less credibility.
You should be tactful but clarify the purpose of social media invitations. Ask if dinner invites and trips are spouse friendly, if appropriate. Tell your spouse about meetings or events ahead of time. The level of comfort will vary with each couple, but being proactive is a best practice.
Friends and Family:
Marriage can be a tough transition for family and friends too. Your parents may use social media to maintain a certain level of contact. Family may post photos and comments about your spouse that cause stress. Friends may also chime in about their opinions of your husband or wife.
Solutions: We can’t control what people post, but their respect of our privacy is an indicator of friendship. You can politely ask friends and family to avoid making mention of personal matters. Avoid getting into social media spats, which simply furthers the problem.
Work with your family or friends in private (email, phone, in person) to solve the problem. If the issue persists, you may reevaluate the friendship.
In some cases, the post may be innocent and simply misunderstood by your spouse. Couples should work together and avoid being oversensitive in these instances.
Social media continues to evolve as a business and personal tool. With basic precautions, wedded bliss can also be enhanced with posts, tweets and pins.