Step #3 To NOT Letting Social Media FUCK Over Your Love Life

*This week, as I return to regularly blogging about Relationships, I’ve decided to create a 5 part/step series called “Don’t Let Social Media FUCK Over Your Love Life” where I will be examining, in succession, the important things folks need to know in order to avoid letting their social media tendencies and hangups negatively transition over into their own relationships (or attempts to get into one). Here’s step #3. 

Question: Do you remember the good ol’ days? Back when cheating was defined by walking around your house in flip-flops, slipping on a wet tile, and falling dickhead first into another woman? Or how about when cheating was simply acknowledged by a woman getting caught receving a “143” buzz on her pager from a number that wasn’t a family members? As old as that all makes me sound, the truth is that establishing boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour was very simple and straight forward, right before social media took over and began to rule our lives.

Now, what constitutes bad-relationship-beahviour has become murky as all hell. The first time I found myself in a confusing social-media-related relationship fight was back in 2007, when I learned that not only should I NOT be “poking” women on Facebook, but I should also be warning them NOT to poke me either. After that long, drawn-out fight, I sat in my bedroom staring at the wall, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t hear my conscience call – because I was FUCKING CONFUSED. Because we live in an age where there are infinitely more ways to communicate, there has also become infinitely more ways to offend your significant other and possibly ruin any hope you had at building a successful, positive union.

With that said, it’s time to address what may be the most important social media dating advice you’ve received year-to-date: When you get into a new relationship, either outline the expectations you BOTH will adhere to in terms of social media interaction, or allow one another to keep doing what you’ve been doing, without complaint.

Because relationships stir up such deep emotions with people, it’s probably best that you both sit down and talk about how your social media use will continue going forward. It doesn’t have to be some long-ass, lame-ass diatribe that eventually devolves into this:

It’s a simple convo that starts with the question, “so…how you wanna play this on social media? You into all that Facebook-status updating stuff?” Followed by YOU, the person who initiated the conversation, stating exactly what your comfort level is with “creepers” and “X’s” (NOT ex’s – difference explained HERE).

But, if you think that convo is corny and NOT worth your time, then that means you ar eboth subtlety agreeing to keep-on-keepin’-on with your current social media tendencies, from posting #WCW that are NOT your girl, to allowing random dudes to hop in your DM’s. Truthfully, it’s the couples that neglect to outline boundaries that are probably gonna end up split – or icing a split-lip on Maury.

As much as I could have never predicted myself writing a relationship piece like this years ago, the reality is that social media communication and relationship boundaries have become massive issues in today’s dating world. And as much as I know that folks would rather text, IM, DM, tweet, subtweet, BBM, Whataspp, etc. than actually have a real conversation, this is one of those topics that you need to sit down and address in a serious face-to-face manner, because in this social media, phone-in-face obsessed world, if you don’t address it now, it will consume your ass later.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.