By Lyndsay Rush
Being in a relationship changes a lot of things in one’s life. (Duh.) And whether you’re married, engaged, newly dating, or whatever, it usually means a shift in they way you use social media. There are a few classics that couples often fall into: the spouse @ mention in the Twitter bio, the saturation of couple photos on Insta, and, obviously, the relationship status on Facebook. Not everyone shares the same “rules,” but there are definitely a few social media dos and don’ts that most of us can agree on.
DON’T overdo it with the pet names. You can use their first, real name like a sane person. It may be cute behind closed doors, but your sweetsy nickname for your boo (or for that matter, even using boo/bae/bb) is probably best left between the two of you.
DO support your partner by posting about their accomplishments (an article published, a promotion, a race!). It’s a sweet way to champion and encourage the person in your life.
DON’T use social media to send a message to your partner (and thus, to the world) about your relationship. We’ve all seen those thirsty, “Date night with hubby! Still got it! We swear! Everything’s fine!” statuses. And don’t vent about your spouse via thinly veiled jokes on Twitter or elsewhere. Rule of thumb: never, ever, post in anger.
DO unfriend or unfollow those exes. Or at the very least untag and clear out your old photos and memories. Even if everyone is on good terms, it just feels awkward to have constant reminders of your past lingering for all to see. Put them in a shoebox under the bed (or burn them in a ceremony like a 15-year-old. Whichever.).
DON’T please do not please please with the joint accounts. I have yet to hear a really legitimate reason people do this. Please stop.
DO be true to your own privacy level. If it’s not your style to share personal pics, updates, or relationship statuses, don’t. And if your S.O. isn’t very public about your life together, you don’t have to take that as a bad sign.
BUT. DON’T be shady on purpose and keep your profile neutral to be secretive. Warning sign: even if you’re both not super active online, if the person you’re with is reluctant to add you, this is usually a red flag that they’re hiding something. And if your partner has changed a their status to “it’s complicated,” have a sit down, quick.
DO ask your partner before you share a story or intimate detail about them. What is “shareable” for you may be crossing a boundary for them. It’s also important to take your significant other’s digital identity into consideration and realize tagging them or posting about them may impact their career, family, etc. OK, your wife crushed “Say My Name” at your sister’s karaoke birthday, but her boss doesn’t need to see it.
And one more key DO: do put down the phone every once and awhile and simply be together without the rest of the world looking over your shoulders (you saw this one coming, didn’t you?). Keep some photos and memories just for the two of you.
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