Social Networking has become the most explosively innovative way to connect people since the telephone.  We know more people today that have these sort of social networking pages than we know people who don’t have them.  And the amount of traffic that comes through these sites is unreal.  We stay connected to friends, family, celebrities, wanna be celebrities and every loud mouth athlete that wants to be on some sort of highlight real other than ESPN.  But the not so little known practice of most people who are on Facebook is……..stalking your significant other! For a lot of people Facebook is like and advertisement of your personal life for your significant other to see.  How can we in any way be surprised when it makes them curious?

Everyone deserves a modicum of privacy.  At work, with family, in relationships.  It doesn’t make you a bad person to not tell your boyfriend every single time you bump into an old acquaintance on the train or in the mall.  It doesn’ t make you some type of under handed scum bag if you don’t mention that an ex-girlfriend called you to wish you a happy birthday.  This is just part of an adults personal privacy.   And generally most couples are OK with that……as long as it is something that you don’t have to see.  The problem is that with sites like Facebook, people’s personal interactions are put on display.  Every time you reconnect with an old flame……it shows up. Every time you comment on a hot girls picture……it shows up. Every time you wish your girlfriend from the second grade a happy birthday…….it shows up. And when your girlfriend sees this stuff it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are.  She is pissed!  It doesn’t matter that your old flame is now a lesbian.  It doesn’t matter that the girl whose photo you commented on was your cousin.  It doesn’t even matter that your girlfriend from the second grade is now married to your best buddy from the 5th grade.  All that matters is that she has seen you communicating with some chick that she doesn’t know!  And it can be a distressing sort of thing.

Relationships take a fair amount of time to get to a point that people are not stung in any way at all by seeing someone have an affectionate word or response to someone of the opposite sex.  No one jumps right into a relationship and automatically has so much trust in their new companion that they don’t feel a little twinge of anxiety when some other person comes up to hug your BOO. And I am not saying that it is entirely normal to be one of those people who goes completely off when that happens, but when people claim that it means absolutely nothing to them, usually they are lying.  Even if it is nothing more than your curiosity leading you to ask who that person is.  That is completely normal behavior.  And while it definitely subsides as time goes on in relationships, I don’t think I ever want to get to a point where there is absolutely no small twinkle of jealousy that makes me and my lady get a little territorial when someone seems to be approaching either of us with too much of a touchy feely vibe.  A little playfully displayed jealousy can definitely be cute.  But the point is that it’s normal when we see these things to feel a bit uncomfortable and people usually make that discomfort known.

The problem with Facebook is that we are all so afraid to admit that we are stalking each others movements!  I mean literally, people who are in relationships and frequent Facebook probably scan through each others pages at least 4 times a day.  And that is a conservative estimate for the sane people.  But you know good and well those crazy ass, call you 5 times before lunch, knows your email password, pops up at your job to take you to lunch once a week, checking the mileage on your car type people are probably setting records for how many views they have on your page a day.  When your Facebook profile is the first thing that shows up on your significant others web browser when you go to the internet, that might be a problem.  Seeing what your special someone is doing can become and obsessive sort of thing.  And when we see these things that make us uncomfortable we get a little paranoid and totally jump out the window, making complete fools of ourselves all the way down to smacking our faces on the concrete.  We can see a questionable comment on a Facebook wall and spend all day trying to figure out how we are going to address it without looking or sounding like the fragile and insecure beings that we are.  Either that or we go to the Let’s Put this Situation on Blast Alternative.

**Picture of you at a Social Event**

random woman who I know from childhood comment:  Awww, JB looking so cute in his suit!

Girlfriend’s response: Yeah, My man does look super hot!  So glad I dressed you up last night Boo!  Glad to know that you are all mine…………..and no one else’s…BITCH (Ok…..the Bitch part was added for effect)

We can’t help it.  Because like I said, it takes time to build up the amount of trust that makes you feel 100% comfortable that when an attractive person reaches out to your special someone over the internet, that it isn’t enticing to them.  Intriguing to their memories of what possibly used to exist between the two of them.  I for one can admit to stalking a girlfriend’s friends list to try to uncover who is the guy whose face keeps popping up on her wall. I didn’t want to seem obsessive by asking so I just did my own investigation work which didn’t help my anxiety at all.  And while I eventually got over it when I heard what I needed to hear about the situation, a lot of people don’t do that.  And it creates this measure of distrust that just builds because people are apprehensive to bring it up.

I swear to you that most of my married friends don’t even fool around with Facebook.  Either they have deactivated their accounts or they didn’t even bother to open one up.  They all say the same thing.  Keeping up with some old friends from highschool and college is not worth the scrutiny that I have to sometimes face at home over that stuff.  I am definitely Cool! And this is coming from people who I respect.  And it completely adds up.  Flirty conversations that are properly or improperly interpreted + The natural sense of anxiety or Jealousy that all human beings have = Uncomfortable  and Tense moments of silent treatments and Man-tudes that your partner has no idea where this stuff originated. To sum it all up….Facebook might be one of the worst relationship traps ever created.

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

@jacksonbracey

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