Being an example to those around you through your own actions is something I believe is essential for everyone.
I do not shy away from social media. Typically it is stuff about church, this blog, my family and happy moments/celebrations. You won’t see me engaging in debates, political discussions, or topics of the sort. Although, I cannot say that I agree with a recent article that I read, which stated, “happy couples post less about their relationship on social media.” I don’t completely disagree; however, there are parts of this I do disagree.
I disagree that less posting on social media equates to a happier couple.
Perhaps the opposite could be true; consider it. A couple who people don’t hear from may be disconnected, distant from society and sheltered. Just like friends that you do not hear from, check on them. You never know what others are going through. But the article I read was stating something different. Pointing out that “if a couple wants to share their happiness with others, it’s frowned upon.” I believe sharing happiness and joys in life can inspire others. Help those who haven’t seen healthy couples be able to frame their own opinion based on people around them. Do I believe some people live on social media and shouldn’t? Absolutely. My disagreement comes with the statement that insinuates happier couples don’t share or post about their relationship.
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Most of you will not be shocked to know my husband hates taking pictures, check my pictures if you don’t believe me. He’s also not a huge social media fan and uses it to scroll through photos, check on our children, and keep in contact with long-distance friends that we have. My dad is not a fan of social media either. I’ll never forget him scolding me for always checking into church. The reason wasn’t that I was at church, but because he said everyone’s going to know when you’re away from your house. For safety reasons, I see his point. But if you are in my inner circle, you know where I am most of the time anyway.
Sharing your joy is entirely different than identifying your self-worth.
This same article stated, “…Yet social media has an added layer of nuance, as it is a supplement (if not a projection) of our identity, connectedness, and self-worth.” While I can see how some people may get sucked into this phenomena, I do not believe it is most people. As Christians, our identity is not rooted in a highlight reel. Our self-worth is not captured through pictures posted for others to see, but rather, a reflection of Jesus in us. Every week, you can find me “checking in” at my local church and posting church notes. If people get sucked into reading about Jesus, I see that as a good thing!
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:7-8 NIV
I also read, “If you want to know how someone wants the world to see them, look no further than the patterns in their social media feeds.” I agree and disagree with this statement. I want the world to see me as a Jesus follower, an imperfect person who needs encouragement and prayer, an entrepreneur, a bonus mom, and a wife. All of those things are true; they are real. My real life. The part I disagree with is “look no further than the patterns in their social media feeds.” How about, look no further than how someone walks out their life?
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV
Taking a few minutes out of your day, or night does not mean you aren’t present.
It also read, “When you’re happy with your life (or a relationship) you’re naturally more present for it.” You will find this funny. I tend to post stuff on social media late at night when I’m at the end of my day, and my husband is typically asleep. I also post when something at church comes out. That doesn’t mean I’m not present. Being “present” isn’t a factor. Whether I’m sharing a recent vacation and worship concert, which I do very often, or celebrate a milestone, or posting church notes, I’m very present in all aspects of my life.
“Their relationship validates them, so they don’t need to seek that feeling elsewhere.” I couldn’t disagree more with this statement. God never intended for our relationships, marriages, or friendships to validate us. Our validation doesn’t come from anything on this earth. Now if I try to take my scriptural lens off of this statement, I could potentially see how people may feel the need to continually post about their loved one in an effort to cover up the truth. To hide something, or even paint a picture that isn’t true, but when your inner circle can see those things, as good friends in your life, they should call you on it.
But generally when your loved one does something special for you, buys you something special, takes you out for a special occasion, it’s natural to want to share with those that are in your circle. If that means posting it on social media so your circle can see it, then so be it. What’s the harm?
I did a poll with friends of mine, with varying opinions and who have different walks of life and want to share those with you below:
- “I don’t think that how much people post is related to how happy a couple is.”
- “This is a controversial question. However, it depends on the Generation group, cultural background, personality, and so forth. My husband is not big on social media, and I am very selective about what I post. We have intentionally learned to create boundaries to keep intruders out of our marriage – in every way possible. Both individuals should be clear about their social media boundaries. Posting less allows me to be present.”
- “Based on my personal experience, yes… But that’s because my significant other rarely ever gets on Facebook, and he never will let me take a good picture of him, so it’s not like we get mushy. If he did, that would be a different story. We both post what’s more personal to our selfish hobbies to keep our interests separate and give each other space. But all relationships are different, and what works for one might not work for another. On the flip side of that, I love seeing other people’s posts and living vicariously through them, especially families.”
- “Social media complicates relationships. I am very grateful that my husband is not on social media. Marriage is sacred. Privacy is wonderful. I suppose I would say yes then! Social media takes time and energy to manage. Put that time and energy into your marriage.”
- “You have to look at the motivation behind it. I think if you’re genuinely sharing for the purpose of sharing so your friends and family know the big things going on then go for it, but if the real reason is to show off or to gain approval, then it’s not healthy.”
- “People who care a lot about what others think post about their relationships on Facebook. I find that in my own life I post way less than I have in every other relationship and this by far, of course, is my happiest.”
- “I believe it can be healthy either way.”
- “Not necessarily. Some people post as a “front,” some post truth, some are living in the moments and will post occasionally if at all. Another good question is are “happy” couples “healthy” couples? Strong couples endure situations that are not facebook worthy. Happy couples who only highlight the good online may not be the healthiest.”
At the end of the day, remember, be yourself, and do what works best for you!