How to navigate social media as a couple

Digital boundaries are the limits to healthy and unhealthy use of social media.

Many couples have conflicts when it comes to social media. Social media offers great benefits: socializing, sharing pictures with friends and family, finding a group of people with a common interest, or even supporting groups for all kinds of things. However, if you are not careful to set digital boundaries in your relationship, it can lead to frustration between you.

In general, boundaries are boundaries set with other people that indicate what you consider acceptable or unacceptable behavior. They can be physically like “I don’t like strangers standing too close to me in the store” or emotional like “If you talk to me rudely, I don’t want to talk to you anymore”. Digital boundaries are the limits to healthy and unhealthy use of social media. These are important in your relationship to keep your quality physical time sacred.

Common arguments related to social media can be time-centered. Do you or your partner spend a lot of time on devices surfing social media when you get home from work? Maybe one of you is on the phone over dinner and not there. I think we are all guilty on occasion. We hear our notifications go off, and it can feel like an alarm asking you to check your phone. This distracts from the other person and can cause you to turn away from commandments when a partner tries to connect. It can also lead to the presence of the four riders, such as B. Defensiveness when calling out, criticism when calling out your partner, disdain after talking about it far too often, and even accidental stonewalling by ignoring your partner.

If you notice this type of conflict building up in your relationship, it may be a good time to start setting these digital boundaries. As a couple, think about what you consider to be healthy social media time. Are there times when you want to avoid this completely, such as on a date night? Find a compromise and remember to use a gentle start-up when asking about your needs.

Other things to consider may be how you use social media. Some people prefer to keep their profiles private and may not want their partner to post about their relationship status, details of their relationship, or even tags or pictures without permission. Think about how you will also control the connection with friends and family members of the other. Is it okay to add or follow each other’s friends?

If you’re on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to using social media, finding a Gottman-trained therapist to help you manage the conflict can help. A therapist can help you not only listen to one another, but also find and hear any underlying dreams, values, or basic needs that are behind your beliefs. Unless you really understand your partner, you cannot compromise. You also need to be aware of your own core needs before reaching a compromise to make sure that you do not agree with something that is inconsistent with these.