I am looking for some advice on how to deal with a conversation that keeps happening in my relationship. In fact, it is the only thing that my boyfriend and I ever seem to disagree on. He claims it is about privacy, but I wonder if there may be something else going on.
I am a big fan of social media. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, LinkedIn, and all of the newer ones that come out. This is a very fun part of my life that helps me stay connected to friends all over the world. My father was in the Army and we moved around a lot growing up. This created an ability in me to be able to make friends very quickly and so when I travel, I like to stay in touch with the people that I have met. Also, when things get busy it gives me an easy way to check in with people that I would like to see in person more often.
My boyfriend has a Facebook because he needs it for work but has no interest at all in the rest of the major sites. This is not where the problem is coming in. Our issue is that he has asked me not to post pictures of us online. He thinks that our relationship should be kept between the two of us. I know that he is not trying to hide me from anyone, but he is very uncomfortable with me posting pictures of us, listing our anniversary dates, and I think that he would be happiest if I never mentioned anything about us at all.
I am proud of him and would like to share this major part of my life with my friends and loved ones. I like to show him off, he is good looking and an amazing guy all around. I just don’t understand why he does not want me putting things about us online.
Can you offer any advice?
— Craving the Clout
Well, hello there Clout. We like your subtle nod to the newest platform that is burning through everyone’s batteries, TikTok. We are going to assume that you are probably in your 20s if that is one of your favorite forms of social media, but we could be wrong.
We actually have a few opinions on what could be going through your partner’s mind, and we understand his side as well. We are going to expand on both of those.
The thing about social media is that it is life through a filter, and we are not talking about that tired old dog ears and tongue look that was so popular on SnapChat forever. You pick and choose the moments that you want to share and carefully curate the image that you want people to have of your life. It is exactly the story that you want people to know. However, it’s not real. It’s not those real moments of happiness that we have in between the big ones. It could be that your boyfriend wants to hold onto those moments to share just between the two of you because they are so special to him, he wants them to be more sacred.
You also mentioned that he uses Facebook for work. Another part of social media is that it muddies the waters between personal and professional. Every business contact that you meet adds you online as a “friend”, and he could just want to keep those two parts of his life very separate. Usually when we post pictures of our significant other online, we end up tagging them. It could be as simple as him wanting to keep his online presence nowhere near what he does in his off time.
Another thing that social media introduced into our lives, and something that happens everywhere online like never before is comments. As writers, we don’t like the comments. Bar and restaurant people hate the comments. Politicians really don’t like the comments. Online any keyboard warrior with an axe to grind can say anything they want and feel like they are immune from any sort of consequences for their opinions, whether they are warranted or not. Another explanation is that your guy may not want everyone to be able to leave their thoughts and feelings about every moment that you feel is important enough to share. This actually leads us to our next point.
You stated that this is the only disagreement that the two of you have had. Another dear of his may be that then things don’t go so well, and it’s inevitable that it will happen, you will also be comfortable sharing the bar stuff as well. That is a bad idea, don’t do it. Trashing your partner, ex-partners, or even ex-friends in a public forum is tacky and wrong. These are the moments in life that need to be kept between the people involved in them. Allowing others to be able to comment and judge, especially when they don’t actually know your partner, will mess up how you are feeling about him, and those people will be putting their own filter on the problems that only belong to the two of you.
We aren’t completely sure why this dude doesn’t want his entire life just a couple of clicks away from being part of others. There is one surefire way for you to find out though. You need to ask him. Request that he help you understand why this is one of his boundaries. When you have that conversation, we have a couple ideas for compromises that may come in handy.
First, does he have an issue with you having a group chat or text that contains your closest friends, and only sharing these moments with those select few? That could be a way for you to get your likes and comments without it being a public conversation. Another suggestion is that you explain how good privacy features these days are. You can make private albums that are only accessible to close family so that they can share in these happy moments with you. You could also take the time to message people individually and talk to them about it, which could end up leading to closer relationships between you and the people that you take the time to connect with on a one on one level.
That is where social media has left us behind as humans. We have guests at a wedding sharing pictures of the first dance that the bride and groom were not given the opportunity to share first. We announce our engagement on Facebook and miss out on the excitement of telling people in person and seeing their first reactions. There is no amount of exclamation points and heart emoji’s that can replicate that feeling when we see the excitement on our best friends’ face.
Social media is an excellent tool to help us stay connected to people that we aren’t able to see every day, but right now the connection you need to focus on is with the guy closest to you. Get off Facebook and talk to him face to face.
The Alaskans are online all the time, and if you have a question for them, use the oldest internet communication device of all, and email them at email@example.com