by Eric Payne
On Facebook, my wife is NOT my friend. I un-friended her about two months ago. Not only did I not tell her what I did, but once she discovered we were no longer connected, I ignored her request to become my friend once more. Like her, I sure many of you are SMH, or rather shaking your heads, thinking, How trifling is he? My wife’s chief complaint was that she was my wife, how dare I not be her friend. Her being my wife is the very reason why I cut our virtual ties.
As the Internet landscape continues to be overrun with social networking platforms, Facebook, in this writer’s opinion, is unique in that it allows unrestricted access to your life. This can all be managed by adjusting your security settings and not going overboard with the comments, photos or anything else you choose to post, but for those people who are your friends, there are no areas of your virtual profile that are off limits.
I primarily use Facebook to promote my writing.But when I first signed up for the site I used it to communicate with people I currently interact with in my life as an alternative to making phone calls. Then somehow people from college found me, then high school, then grade school. Then I got caught up with SuperPoke, YoutTube videos and everything else that makes it one of the largest distractions in existence. My wife joined the network about six months after I did and at first it was cute. We’d trade sweet nothings, verbal love taps and harmless snaps (something we’re known for) in our statuses.All of this occurred under the same roof and sometimes at the same time — she on the desktop computer in our dining room and me on my laptop.
It quickly stopped being cute for me once people, a.k.a. “friends,” started adding their two cents via the comments. It let me know that my Internet pillow-talk with the wife wasn’t pillow talk at all. It was broadcast news coming straight out of our home. Making matters worse, my wife hacked into my account more than once to change my statuses to proclamations such as, “I’m going to be nicer to my wife,” or “I definitely need to start recognizing what a great woman I have.” Practical jokes, of course, which might have been funny had they only been between she and I and not people I once sat across from in second grade.
If these incidents weren’t enough, we actually had some very strong disagreements over the tone of each other’s statuses on days when we weren’t getting along. Things really got ugly when I questioned the motivation behind certain comments from men I didn’t know on her photos or on her. As a man and a husband I believed I was within my rights to be protective of my wife. As a man, my wife thought I was being overprotective and making mountains out of molehills over friends from grade school and high school.
If you’re not yet tired from reading this, this writer was definitely tired from living it. Finally, it came to me late one night that there is too much out there pulling at the hearts and minds of married couples, mine included, to allow to the unexpected nuances of Facebook interactions to be added to the pile. Right then and there, I knew what I had to do. I went to my wife’s profile and clicked, “Remove From Friends” without hesitation. My wife initially thought I was punishing her when in fact I was protecting us, in this instance, from me. Now my wife and I exist as friends in the world that truly matters: The real one.
Do you “Facebook” with the one you love? If so, has social networking affected your relationship positively or negatively?
Eric Payne lives with his wife and two children and tackles married life and fatherhood as it happens to him at MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He also writing can also be found at NYMetropolista.com and MochaManual.com. His short fiction has appeared in Spindle Magazine and DiddleDog Magazine.
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