We live in a world of smart phones that know our precise locations on earth. We live in a world that will tag us on Facebook within a few hours that a photo was taken – whether or not we know about the photo. And we definitely live in a world in which digital and social technology is closing the distance between us, blurring the lines between our public and our private lives.
With all this in mind, it is understandable if you are a little hesitant about sharing your marriage with everybody. After all, sharing the most intimate details of your relationship was harder to do fifty or even ten years ago – today, we expect instant access to our acquaintance’s private lives. You can duck out of this if you want – and do it without seeming like a social media prude – but you’ll have to commit to it. And if you want your marriage to stay private, well, sometimes it takes a little work. Here’s what you can do.
Step One: Avoid Facebook addiction. It can be one of the biggest time-wasters in the world precisely because it’s so, well, addictive: Facebook time should be kept to a minimum. If you can’t handle all of your Facebook time in a maximum of a half hour a day, then something’s probably wrong. Curb your Facebook addiction by pledging to spend that time doing something else, and keeping your profile clutter-free. The less information you give out on your profile, the less privacy infringement you have to worry about. Not to mention, you’ll feel better about spending less time on Facebook if there’s less for you to do.
Step Two: Don’t share private information digitally. The beauty of digital technology and the Internet age is that we can share information easily. The problem? We share information so gosh darn easily. One mistweeted photo cost Congressman Anthony Weiner his job and probably caused a lot of marital problems.
Keep in mind that we’re not saying that you should still allow yourself indiscretions, so long as you’re discrete. Instead, remember that all the private information you put online – from emails to pictures – is saved, and usually can’t be deleted totally so long as someone else has access to the same information. Sure, you’ll want your credit card company to know your social security number so you can bank online – but the capacity of online technology to improve our lives still has its limits. So keep private.
Step Three: Spend time away from the computer. Your marriage should be up close and personal – and you don’t need Facebook to validate your relationship. Instead, spend more time with each other away from the smart phones and computer screens. Go out, have fun, and spend time together. The less time you spend online, the less information there is about you online. That’s how you can stay private and build up a better relationship with your spouse at the exact same time.