-By Jontae Grace
Do me a favor. Change your relationship status to, “In a Relationship” for one hour. If you’re taken, then change it to “Single”. Now watch what happens.
You probably got more comments and likes than you did on your birthday, didn’t you? Some people were happy, some outraged that you would play with their emotions like that. But that’s okay because it’s only Facebook, right?
Social media outlets like FB and Twitter have evolved past the online hangout; now it’s like a cyber extension of you. What you say and do online has real consequences in life and love. People fall in love, go to jail and even get dead as a result of the content they post. For this reason, it is necessary for us to have a serious conversation about the good and bad associated with New-Millenium Love on the World Wide Web.
The most significant thing that social media has done is given the world 24-hour access to you. If you can’t be reached on the phone, its nothing for someone to go to your page and see what you’ve been up to. And if you’re like me, you have your notifications forwarded to your phone, or an app. The problem is, people KNOW that, so when they hit you up online they expect you to see it and respond in a timely manner. If not, then by default you are ignoring them and they get in their feelings. God forbid you go to sleep for the night and leave your phone on silent! You might miss his “goodnight” comment on your “goodnight” status, and since you didnt respond, now he talkin reckless about money over bitches on his page!
Facebook uses a 1-to-1 layout, but its really a public forum. When you look at someone’s page, it looks like they’re lookin at you, talkin to you, and posting for you. Have you ever had someone ask if something you posted was about him/her? I have. And the one(s) I wish had seen it didnt! This is because FB causes us to get attached to the people we interact with, just the same as we do with someone we see on a daily basis. It may not always be a romantic connection, but its there.
So what does mean for our love? How do we sustain a relationship when you can get in trouble based on something SOMEONE ELSE posts on page? The answer is simple: you have to keep FB a certain distance from your heart, and your relationship. Relationships bite the dust because couples put more emphasis on what they see online than what they see in their real-life significant other. Remember that FB is like a nightclub: an illusion. Its only what people want you to see. It doesnt include the drug addictions, smokers cough, baby mama drama and the whole ugly underbelly that your mate sees, and accepts. You should never put more emphasis on the man or woman you see online than the one right in front of you.
With that said, keep those emotional outburts off of our news feeds, especially if its about your mate. Emotional Facebooking is like drunk-dialing: JUST DONT DO IT. If you have a problem in your S/O, facebook will only make it worse. Its instigate-central, and everybody loves to see trouble in paradise. Those sympathy posts you get are really laughs. I mean, youre still with him so why you complaining to the world about how scandalous youre being treated?
I may sound like I’m going in on social networking, but I really think it can be beneficial if used properly. I have met and reconnected with hundreds of people online. A few women I have met online and smashed! Now dont judge me, because I’m just being real. If two people can meet online and marry, why cant I safely sex from the web? I’ve had the safest Skype sex in the world 😉 But the point is that you can use the web to begin, sustain and grow relationships. I know queens that I met online and gotten e-sprung while I was in college, and if were in the same state I would have tried to be with her. I believe its possible, because I’ve seen it happen. But just because someone likes me online does NOT mean that she knows me. I would still take her through Grace-Bootcamp to make sure she’s right for me. We are very complex beings, with layers of secrets that only reveal themselves with time and trust. Social media only portrays the top layer of our lives, and it is important to distinguish between fact and fiction.
The bottom line is, social media is a tool. Like any tools it can be used for good or ill. You can use it to enhance your relationships with others, or it can become your downfall. The web has made the world much smaller and people are closer than they’ve ever been. But a true person or couple will take FB for what it is, and keep a safe distance between their heart and the web.
What you do in your own home is your business.
What you do online…is everybody else’s.