Is Social Media Good For Your Marriage?
3 dangers to guard against
By Matt Warner
What are the various forms of social media doing to your life, or your wife? With the skyrocketing popularity of Facebook, Twitter and texting, there have been many attempts to analyze the pros and cons of new and social media. Most analysis tends to focus on how social media affect our relationships and social circles in general. But what about the effects they can specifically have on your marriage? Can Facebook and other media help your marriage? Or are they doing more harm than good?
While I lean towards new and social media being a great force for good in the world when it comes to staying connected with extended family and friends, I’m not sure I feel the same when it comes to one’s marriage. Here are a few things to guard against:
Intimacy - Be thoughtful about what you share.
Social media provide great ways for sharing details of your life with friends and family. I am closer with a lot of my relatives than I would be otherwise. That’s a good thing. But there are some things that we should only share with our spouse. Some are very private and others are extremely trivial. Either way, they help to establish a level of intimacy best kept between you and your spouse. Social media make it easy, and often encourage us, to diminish that intimacy by sharing every little detail of our lives with our social network. And while that might make us feel closer to our friends and family, it actually endangers that special intimacy we should be protecting and reserving for our marriage.
Time - Prioritize and be disciplined with how much you use social media.
One of the biggest challenges married couples have is finding quality time to spend with each other. Yet, we don’t seem to have nearly as much trouble finding time to check email, browse around on Facebook or chat on the phone or online with our buddies. It’s because we’ve made social media a daily habit. And we’ve made spending time with our spouse the exception to it.
Because new and social media are fun and easy, they’re also an addicting time-suck. They provide a constant connection to entertainment – effortlessly at our fingertips. Before you know it, the day is gone and you just didn’t quite find the time to focus on each other as husband and wife for at least a few minutes.
Diversions – Don’t let social media handicap your marriage.
All marriages have their challenges – big or small. What makes a good marriage is how you respond to those challenges. Unfortunately, the endless opportunities to find community and friendship online also make for a tempting outlet or distraction when you face those challenges within your marriage.
Instead of recognizing legitimate challenges within your marriage, communicating with each other about them and then growing together as you overcome them, social media provide a ready diversion, which you may not even realize you’re abusing. Whether you seek to meet various emotional needs or simply have preoccupation with texting or “friending,” social media (and media in general – including our addiction to TV) are common handicaps to marriages today.
All of that said, I still think new and social media are positive overall. And I strongly believe we should use them. But we must use them thoughtfully, with discipline and never as a diversion from the most important things in our life – our wife and children at home.
Matt Warner is a Catholic husband, father, tweeter, blogger and entrepreneur living in Texas. He is the founder of flockNote.com and his personal blog, FallibleBlogma.com. Matt is also a featured blogger for the National Catholic Register at NCRegister.com. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship.