I am getting married in about 7 months and my fiancé has made comments since we started dating about wanting to combine our Facebook and other pages, so that we have one shared account and then to delete our individual accounts. For the longest time, I thought he was joking, but it turns out he’s serious. He’s never displayed any other sort of controlling behavior, but this feels kind of controlling to me and I’m having a hard time agreeing to it. Is this normal? Is it controlling or am I reading too much into it? How do I handle this?
Social Media Crisis
Dear Social Media Crisis,
What a great question! I’ve had multiple people ask me my opinion on this and I have to admit, I have felt a little torn on it myself. But here’s the thing, why? Why does he want to merge them? And why are you afraid of it? What are each of your fears if you don’t merge? What are they if you do?
My perspective on this issue has gone thru changes over the past years and as social media has been more of a force in all of our lives. I know the statistics are really high for affairs being conducted via social media. It’s easy to find old lovers and new just with the click of a button. And one could easily argue that if someone is going to cheat they will find a way and that’s not inaccurate. However, most people that cheat didn’t actively look to have an affair, rather they started out innocently enough with connecting over something in common. You have to each ask yourselves, is there someone I am friends with on social media that I wouldn’t want to be friends with if we shared an account? Do I have conversations with people that my partner would be upset about if he/she read them? These to me are the bigger issues. That being said, we absolutely need space to be able to have complaint sessions about our partners. They can drive us crazy!!! Therefore, that is a part of the discussion that would need to happen with your partner. “If I don’t have a separate account, what’s the best way to get support from others when I am upset with you?”
The pros for merging an account can be really great though. It shows a united front to others, it allows interactions between and with each others mutual friends and family that may not otherwise exist. And let’s be honest, you’re probably tagging each other in almost everything anyway! So it doesn’t typically effect what you post publicly.
The only “cons” that I can really think of is preventing affairs and potentially feeling a slight loss of identity, which is something many of us women already contend with upon getting married. Most of women still change their last name to their husband’s and so I can see how merging the accounts might feel like a loss of individualization so I do highly encourage that you each have your own lives outside of one another, but even that you share your individual life with your partner. You include them on what you are doing and help them to see the excitement you feel when you do those things. This helps to strengthen your relationship. However, if either of you has social media accounts for business purposes, these should NOT be merged! That would be unprofessional. This includes amateur bloggers/vloggers, artists, and other self-employed or self-promoting practices.
So merge or don’t merge, I don’t think that it is necessarily controlling, but I would suggest having more in depth conversations about it and maybe you start out with a trial run. After all, most social media accounts offer an option to temporarily deactivate an account without deleting it.
*Disclaimer: this is not meant to act as or replace therapy in any way. Questions sent in may be edited for de-identification purposes, length, and/or grammatical coherency.