Trust and Social Media
I had a good friend that ended up in a bad way over her partner and the events that unfolded over social media once upon a time. I’m sure she hasn’t been the only one. I hear many, many stories of the breakdown in trust and communication over the availability and widespread connection you can have over applications like Facebook.
It’s been a good thing for me the way the Internet has been integrated into every day life. I say it’s a good thing because I’ve been chatting to people over here since 1996 before it was mainstream, before people defined themselves entirely on their social media presence. Yeah, those were the days when the typical internetter was deemed to be someone with large glasses, short and stocky, perhaps a bit of a science geek and having an annoying asthmatic problem that they needed to announce every five minutes. Remember those days? Any of us? Yeah, it was a false stereotype because most of my internet friends were nothing of the sort, but that’s another story.
The dawn of the internet for me was like the release of a much needed interpretation tool. No longer did I need to have long and uncomfortable silences with new people that I had just met, or a potential girl-friend that I may have been interested in. For me the Internet removed all of that fear, all of the uncertainty, making connections became new and exciting and forthcoming. I could be an outcast and socially unnaceptable in the real world but online I could be the king of my domain, revered by hundreds of people. And at one point I dare say I was, and perhaps I’ll write about that one time, but not today. Yeah, the internet for me was a brush with popularity that I necessarily wouldn’t have had as twenty something.
And through the years I’ve watched it grow and grow and become mainstream, adopted by the many, moulding it into their own version of what it should be. It’s been an interesting ride, watching more and more voices take to the interwebs and grow into a sort of mass collaboration. And through this we have sort of moulded ourselves into a society that makes connections super easily and can have hundreds, perhaps thousands of connections at their disposal. Take me for example, I alone have over 400 facebook friends. Some people I wouldn’t have met, ever, were the internet not available or accessible.
Yet with this easy access and great connection it’s also brought with it an underbelly of society that now has new tools at their disposal to get up to no good, to practise their mistrust techniques at greater lengths, with greater ease, and it’s terrifying. My good friend, she watched in horror as her partner built connections with a woman on the sole basis that she looked pretty. Seems perfectly natural right? People make friends based on looks all the time. But imagine if that had played out in real life? Imagine how akward that would be? Sitting there, beside your partner whilst talking to your new found female friend. But no, social media eliminates those barriers and allows people to become friends on any secret reason they want to. Listen, I’m not one to judge. I had to find out the excrutiatingly hard way myself. One thing my partner drummed in my head was this – if it doesn’t feel right doing it when I’m sat next to you, don’t fucking do it. Ok? And I sort of live by that rule now.
And now, with new secret browsing and talking functionality. Messenger, for example, where my friend informs me that I can have completely secret conversations with people. I mean I get it, some people are afraid that the government are snooping on your conversations, keeping their beady eye on their every move, but it’s not as straightforward as you may think, and it’s a lot harder to not leave a trace of your actions than one would assume. Even connected to a VPN, with the right tools you’re still traceable. What more does this functionality have than to have entirely secret conversations with others?
Yeah, the internet has become infidelities ugly cousin. I had a relationship with one woman online once, and six months later I found out she had been seeing another person entirely behind my back since our relationship began, and I had deemed that serious. There seems to be no boundaries anymore as to what one can get up to. And oblivious I was, back then, in 2005, imagine the secret stuff you can get up to eleven years later.
I guess it boils down to this though, and I guess it’s all in all a good thing in the end. It weeds out those that are naturally pre disposed to break the sacred trust within a partnership earlier than usual, and you can work with it, deal with it, or move on. And in relationships it’s all about finding out about one another, working through the baggage and helping each other to come to a better understanding and point in life. It’s not all bad. Every relationship isn’t without it’s downfalls, and every partnership isn’t without a hiccup along the way.
The main thing is that every relationship has different boundaries, different requirements and different stipulations. As long as you are working within what both you and your partner feel comfortable then that’s fine. I have another friend who will just not discuss her relationship with her husband whatsoever with anyone else, and that’s fine, because that is the barriers they have set up between them and it’s about her being mindful and respectful of that, and those that talk to her too.
Relationships are a funny thing, they are so diverse and interesting, no each two are the same.
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