Wondering what the best digital etiquette is for saving your marriage on Facebook? With almost one-third of divorce filings mentioning the word Facebook, no matter what your relationship status is, there are several things to keep in mind while posting on the world’s largest social network.
It was an honor to be featured on Woman’s Day with my tips and suggestions in their article, Don’t Let Facebook Hurt Your Marriage, written by Dawn Papandrea.
Here are eight netiquette tips from several experts to help you navigate Facebook, while keeping your relationship healthy.
1. Go beyond just being friends with your spouse.
Befriending your spouse and sharing your relationship status on Facebook are no-brainers, but go one step further, suggests Julie Spira, author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web. “Both you and your spouse should be digitally proud of your marriage. So post your anniversary dinner photo together or a picture from a recent vacation,” she says.
2. Consider sharing passwords.
Elizabeth Hanes of Albuquerque, NM, says she and her husband, Lee, know each other’s logins to everything, but not so they can snoop on each other. “It shows that neither of us have anything to hide,” she says. It’s also practical. “Once, a friend posted something inappropriate to Lee’s wall, but he couldn’t access Facebook from work so he asked me to delete the post for him,” she says.
That’s not to say that exchanging passwords is a must. “Everyone needs personal space, both online and offline,” says Spira. “While you might share a toothbrush, a little privacy and mystery is good for a marriage.” So even if you know each other’s logins, you should feel like you never have to use it.
3. Don’t be friends with exes.
If you know your spouse would be upset to see an old flame on your friends list, ignoring or rejecting a friend request is the right move. On the flipside, if you’re uncomfortable that your husband is friends with an ex, bring up the subject. “Let him explain why they’re friends,” recommends Spira. “Chances are, it’s not a big deal to him to add her to his many friends from the past.”
4. Avoid airing your dirty laundry.
Too many couples overshare their spats on Facebook, says Spira, “and your friends don’t want to see the drama in your marriage.” Remember, posting about how your hubby annoyed you is like putting it on a neighborhood billboard.
5. Set rules together.
6. Support each other online, but don’t let it replace how you communicate.
7. Don’t post anything that can be misinterpreted.
8. Ask and answer questions about Facebook friends.
For a list of 200 acronyms that go beyond BFF, visit RulesofNetiquette.com/acronyms
Julie Spira is a netiquette and relationship expert and author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web. Follow @netiquetterules and @JulieSpira on Twitter and like us at Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette