Why I'm Not On Facebook

TAGS: relationship, hannah johnson, facebook

Why I’m not on Facebook

I get constant requests to join Facebook. Constant. I give the usual excuses of "I’m too busy, I’m not fifteen anymore, I’m not that internet savvy," etc. but the real reason is much deeper and more complicated. I was discussing this with my new friend and teammate, Amy Wattles, a few days ago and it really got my mind churning. Anytime my mind gets to churning it means I’m about to get a case of word vomit, so here we go…

In the past three years not one, but two of the couples with whom Matt and I double-dated have gotten divorced due to Facebook. Not only that, but statistically speaking, one in four marriages that end in divorce cite some sort of internet cheating. Now let me make this clear. It’s not that I don’t trust Matt. It’s just that when you can see hazard signs where the train track ends over a cliff, you don’t go down that track, do you? You take the one where you can see clearly. Why open your relationship up to potential disaster?

Here’s where my Dr. Phil degree comes into play. I’m going to use a war analogy for ya’ll. Not that marriage is war, but…well, you’ll get it.

***Note: If you're a man, reverse this scenario. I'm only telling it from a woman's perspective because, well, that's my perspective.

Say you and your man join Facebook. No problem there. The problem is that now you’ve opened your relationship up to the whole world-wide web, which is filled with not only new Charli-ettes in the trees that you don’t know about, but also “old friends” who just happen to be plastered all over these sites, complete with pictures of them wearing little to nothing and holding signs that say “I’m Newly Single, Wanna Chat?”.

***Facts show that over 80% of cheating occurs with people you've been involved with before, so I'll focus on the familiar more so than the unfamiliar.

Now let’s just say not only are your man’s ex-girlfriend(s) on there, but now (more importantly) they know he’s on there, too. So, we've now informed the enemy of our exact location. Way to go, Geraldo Rivera. Why don't you just draw them a map?

Moving on. Just to make things interesting, let’s say this ex-girlfriend is thinner than you. Or recently got big hoo-hoos that she’s extremely proud of. She also moved back into town after she left that loser boyfriend of hers and is tired of her fast-paced lingerie modeling career. Now she’s available. And beautiful. And oh-so-friendly. Uh-oh. I bet you didn’t realize you’d signed up for an internet minefield, did ya? But you did, and now you’re suddenly paranoid that you’ll be caught in friendly fire.

Phase Two Of The War

Here’s where the strategy starts. The man-stealer has been charting your status and tracking your every move, both as a couple and individually. She sends messages coyly disguised as sincere that are really just field operations to blow up her target. She makes efforts to rekindle a friendship, often with both of you so as to seem harmless and non-threatening. Again, you resist the urge to kick and bite, and try to be civil. No one wants to be the crazy possessive woman that won’t let their man have friends. After all, they were over years ago, remember?

Now, every relationship has problems. If you say yours doesn’t, you’re either (a) in extreme denial or (b) one of you is still afraid to poot in front of the other, which means you aren’t comfortable enough to really let your hair down and fight. To have a healthy relationship you must have conflict. Resolving issues together is the only sure sign of progress in a relationship. Compromise is essential, sure. But if one of you always wins, it isn’t going to last.

So, say you have a problem within your relationship. Nothing major, just a little tiff where both of you need some time to cool before things go back to normal. Same as usual, no big deal. But aha! Now the dynamic of your relationship has changed and you have a third person whose little cute ears perk up at the sound of trouble. But it’s not that she’s happy ya’ll are having problems, oh no way. She just wants to lend that cute perky listening ear and also a shoulder to cry on...to your man. Should that be happening? Absolutely not. Does it happen? More than you can imagine. Your man never intended to cheat on you. She was just there. And why was she there? Surely this never would’ve happened had you not been on Face… Ohhhhh. Now you’re getting it, aren’t you?

Go ahead and kick yourself real hard. I'll wait...

The Seductive Inquisition

So here we have the ugly truth:Your man, the same honest, good man that loves you and would never in his wildest dreams pick up the phone and actively search this other woman down to tell her about his problems, has suddenly spilled his guts to someone just because they’re available. Accessible and available. And so very empathetic! Much more forgiving and understanding and willing to listen than you are. Why is he with you, anyway? All you do is try to hold him back, make him fold laundry and crush his dreams with your evil manipulative ways.

Sniff, Sniff…is something on fire? Oh, that smell is smoke coming out of the engine of your relationship plane. Guess what happens when your plane goes down in enemy territory, ladies? They don’t give it back. Or maybe they do months later, after they’ve…examined it. For research purposes, of course.

The long and short of it (for me, anyway) is why make your personal life so available to others? Hasn't every one of us at some time looked back and thought How stupid was I to put that information out there for others to know? I think all of us are guilty of over sharing at one point or another, but the key is that maturity comes from experience.

I'm at a place in my life where I'm able to differentiate between what's acceptable and appropriate to share and what's not. The problem is that even when you're posting personal information with innocent intentions, there are always those ready to prey on you. I know I told this in a funny light, but it's really how I feel. I'm sure there are those of you out there who have actually found yourself in the situation I described. I don't ever want to be there and know I could've avoided going to prison for a double homicide.

If you're all over the internet, please don't take offense to what I've written. Just keep in mind that Google stores this stuff for centuries, and if you ever, ever try to run for public office, don't say I didn't warn ya.

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