How to Successfully Navigate the World of Social Media When it Comes to Relationships

How to Successfully Navigate the World of Social Media When it Comes to Relationships

Social media is here, and it’s here to stay. Websites like Facebook have changed the way that we interact with others. While it may make it easier to communicate and keep in touch, it also has the potential to make social relationships more complicated. When is too soon to put a relationship on Facebook? How do you tactfully de-friend someone? How do you approach someone that lacks tact in what they post online? Our readers had lots of questions about social media this month. Here, we give some advice on how to successfully navigate the sometimes murky waters of social media.

My ex-fiance and I split up a year ago, and although I've changed my status to single, he has yet to change his from engaged. While I have removed all photos of him from my page, he still has pictures of us up on his. We have many mutual personal and professional connections, and I keep getting asked if we're still together and what's going on with us. I'm tired of having to explain, and I think it's also hurting my ability to meet other people whom I could possibly date in our social circle. How do I rectify this situation without being harsh?

With social media becoming increasingly popular, relationships seem to be becoming increasingly complicated. Not only are relationships in a world of social media hard, but break ups seem to be harder. What use to be a very private event between two people has now become a public affair. There seems to be no right way to navigate. You should talk to your ex. Although you may not want to explain it's hurting your potential dating life, you can explain that it hurts you every time someone asks you about your relationship and you don't know what to say. That it brings back a lot of emotions and is painful. He should be understanding of this. Hopefully confronting him will be enough to help both of you move on.

Your partner may not be on the same page as you about posting the relationship on social media.
Your partner may not be on the same page as you about posting the relationship on social media.

I've been dating a new man for almost four months now and am, quite honestly, head-over-heels for him. We see each other a few nights a week and when we do, we spend the night together. When we're out, I take pics of us and post them on FB, but he never reciprocates with photos of us, statuses, or comments on what I post. I haven't met his friends yet and am beginning to wonder two things: 1) is it too soon for him to take our relationship public with his friends and on social media, or 2) am I just the woman he wants to see while he's looking for something better?

Different people use social media in different ways. While you may be someone constantly updating yours and letting the world know what's going on in your life, he may not be that kind of person. He may not even check his Facebook often enough to be aware you've posted anything to his page. You can feel free to express your relationship in any way you want, whether it be writing on Facebook or introducing him to your friends. However, just because this is the right timing for you to do this doesn't mean he's at the point in the relationship for him to express himself the same way, and that's okay. Just because you both don't show a well documented relationship on Facebook does not mean you are just a place holder until someone better comes along.

A woman who I work with often calls in to the office with excuses not to come in. Usually, she's either sick or she's had a family emergency. We're friends on FB and more often than not, on the days she's called in, she posts statuses and photos of her traveling, shopping or hanging out with friends. I am not her boss, but I feel compelled to say something to her superior because she's clearly lying, and I am usually the one who has to pick up her slack while she "supposedly" has an issue. I don't want to lose a friend, but I also don't want to work extra hours while she's out having fun. What should I do?

Your coworker may be posting inappropriate things on Facebook, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to say anything.
Your coworker may be posting inappropriate things on Facebook, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to say anything.

Though what your friend is doing is unprofessionally and inconsiderate of your friendship, I understand why talking to the boss about what she is doing is not ideal. However, just because you do not want to come clean to your boss about your coworker's ditch day does not mean you do not need to say anything to your boss. Talk about how you feel overwhelmed taking over all your coworkers work. Tell your boss that although you would love to help your coworker keep up as much as you can, you do not want to constantly be working extra hours everyday. That way you're letting your boss know how you feel, but you are not throwing anyone under the bus. However, if this does not work it may be time to reevaluate how important your relationship is with your coworker and if putting up with her extra work is worth it.

I recently de-friended a person who was causing me some severe distress in my life. Unfortunately, we have nearly 100 mutual friends on FB who are important to me both personally and for my business. I don't want to de-friend them, but I get the impression that they are sharing my posts with her, and the distress is now increasing with unwanted texts and emails from her. How do I do damage control without alienating anyone - especially those that could possibly benefit me socially and professionally?

There's nothing wrong with unfriending someone who pushes your buttons the wrong way.
There's nothing wrong with unfriending someone who pushes your buttons the wrong way.

There is nothing wrong with de-friending people who cause you stress in your life. Just because you defended her does not mean that you have to explain to her why and it does not mean that other people will get involved. As far as damage control, you must answer her unwanted emails and texts. You can either choose to try and explain how you feel to the woman or you can respond in a polite manner, either way the important part is responding. The important part of saving any personal and professional relationships is not to be dismissive and rude to a past relationship. You must show others, that although you may no longer be friends with someone it does not change the person you are and that you are still a kind and compassionate person.

Recently, a family member who I am friends with on FB posted a wedding gift given to them by another family member. It was extremely expensive and, instead of returning the item for a credit at the store or re-gifting it without making money off of it, they put it up for a sort of auction. This was a gift that they registered for, and I know it was a huge stretch for the person who bought it to do so. I was appalled, but do I have a right to be?

You have the right to believe that this was inappropriate for your family member to do, because it is. It goes against all gift giving etiquette.  However, just because it is inappropriate does not mean there is much to do about it. You can try and voice to your relative that there was a better way to handle receiving a gift they do not want, however, there is only so much pushing you can do with family members. If they seem open to receiving your opinion feel free to express yourself, however, if they do not seem interested it is best to drop it. Nothing good comes from feuding family members.