In 2017, the world of social media is fraught with politics.
Anyone who claims they haven’t stalked a past, current or possibly future partner on Facebook is definitely lying. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve gone deep.
We’re talking 126 weeks deep.
You can tell a lot about a person through their Instagram or Facebook page. What do they enjoy doing? Do they have a dog? What do they do for a living? What do they ‘like’? And of course, are they in a relationship?
So what happens when you’ve been dating someone for more than a year, and they haven’t posted a picture of you, or with you, on social media?
This is the exact question a young woman named Ricki posed to Osher Gunsberg and psychologist Leanne Hall on this week’s episode of Love Life.
Listen to Ricki’s question along with Osher Gunsberg and Leanne Hall’s advice on this week’s episode of Love Life. Post continues below…
“My boyfriend hides me from his social media and he hasn’t posted a picture of us in over a year,” Ricki said. “I think it’s because he wants to look like he’s available.
“But if you’re social media is supposed to be a reflection of your life, where the hell am I? Do I have a right to want to be on there?”
Hall immediately took issue with the premise of the question.
“Ricki is making a bit of an assumption,” she said.
“She leaped from ‘my boyfriend hides me’, to ‘I think he wants to appear available.’
“Be careful whether you’re over-interpreting or misinterpreting…” she said.
Both hosts agreed that the content of his social media accounts do matter; is he posting shirtless photos of himself with a tattoo on his forehead reading "I'm single"? Because, yes. That would be an issue.
But some people, explained Gunsberg, are just private.
Many parents are reluctant to share images of their children online, because they want to protect what's special to them. There could be countless reasons why Ricki's boyfriend has decided not to share photos of his girlfriend on social media.
"You've just got to communicate," Hall insisted.
"Otherwise it just festers and goes nasty."
There are critical questions Ricki should ask herself in this situation, such as; Is he a bit of a flirt? Why were you so quick to think he wants to appear available? Are there other signs? Is this problem bigger than social media?
Both hosts brainstormed other possibilities for his reluctance to appear coupled-up online.
"Maybe his mum is meddling... maybe he has an ex who is sort of bonkers, you just don't know."
As with most relationship dilemmas, it comes down to having the discussion.
Both hosts agreed tone is important - don't accuse him, or place any premature blame. Just ask a genuinely curious question.
"You have the right to communicate that you'd like to be on there, absolutely," Hall said. "But you don't have the right to expect to be on there. That's the difference.
"No one has the right to dictate what someone else does on their profiles, really."
Although it can often feel like it, the reality is that social media isn't real life. But that doesn't mean it can't create real life problems.
If it matters to you, nothing is ever too petty or too ridiculous to bring up with your partner. At the core of conflict resolution is honesty, so it's time to ask; "Why isn't my incredible face on your Facebook page? You'd probably get a lot more likes..."
You can listen to the full episode of Love Life, here.
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