Thursday, February 24, 2011

Facebook and Relationships

Mark Zuckerberg launched "The Facebook" during my junior year of college. I remember being enthralled with how easy it was to reconnect with long lost friends, learn more about people I'd only met briefly, and share what was going on in my life through words and pictures. It blows my mind that I have over 1,300 friends on Facebook—that I've met that many people in my life.

Glancing through my Friends List, I always take a trip down memory lane—from grade school through college, various conferences and retreats, jobs, and relationships. Without Facebook, I would be so unlikely to have any clue when my high school friends had babies or my college friends were going to be in the area and would like to catch up, and it gives me the chance to share my writing with a much wider audience than I otherwise could.

But at the same time, it's also caused a lot of stress in my life from time to time. Even this week, a "friend" on Facebook (although, as it turns out, not a friend at all) clicked on a link to a recent article and left a hurtful, anonymous comment, leaving me to ponder and worry about it for the rest of the day. In a former relationship, I happened upon a Facebook connection my then-boyfriend had made with an old flame, which almost led to the end of our relationship. My husband and I had many a heated discussion about whether we should link our Facebook profiles together "in a relationship" when we'd first started dating. Facebook has revolutionized the way we envision and manage relationships, both for the better and for the worse.

Here are four articles I've written to advise others on the subject. The articles cover different ends of the relationship spectrum:

Seven Ways to Sabotage Your Social Life with Facebook – for those hoping to get into a relationship

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Facebook Relationship – for those currently in relationships

Post-Breakup Facebook Mistakes – for those at the end of a relationship

Facebook Pitfalls for Newlyweds to Avoid – for those who are married

How has Facebook affected your social life?

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