In a time ruled by the web, each of us, all of us, has felt the pressure to post. Pressure might not even be the right word; sometimes just being on Facebook demands we say something to our friends.
Instagram insists on one more picture.
Twitter eggs on one more tweet.
And most of the time, we have good things to share, great things even. Sharing our lives with people we care about is what social media is for.
My news feed is always peppered with people shouting from the rooftops how much they love their spouse; how thankful they are for them, this or that thing they just did for them, and a literal mountain of other compliments.
But I haven't said anything online about my wife since her birthday, more than a month ago.
There are just some things not worthy to throw out to the internet masses. Marriage is definitely one of them, the greatest of them. Here are three reasons why:
1. Your posts aren't really for them
Praise is praise, and I really do believe wholeheartedly that your husband or wife is a stellar person in every way you say they are. The problem is that you're not letting your friends know just because you want them to know, or even that you want to honor your spouse online. The praise is there for you to bask in.
You want everyone to look at how great YOU are or how lucky YOU are because YOUR husband or wife did this great thing. Praise that can be easily given at home should be given at home.
2. It's too easy to sound fake
Anybody that knows their way around a keyboard is able to say anything online, anywhere; it's an overlooked and really powerful tool. But when you talk up your husband or wife online, chances are way too high that your post will fail to reflect how things really are, the good or the bad, and end up sounding trivial. Really anything posted online has a good chance of becoming trivial.
Words are just words for people on the outside of things.
3. It cheapens your best asset
Your marriage is the most valuable thing you have ever possessed. It should be treated reverently. Your spouse stands apart and alone as the only person in billions who wanted to be a permanent fixture in your life.
A spouse deserves to know and experience things with you that no one else ever can or will. If you broadcast everything about your relationship, you have essentially placed the value of your marriage among your hundreds of Facebook friends, most of which you almost never see, let alone talk to face to face.
Instead of posting about the next adventure of your marriage, try one of these options:
- Compliment on the spot
When something good happens, don't hold in your reaction until you can tell Facebook; tell your spouse right then and there.
- Unplug sometimes
Marriage is rich and rewarding, but social media is notorious at dulling the too rare experience of just talking. Set aside time every day to be away from the computer or TV to sit and talk, nothing more, nothing less.
- Share with only them
The internet still has its place in marriage; use its flexibility to your advantage and interact with your spouse privately. Send them Facebook messages or emails through the day, or a good old text. Share fun videos with them, anything to express to only them that they are still your best friend.
My wife and I chatted over Facebook while we dated, and I can still go back over the stupid things we said then; they are fun memories to relive together. Root your marriage in the real world, not a virtual one. If you do not consider your marriage a unique and private part of your life, it won't be. This, the sweetest and most beautiful relationship you have, ought to be lived offline.