Facebook is shaping how 120-million people stay in touch with their friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances.
• Friends no longer need to initiate conversations through phone calls. Simply update your status (a one-liner about what you’re currently doing or thinking), and Facebook friends (FB friends) immediately receive your status on their profile page.
• Don’t have time to email a bunch of people with what’s going on in your life? Post a note or send a message to your group of FB friends with one push of the button.
• Forget pulling out outdated pictures of your kids from your wallet. Upload a photo (or video) of yourself, your kids, and your experiences to your Facebook page and everyone in your social network receives the picture or video clip on their profile and can comment on it.
Facebook has become the new method of communication for people of all ages. It is a convenient way to keep in touch with friends, family, old acquaintances, and childhood pals.
So, whether you are an active Facebook user or have a tepid interest in joining one of the largest online social networks in the world, how can Facebook improve and enhance your marriage?
Improve Marriage Through Facebook
As a married couple and regular users of Facebook, this communication vehicle has helped us connect with each other more when we’re both online and sparked meaningful conversations about our FB friends when we’re face-to-face.
We have also found Facebook to be more fun and interactive then simply texting or emailing with one another. It is much more dynamic.
Here are five practical ways to improve your relationship through Facebook.
1) Set Your Status to Married.
While this seems like a no-brainer, your relationship status is one of the first pieces of information other people view. Your relationship status acts like a wedding ring on the left hand and will likely influence how some of your FB friends interact with you.
2) Get Married to Your Spouse on Facebook.
If your spouse is on Facebook, link your profiles together by identifying each other as the person you are married to. A message goes out to everyone in your network that you are “now married”. Get ready for a flurry of comments such as, “finally!” or “it’s about time!” Being married on Facebook makes it easier to view each other’s updates and profiles, and to communicate with one another through Facebook email and chat.
3) Affirm Your Marriage & Mate Often.
Let the world (or at least your social network) hear about your spouse through status updates and wall posts. Proclaim your love for your spouse and what they do for you as a regular part of your updates. Just this week, several FB friends posted the following comments in their status update: “I’m madly in love with my wife,” “I’m so proud of my husband for closing two deals this week,” and “I can’t wait ‘til my wife gets back from Texas.”
These kinds of messages can have a profound effect and encourage others to do the same. Every once in awhile it will spark a response like, “Sometimes these little comments are so sappy, suck-uppy, sweet —they make me want to barf!” But that is more the exception then the rule.
Ultimately, your husband or wife benefits the most because they’ll receive another reminder that they are loved.
4) Connect With Your Mate Through Facebook.
Chatting and emailing through Facebook is a great way to keep connected with your spouse throughout the day. It can be accessed by computer and smart phones. Couples can use this real time feature whether they’re in different parts of the house, different parts of town or different parts of the world. We have a FB friend who travels the world and uses Facebook and Skype to keep in touch with his wife. Use Facebook chat to share quick updates, give a reminder of the day’s to-do list, or flirt with one another. Chat sessions permanently erase upon logging off so “what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook.”
5) Keep Your Spouse Updated in Real Time.
Take face-to-face time to talk about your Facebook networks. You likely have a number of common FB friends in your networks. But you also have people from your past or present that your spouse doesn’t know personally. Share about new FB friends, new connections, funny or informative posts you read that day. Technology is there to complement day-to-day communication, not replace it.
Facebook is different then other online social networks. It is personal rather then anonymous. It centers around your personal reality rather then building around a profile that may blend reality and fiction. Because of the photo/video posts and real time chatting abilities, Facebook feels more like 3-D communication then 2-D communication like texting and emailing.
On a Personal Note
As a married couple who already communicates well, Facebook has heightened our communication, online and offline. With four kids in activities, we can’t be together all the time. Kelli was at our daughter’s gymnastics meet while Jason was with the boys at an indoor soccer game. Kelli was able to post pictures from the meet with comments onto her Facebook page using her iPhone and Jason was able to view the Facebook updates on his phone in real time. We chatted with one another through the Facebook application on our phones. More and more, Facebook helps us connect with each other and take part in our kids’ activities at the same time.
If you’re a little nervous about wading into the online social network world because you’ve heard the stories of online affairs, read our article, “Is Facebook a Cyber Threat to Your Marriage?”
We’re living proof that this particular online social network can improve your marriage relationship.
K. Jason and Kelli Krafsky have been married since 1994 and have spoken to couples on marriage issues for many years. Jason is the author of Before “I Do”: Preparing for the Full Marriage Experience . As a marriage junkie, Jason supports his habit by training leaders on marriage issues, writing articles and blog entries on marriage and family relationships, coaching communities, churches, and ministries on marriage strengthening strategies. Kelli has spent fourteen years teaching in public school, private school and home school settings. She is passionate about helping women have healthy relationships and happy marriages. Jason and Kelli live in the foothills of Washington’s Cascade Mountains with their four children. Contact them at Yourhomelyfe.com.
K. Jason and Kelli Krafsky