I came across this really intriguing article in the New York Times recently that I thought I would share:
When Couples Fight on Facebook
If you don't have time to read the whole article, the gist of it is the growing population of couples who have taken their fights to Facebook in the form of status updates and wall posts. The article highlights one couple who got so direct and blunt in their Facebook argument that a friend had to double check that they knew they were posting things that everybody could read. Another friend expressed concern about their relationship and felt that all they did was fight, based on their Facebook activity.
It's a really interesting article that asks the question if this is healthy activity or not. Never before have marriages been able to air disagreements as quickly and as publicly as they can on Facebook. What do you think? Healthy or not?
Here are some thoughts:
First, what would be the motives of posting an argument on Facebook? For many, as expressed in the article, I think the motive would be to make a case for your argument and gathering support to help you win the argument. This is really not a healthy way too fight. One of the best pieces of advice we have ever gotten about fighting was that too many couples put an issue in between them and both try to win the other person over to their side. But what is better, is to take an issue and put it in front of both of you as you then sit side-by-side to work through an issue together. The previous makes the issue about being right and winning. The later makes the issue about, well...the issue and working through it together.
Second, knowing what it is like to try and work something out over e-mail or text, I would assume that Facebook would be just as difficult, if not worse. You can't read body language and tones; nor can you facial expressions or see emotion in the other person's eyes.
On top of those things being missed, you will also have multiple other voices speaking into your argument. Which, on the one hand can sometimes be helpful but on the other hand we're not talking about a good friend sitting down for an hour or two to give you some honest advice. We're talking about Bill from work whose been divorced twice and is currently dating two girls without their knowing. Do we really want to give him space to respond to our arguments with advice?
I think I would lean towards fighting on Facebook not being a healthy thing.
What do you think?