Technology & Dating: What’s Healthy, and What’s Not?
by Anitra Edwards, loveisrespect
Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. The list keeps growing when it comes to social media and how people keep in touch. Add in text messaging, FaceTime and email and you have a lot of ways to communicate! This can be a good thing, but it can also create opportunities for people to behave in really unhealthy or even abusive ways. Since just about everyone is online these days (including our parents and even grandparents!), it’s important to talk about technology and dating, and how the two can come together safely.
When it comes to being healthy and safe, it’s always a good idea to set some boundaries. Talk with your partner about what you both are and aren’t comfortable with. You might consider asking each other these questions:
- Is it ok to share photos, tag or check each other in?
- Do we post about our relationship status?
- Is it ok to friend or follow my friends?
- When/how often is it ok to text each other?
It’s really important to respect each other’s boundaries, and be sure to let each other know if your feelings or boundaries shift.
Keep in mind that you always have the right to privacy, and that includes not sharing your passwords. Social media also gives you so many ways to interact with other people. In a healthy relationship, your partner respects your right to talk to whomever you choose (as long as you feel it is safe for you, of course!). Unfortunately, some people choose to use technology to maintain power and control over their partners; this is called digital abuse. A person who is behaving abusively might:
- Demand or pressure you to share passwords to your social media or email accounts
- Tell you who you can and can’t talk to online
- Send you or force you to send them pictures/videos that you aren’t comfortable with
- Put you down or post negative or private things about you online
- Demand that you “check in” or post your location to social media so they can keep track of where you are
- Look at your text and call history to check up on you
- Constantly text you and make you feel like you can’t be separated from your phone or you’ll be punished
- Threaten to post private pictures of you online
Remember: you deserve respect in all aspects of your relationship, online and off. If you’re noticing some unhealthy or abusive behaviors in your relationship, or if something just doesn’t feel right to you, you can always call, chat or text with a loveisrespect advocate for support. Our services are free and completely confidential!
1-866-331-9474 | chat at loveisrespect.org | text “loveis” to 22522
This article was originally posted in 2016 on MissHeardMagazine.com.