Friday, November 22, 2013

And Social Media Makes Three

Ezgi Polat
I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but Jon arrives on Sunday for Thanksgiving.  (Wait, I did?  Silly me!)  When I told him the other night that I planned to draft all of my posts for the week he's here before he lands at Dulles, it led into a whole conversation about my affinity for social media and the role it does or should play in our relationship.

See, Jon's much more private than I am.  At first I chalked it up to being British and reserved, but lots of Brits overshare online; then I thought maybe it had something to do with being a boy and clueless, but he works in publicity/marketing so it's not like he's unaware of what's involved in getting out there.  I guess it's just how he is; I think it actually has less to do with preferring anonymity as an individual than it does with wanting intimate moments shared with a select few to stay private.

(Yes, I see the irony in sharing this on a blog.  No, he didn't say all of that in so many words, but I'm extrapolating for you.  And no, I didn't clear this post with him before publishing it, which I usually do, but yes, I have told him about it now that it's live.)

So I promised Jon that I'd minimize my blogging while he's here and I suggested that I might take an entire month away from Betsy Transatlantically when he moves over in the spring.  He knows how much I love blogging and he absolutely supports it, but I'm well aware that he'd be happier if I spent less time in front of a screen when we're together.  To be totally honest, I felt that second bit was a grand gesture.  But it turns out that my blog isn't what he'd choose for me to drop were I to step back from social media.  You know what he'd rather I never signed up for?

Twitter and Instagram.

I understand why, of course.  The spontaneous micro-documentation of these platforms interrupts our intimacy, impinging on the smallest of shared moments, in a way that blogging doesn't.  But still, I've grown reliant - dependent even, maybe - on the community and the conversations on Twitter and Instagram; it would feel like a punishment to give them up completely.  The connections I've made and the friendships I maintain through these forums are real, and it would be a shame to lose them.

That being said, while Jon's here for this visit, I will limit my social media presence.  As with my last trip to England for my wedding, the priority is being present in the experiences I'm sharing with those physically around me.  Long term, though, we don't have a solution, and I thought you might have some insight, dear readers.  Do you run up against this with your significant other or family?  I'd love to hear how you navigate the often blurry line between public and private, especially because I think that where I'd put the line and where Jon would put the line are miles apart.

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22 comments:

  1. When I started my blog, I didn't realise how much of my life I wanted to share, and my bf is a really good sport about it all. He tends to stay quite anonymous in that he doesn't always feature on my blog, and I wouldn't want to post anything that he wouldn't like, but also, he doesn't have a job where he needs to worry about his life getting out on the internet. I've always been a big picture taker though, so he is used to that part. It's hard to find balance sometimes, I wish I could be of more help! I do tend to shy away more from social media on weekends, and only post a few instagram bits so that I can be present and even have things to blog about!

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  2. I think it is all about finding the right formula in each situation which is hard when the situation is far off and not in the present.
    We often will have a tea when Fredrik gets home and then he wants to check his email and what not so I use that time to also catch up on my online life and then for dinner and other nighttime activities we stay away but when we get in bed we once again do a check up on our stuff. I have also noticed we go through seasons of more internetting which often will relate to the actual seasons as in summer with such late sunsets we actually use them more as we are up so late!

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  3. Beau is actually the opposite of Jon. He would let me blog/tweet about even more personal stuff than I already do. I'm the one who draws lines. In fact, he doesn't even care about us being anonymous, but I have a very unusual name, and for now, I can't have my blog in search results for my name. Every person (and couple!) has to figure out their own line.

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  4. We absolutely have this problem, and it's frustrating because I completely see where he's coming from. Why can't you just have irrational opinions so I can ignore you, husband?! One thought: would he care as much if you were just taking pictures? Sometimes I do that, and those are documentation for us as much as the rest of the world. And then I do the (lengthy) filter-adding, caption-creating and posting later, when he's not around and doesn't care.

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  5. Jordan really only draws the line when it comes to stuff about him, and I try to always let him read any post that I think might offend him or that he'd be uncomfortable with. Otherwise, he's pretty okay with everything I post. I don't have an Instagram, which is probably a good thing for me since I would be OBSESSED with it for sure.

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  6. I don't really share very personal stuff, on the blog, I prefer to filter it through with the adventures we're having in olde blighty, but there is a balance I'd like to strike somehow.
    As for limiting the social media, I try to limit myself to half an hour a day, plus commuting times. Like I said, I try!
    I do find my hubby getting annoyed so I throttle back and batch write on a Sunday evening to limit during the week.

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  7. yeah, I like the idea of making technology-free zones or times. We've already agreed that we'll never have a TV in the bedroom, but it's the phone/laptop situation we need to work out! thank you :)

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  8. "so that I can be present and even have things to blog about!"


    THIS IS THE KEY. YES.

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  9. that's true! it's important to remember that I'm not just sharing things for the broader community, I'm also documenting them for us. I wonder if using that as my focus will change my social media presence sort of organically?

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  10. I think you're right! my friend Eliza did a thing a while ago where she only posted one Instagram a day (if I'm remembering that correctly) and I might try that. I can still take all the photos I want, but I'll save them for us!

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  11. true! I need to remember this more. thank you :)

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  12. this might sound silly, but I've been making a real effort to leave my phone at home when I go on walks with Charlie and it makes SUCH a difference in how we interact!

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  13. haha I know can you imagine complaining about this even 10 years ago?

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  14. NO THAT IS NOT A HELPFUL ANSWER BELLE. TELL ME WHAT TO DO.


    :P

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  15. there are definitely some things that Jon does online (stupid humor websites, architectural forums, etc) that I have no interest in being part of, so maybe we just need to synch up our internet time? like, I'll do my blogging etc. while he does all of that...

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  16. Why can't you just have irrational opinions so I can ignore you, husband?!



    I HAVE ACTUALLY SAID THIS TO JON BEFORE. so glad I'm not the only one :P

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  17. oh yeah, Jon's the same - I give him right of refusal on posts about him, but otherwise he doesn't really care. it's the other stuff that gets in the way - the little twitchy things!

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  18. Happyeverafter_BrideNovember 23, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    oooh when i saw the headlines, I thought of my post when my hubby and I were fooling around with Siri when we first discovered her. In all seriousness though, you get so little time with Jon, you should take that time to be present with him and enjoy your moments just being the two of you. We don't mind sharing and waiting till you're back and connected again. With Twitter and Isntagram, you'll find that you can pickup just where you left off.

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  19. Not silly at all! It really does change how you look at things!

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  20. I think so many of us can relate to this post! I am totally hooked on Instagram and though my boyfriend is very supportive about my blog, he can go a little nuts when I'm constantly glancing at my phone! This weekend we decorated our Christmas tree and the photo obsessed person inside of me immediately thought about photographing everything. Instead however, I decided to go with the flow and not pull my camera (or phone) out for once. It turned out to be such a great decision because I LOVED the little moments and laughs and stories we shared as we were decorating (we even went skating in our imaginary ice skating rink once we were done!). So cheers to living in the moment! Also, I completely agree with internet time being synched. My and I have internet time a little late in the evening, we'll sit in the living room and put on a TV show we both like and just sit next to each other on separate lap tops. Once it becomes a routine it makes it easier to stop yourself from trying to go on the computer multiple times a day! We also sometimes prepare snacks or yummy drinks and it almost makes it feel like a nice stay at home date!

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  21. I'm sure that once Jon is there to distract you, the 'problem' will sort itself out ;) x

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