How social media made insecurity in my relationships that impacted on my children
I’m old enough to remember when social media was a new phenomenon. This was back before it had completely infiltrated our lives. Now it is absolutely everywhere and everyone uses it. I’ll admit that it can be helpful and does have its uses. We can keep up with old friends, share photos, send instant messages, and keep everyone up to date and every tiny little thing that is happening in our professional and private lives.
I was late to social media despite the fact that everyone else in my family had already been using it for years. I didn’t see the point in the popular sites and I didn’t know why everyone said I needed to be on them. Eventually I caved and decided to join the modern world and set up accounts on the most popular services and build some new career in my life. Admittedly I had to get my children to help me out and give some courses on it. Both in their teens they are experts at social media and knew exactly what I had to do to get started. Moreover, addiction to social media sites to children will cause many problems as they likely to live alone. This situation in children made to take advice from child psychologist for the treatment of the situation by which they can recover and communicate with everyone in the family and society. Once we got past all the eye rolling and impatience they were very helpful and within the span of an hour or less I was all ready to start sharing my life with my friends and family.
The very first thing I did was set about adding everyone I knew. It took me awhile to find each person and to send them a notice that I wanted to be friends. Unsurprisingly my children declined to add me but I was able to get my husband on board. Before long I had a fairly decent friends list going and was excited to see all of the new adventures they were all embarking on. I got to see photos of their newborns, and funny memes, and of course their day to day complaints about jobs and life. I felt reluctant to start posting because I had nothing exciting to share so instead I simply watched while they all continued to post.
After days of watching and reading I realized that you could view individual profiles. Within the individual profile you could see everything that single person had posted and commented on. The very first profile I decided to check was my husbands. I noticed he hadn’t posted that he was married and that he seemed to respond to a single woman quite often. More often than I felt was necessary or reasonable. Over the next few weeks I began to stalk his profile. I wasn’t proud of what I was doing and I felt guilty even questioning my husband’s motives but I couldn’t help myself. Some of their responses even seemed like flirting to me although I can’t be certain because it’s so easy to misread intent on the internet.
Despite my careful watching and speculation I couldn’t bring myself to simply ask my husband about the woman. Instead I continued to watch and get more and more irritated. When I would leave the house I was careful to always take my phone so that I could always check to see if either of them had posted. This meant that when I would go to my children’s sports events, musical recitals, or other important events I would sit staring at my phone. In many cases my husband’s schedule wouldn’t permit him to make it so that meant he was free to continue posting if he wanted. I hated that my obsession was drawing away from time that should have been given freely to my children but I couldn’t help myself. I felt like an addict. I hated seeing a new post but at the same time I craved them because it fueled my anger.
When I couldn’t find the courage to speak to my husband I began to interrogate my children. Had they noticed their father responding to this woman a lot? Did they know who she was or how he knew her? Had they ever seen them together? Questions that no parent should be asking their children. My kids began to catch on that I was obsessing despite the fact that I thought I was being coy. I thought I spaced my questions far enough apart that they wouldn’t catch on but kids are smart and within the span of a few days they were asking me what my problem was and why I was acting like it was such a big deal that their dad was talking to someone else. Clearly they had a trust I didn’t.
My constant questioning began to build a wedge between my children and me. It was hard enough to communicate now that they were teenagers and my constant badgering about their father only made them pull further and further away. I knew I shouldn’t continue to ask but my curiosity was too much to bear.
Finally, I stopped using of social media
It all finally came out one evening at dinner. I was gazing at my husband skeptically when my oldest called out, “Why don’t you just ask him Mom?” to which my husband turned and asked what it was that I needed to ask. He truly had no idea. I’m sure he expected me to ask about any normal mundane thing. Put on the spot I was finally able to ask who she was.
At first my husband just crinkled his forehead and looked perplexed. Both of my children continued to bombard him with tales of how I had been harassing them about it for weeks and I could see the look on his face change as he realized I hadn’t trusted him. With anger in his voice he scolded me and told me that I should know him better than that and that she had been his sister’s friend growing up. Apparently she doesn’t even live in the same state. He promised he would talk to her less if it was bothering me so much but I still felt foolish.
Despite all of the benefits of social media it drew a divide in my family. My kids still look at me like I’m nuts and I can tell my husband is hurt. Over time things will patch up and move on but for now I’ve left social media behind.
Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand-Amy Jo Martin.