Well I finished my psych blog on Facebook and relationships. I feel I should share my own experience of a relationship and Facebook – positive? Negative? Read on and find out.
Unfortunately (or very fortunately depending on your view) my relationship with *Bob* ended this February (this was not a mutual decision but one sided. His decision)
A bit of background info. I was friends with Bob in the real world for years and then on Fb before we entered a relationship.
It was Bob who first posed the relationship question, he made the first move (I’m a mixture of shy & old fashioned) It was him who entered that we were “in a relationship” on Fb and funnily enough it was him too that changed it to “is single” and then strangely deleted that from his profile.
Not exactly relevant but I also feel like saying that the reason Bob ended things with me was not the most valid excuse, which was to try to gain a job.
Now Bob already had a job, a very well paid, steady job. The reason why Bob wanted to get that other job……… Money. To make alot of money very quickly..
So effectively I was dumped for money. Should I feel insulted at the idea that I was disposed of for money??? Well I feel i would be insulted if the reality of Bob’s job idea wasn’t a fantasy. I say that as Bob has perhaps a 10% or less chance of getting that other job.
((Isn’t there some saying about Money being the root of all Evil???))
Back on track now……So, did i Fb check up on Bob?
Right after Bob ended things – Nope, for a week I stayed well clear of Fb. I was devastated and ill at the same time. I didn’t find out till the week after Bob ending things that the day after he’d ended the relationship that he changed his status to single. I did hope Bob would changed his mind about ending the relationship. He didn’t (although still used me for emotional support and a prop)
A month later…….
Well I finally took off my rose tinted glasses I had been wearing around Bob. I realised Bob was smoke and mirrors, he’d say one thing and do the other. That his “stubborn” side was infact a “selfish” streak. Bob’s a taker, not a giver. It’s his way or no way.
So what does this all have to do with Fb?
Like I said, Bob was a taker, I gave him alot and got nothing back. One morning (after the rose glasses were gone) I decided enough was enough.
I wasn’t the problem, Bob was the problem.
So I took back my personal power, my respect and self esteem.
How did I do that…….
I told Bob that I’d had enough of his games.
I deleted Bob from my phone.
I took my Fb contacts and pressed “unfriend” on Bob.
Do I want to check on Bob’s Fb nowadays?
No, cause I’ve realised Bob’s not a nice guy. Sad, but true
An apt phrase for Bob now would be
kicked to the (fb) curb
3rd Decemeber 2012
I decided to look at the almost extreme with Facebook. The dark and dangerous side of it that you don’t want to admit exists. Stalking. Type Online Stalking into Google and worryingly (or thankfully) there is a lot of information on it. I found an article titled ‘Online Obsessive Relational Intrusion: Further Concerns About Facebook’
My first thought was “further concerns???” but then the shock wore off after the jealously article. But I was not prepared for what I read. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. There were 5 categories of behaviours. Five?! They were Primary Contact attempts, Secondary Contact Attempts, Monitoring or Surveillance, Expression and lastly Invitations. As I read on my shock returned. The category “secondary contact attempts” I found no words for. It basically regarded people contacted others that were connected to the “target”
Shocking. Astonishing. Creepy and finally shudder inducing. The idea that someone who doesn’t know me would contact my friends and family to initiate contact with me is odd behaviour to me. The article started me thinking about my awareness of those strangers in cyberspace that could possibly be looking at my Facebook right now. They even could be reading this, I would never know.
That is what worried me most about the article. I previously thought that Facestalking was the only phrase associated with Facebook. Nope, there is Profile Stalking, Facebook cyber-stalking, Facestalking, Stalkbook, Status Creeping and the simple Stalking.
But not all is doom and gloom. Thankfully in the article “instances of criminal stalking behaviour resulting from online social networking sites are few”
I know after reading this I will be checking what my privacy settings are on Facebook. We raise children to be aware of strangers the meet in the street, in chatrooms online. What about ourselves as adults? I think I would rather err on the side of caution.
1st December 2012
After all the sources I’ve read this past 2 weeks I’ve had to cut them down to what’s relevant and what’s not. To do so I thought about the natural progression of a relationship. Usually you meet someone, there is that spark, you get to know each other and things progress. Then I considered the implication of Facebook.
“More Information than You Ever Wanted: Does Facebook Bring Out the Green-Eyed Monster of Jealousy?” and “Time to Face It! Facebook Intrusion and the Implications for Romantic Jealousy and Relationship Satisfaction” both by the wonderful Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking. The articles were enlightening but sadly unsurprising. In general they regarded when curiosity becomes intrusive. Both articles showed that Facebook can result in jealousy, paranoia and ultimately the breakdown of relationships.
Facebook is easily accessible; it is easy to get caught up checking on a partner. It has an almost addictive quality and there is a fine line between a quick check up and surveillance. Small thoughts can snowball into large ones. And with jealously it can only result in a lose-lose situation.
A worst case scenario example could be a woman may see her partner being friendly with another on Facebook, with many comments and photos posted between them. If the partner is less attentive and spending more time online she may begin to wonder. A possible extreme would be that she checks his Facebook (or worse yet, she hacks into it)
The outcome of this is
- She may find out he’s faithful and be at peace (but that does not say she won’t check on him in future again)
- She may find out he is being unfaithful (she may confront him and in doing so reveals herself)
- He may discover that she has been checking up on him. He may either choose to ignore it or confront her.
Overall in each outcome the thing that sticks out for me is the lack of trust. You should be able to trust your partner. It looks like Facebook is a wonderful tool for destroying that trust. And once trust is gone it’s hard to regain.
Rachel A. Elphinston, B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), and Patricia Noller, B.A. (Hons.), Ph.D, (2011), Time to Face It! Facebook Intrusion and the Implications for Romantic Jealousy and Relationship Satisfaction, CyberPsychology, Behaviour & Social Networking, Volume 14, (11) pp631-635
Amy Muise, M.Sc., Emily Christofides, M.Sc., and Serge Desmarais, Ph.D, (2009), More Information than You Ever Wanted: Does Facebook Bring Out the Green-Eyed Monster of Jealousy? CyberPsychology, Behaviour & Social Networking, Volume 12, (4), 99441-444
Over the last few weeks I have conducted searches to find sources that were relevant and credible to the topic of cyber psychology, social networks and the effect on relationships and friendships. From lightsome magazine pieces to in-depth academic papers, there is more information and research than I first expected
I thought I would share the names and links to the various sites that I visited in doing background reading.
- Academic & Research
The British Psychological Society http://www.bps.org.uk
Pew Research Centre Publications http://pewresearch.org
Wiley Online Library http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com
Science Direct http://www.sciencedirect.com/
AlphaGalileo Foundation http://www.alphagalileo.org/
EBSCO Host (with UHI username & password) http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/libraries/e-resources/a-z-online-resources/e
BPS Research Digest http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.co.uk/