Why Couples Should Have a Social Media Prenup- Dr. Sheri Meyers on CBS News
As you may know, I’m a big proponent of and very passionate about the need for couples to have a “social media prenup” discussion. Basically, it’s an agreement in place BEFORE anything goes wrong and an understanding about what to do if it does.
Nowadays, our computers, tablets, smart phones have become a convenient one-stop way station for many of our social, professional, intellectual, recreational and personal needs. It’s easy to let our devices become the Viagra to a boring moment, an immediate source of connection and instant relief for loneliness and stress.
Before we know it, we are seduced by all the attention and addicted to the feel-good feelings and online cheers we get for posting and sharing our intimate thoughts, photos and life details. Relationships already have so many moving parts, now add social media to the mix and it’s no wonder why Facebook is now mentioned in over 30% if all divorce filings these days.
I truly believe that every couple who uses a computer or smart phone needs to communicate about what is and isn’t acceptable to post, what is the line between chatting and cheating with online friends, how each feels about having smartphones or tablets at the dinner table, and how much time online and our devices is acceptable.
In my personal relationship, because social media is and was such an important part of our lives (both professionally and socially) my sweetheart, Jonathon and I had a ‘what’s cool and not cool to post’ discussion and prenup in place from the start.
Having a social media prenup in place, got us through a lot of potential rough times with ease and grace. And, even when we broke up last year, having a social media prenup helped us to uncouple with love, cooperatively announce our break up, navigate through the usual jealousies that arise and discuss how to interact on social media thereafter.
CBS News happened to come to interview me on the day we posted our BreakUp announcement on Facebook and decided to do a segment on it.
TARZANA (CBSLA.com) June 5, 2014
When Sheri Meyers, a marriage and family therapist, and her boyfriend of 4 years broke up, they also broke the news on Facebook.
“We did it holding hands and we did it with full consciousness. We wrote what we were going to say together. And we were on the phone when we both hit the send button,” Meyers said.
Throughout the ups and downs of their relationship, Meyers said they always discussed what’s acceptable to post on social media.
“Before Jonathan was going to post something, he said, ‘This is an SMP moment. Is this OK?’” Meyers said. “And I said yes or no.’
CBS2’s Kristine Lazar said social media prenups are a new trend in modern relationships.
“I’ve seen so many couples break into big fights because of a misunderstanding in this area,” Meyers said.
The prenup may include how much time a couple can spend on social media and what they can share.
“So for us girls, a big one is when our sweetheart posts a picture, a photo, they think is funny, but we think is so humiliating and embarrassing because it’s so ugly,” Meyers said.
Meyers said couples may give a big eyeroll to social media prenups right now. “[But] I am sure this is something that’s going to become commonplace. Because with social media taking up so much of our lives now, a lot of our work is involved in social media, we need to find the balance and we need to start having the communication around it,” she said.