Proper Facebook Etiquette

#702 A jealous Facebook rage

Monday 24th November, 2008

As the door shut on my partners exiting form I found myself in front of their open laptop and open Facebook page. I Assume our relationship is ‘as solid as a rock’, so would it be so wrong – under the circumstances – to have taken a sneaky peak at their Facebook account?

Just happening to ‘notice’ that your partner had left open their Facebook Profile does not 1. Justify your level of snooping, or 2. remove you from any culpability in terms of your own motivation to have already taken ‘a sneaky peak’.

A friend of mine recently, lets call them ‘jealous freak – jf’ started where you are now with just an ‘inconsequential’ and opportune ‘peak’ into the Facebook underbelly of their partners correspondence. Whilst there was nothing sinister or revealing declared these actions contributed to an almost addicted scanning of not only Facebook, but email accounts and texts – swiftly scanned for any ‘wrong doing’ or inappropriate ‘openings’. The relationship ended when jf’s partner discovered the snooping and cut their access off. Cold. Turkey.

There seems to be a strange familiarity here with other couples I’ve observed who scream mid argument ‘who the hell is texting you?’ or ‘why did Cindy from Cincinnati post on your Wall?’ Mediated lives provide a near instance opportunity to remain attached and in contact with your nearest and dearest, they also seem to raise pulses for baseless insecurities and paranoia if taken out of context. A simple ‘darling Cindy from Cincinnati doesn’t matter to me, she has nothing on you the one i’m with – she’s simply a…..’ (insert whatever seems most appropriate ‘old hag’, ‘friend from school’, ‘transvestite, used to be my best mate ‘Colin”, ‘happily married VC’ etc).

The turning point seems to be when such moments move from those seemingly opportune instants to an obsessed intrusion and irritation. The first is where you happen upon information, the second when you actively go looking for it. Take heed the justification of ‘it was only within those particular circumstances’- i.e. an open laptop, or ‘I just stumbled across the information’ would not sit well in a Murder She Wrote mystery, nor likely with the Facebook friend whose life you were about to snoop.

Of course it doesn’t help when we are bombarded with information from a mediated world consumed by the lifestyle dramas of social incidence – One wonders if Amy Winehouse is checking Blake’s Facebook profiling whilst his in rehaaaaaaaaaaaab – oh no, no, no…

I have had friends admit that they check their partners Blackberry’s with a regularity more be-fitting of an ADD adolescent. In short if you find yourself looking for a way in to another’s private communication, or justification of this act you have already gone too far. Ask yourself, is this behaviour formed from a Bridget Jone’s style insecurity? Does this implicate me as unhinged, irrational and less than socially culpable? Then step away from the laptop/mobile phone/PDA and keep your companion happy with some reciprocated social bonding motivated by genuine passion and respect.

One Response to “#702 A jealous Facebook rage”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Richard Thompson puts this point over quite well I think.

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