Mother: Why do you need a smartphone?

Teenage daughter: You won’t understand, ma… it gives me peace of mind!

Mother: Peace of mind?! How?

Teenage daughter: If you insist… I can follow up on my boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend on Facebook24x7 without appearing creepy!!!

That’s right, the mother was baffled even more, and so was the daughter. It’s no wonder that Facebook has encroached in every part of our lives. If you thought, this scenario was only common amongst teenagers, think again.

Last year, a marriage in India apparently crumbled, with the new bride citing that her husband had neglected to list “married” as his relationship status on Facebook.

Are we that vulnerable to something as futile as an update? Is our online status more important than the real status? Are online friends more real? Are social networking sites quintessential to our existence?

We can have endless debates on this. For instance,

Pro Facebook:

  • It goes beyond boundaries

The most common of these arguments are: Facebook is the best thing for relationships. I can keep in touch with people, be a part of their lives without actually being in their circle or the same vicinity.

  • Back to the roots

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The other, which is quite a contradiction, is:

Facebook helps to create relationships. There are cases where people have met their life partners through Facebook, got in touch with their old friends, discovered family ties, and so on.

It is true that Facebook is a great medium to keep in touch, and it has brought the world a lot closer than before.

So for some it may be hurt, for others it might be help. Besides, it’s really up to one’s discretion as to how much you want to allow people to find out about you or your life.

Anti-Facebook

Creates a havoc

There are others who insist that Facebook is nothing but a nuisance. Psychologists around the world have agreed that it is an addiction. Often trouble in relationships creeps in when one starts stalking their partner by checking their posts, friend’s lists and so on. One starts believing the virtual world, and steers away from real conversations and confrontations.

Debates will go on. Well, after all these are two sides of the same coin. So, enjoy it till serves a healthy purpose, and pull back when you know you have crossed the boundary. Here are few tips that will help you keep a reality check:

Facebook is your real world: [really?]

You have to share everything on Facebook, even before you share it with your partner or your close relationships you have it as your status update. It’s a sign…. Withdraw before it’s too late.

Instead, go back to more face-to-face conversations, more real interactions and enjoy the joy of sharing in ‘real-time’, not Facebook ‘real-time’.

Friends with your ex:

If you are caught in a dilemma of whether or not you must stay friends with your ex on Facebook, just follow the thumb rule – What is right in the real world, is right in the Facebook world. So, if you feel being friends with your ex in real world can affect your present relationship, then it will do the same if you are ‘Facebook’ friends. Remember, the world of Facebook is not any different, it’s your creation after all.

You hit a panic button because something is not right on your partner’s wall:

In such a case, remember the ‘Talk it out’ rule. If something is bothering you, talk to your partner about it. The best way to clear an issue is through communication.

But, you still need to hit that panic button, because you are treading on the ‘I-spy-you-on-Facebook’ category. This can only mean danger.

You are always too busy to respond because your one eye and ear is on Facebook?

If you are guilty if this, you know what to do. Step out of your virtual fantasy world and get real.

Remember, these are only pointers. Those who have been in long-term relationships will tell you that it requires constant nurturing. It’s always a work-in-progress. So, Facebook or not, be watchful. While we are at it, the supporters of Facebook might just be hoping that Mark Zuckerberg comes up with something that will help keep close relationships intact!

Facebook already has a feature – Close Friends, which, lets you know every action the people you add to the list. You can ‘Star Your Close Friends’ to make sure you don’t miss their important moments. Facebook suggests who you consider your close friends based on your interactions and your friends wouldn’t know they have been added to your list.

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