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6 Facebook and Social Networking Rules for Married People

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You can destroy your marriage on the Internet. And social networking is making it easier than ever to fall into traps that can have you flirting with exes, meeting new people to whom you may be attracted, and having emotional or even physical affairs. Does this mean you should cancel your Facebook and Twitter accounts? No. There are some benefits to them – from promoting your work and finding jobs to keeping in touch with Uncle Pete and your best friend from college. Use social networking sites for good and not evil – and take the following steps to divorce proof your online profile – and you should be fine.

1. Be smart about what you put on the Internet.

Young woman laughing and using laptop computer
Michael Poehlman/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Never write or share photos that you would not want your husband or wife to see or that would make him or her uncomfortable. You can be more casual on social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, than you would be on a professional site or in an office e-mail. But you still should consider your spouse’s feelings. Maintaining a more reserved and professional presence online can help your career and overall reputation, too.

2. Choose the right status.

You are a married person and your status, which usually includes titles, such as single, divorced, seeking love, or married, should reflect your commitment. Some people feel that no one needs to know about their status, especially if they are not seeking relationships on the Internet, and that’s okay, too. Your status should either say “married” or nothing at all. It should not be misleading people to think you are single or seeking a relationship.

3. Pick your friends wisely.

Facebook and other social networking sites require you to agree when others try to befriend you. Agreeing means the person in question can see your profile and comments and get in touch with you. You don’t have to always agree to be friends with people. You should ignore strangers, especially those of the opposite sex. And you can block people who make you feel uncomfortable or are somehow inappropriate. If an ex-boyfriend tried to stop your wedding and your husband prefers you stay out of touch, then stay away from the guy online, too. Your best bet is to be choosy and agree only to people who you know – real-life friends, family, and perhaps colleagues, depending on your line of work.

4. Post a decent photo.

While looking good in your profile photo is a must, you still should be dressed appropriately. Profile pictures should be classy and decent. Leave the sexy bedroom eyes and scantily clad shots for your husband or wife’s eyes only. Keep those sexy pics off the Internet.

5. Think before you type.

On Facebook and Twitter, there’s a temptation to document every moment of your day. But make sure to leave private, intimate moments to the memory bank inside your head or inside a private journal that only you will read. Some moments, such as the wild sex you just had with your husband or the terrible fight you just had with your wife, are not meant to be broadcast for all the world to see.

6. Don’t poke your friends.

Married people probably should not be poking anyone other than their husband or wife. Many Facebook fans poke their friends with virtual hugs and kisses or gifts. Sending your best pal a virtual cupcake on his or her birthday seems harmless enough, but poking your high school boyfriend probably won’t sit well with your husband. If you don’t want to eliminate the poking all together, then you can just use common sense about what kind of poking is appropriate for a married person. Poking your sister with a hug is all right. Poking the hot fireman from down the street with a smooch is not.
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