Not sure if you’ve answered this question before and I missed it, but I’m going to ask. I’m not necessarily in a relationship, but dating and hoping to get in one soon. Not that I mind being technically single, I just want my bae. Anyway, me and my God brother, who does have a man, were talking about how upset he gets about his boyfriend being on Instagram and Snapchat. Not that he’s on the apps, but that he’s always posting body pics. He started working out heavy about 5 months ago, and I’ll admit he definitely bulked up something fine. So now I guess he likes showing off his progress. He’s posted his arms, back, chest, and even legs. Although, he had to stop with the leg pics because my God brother went off about him posting pics in his underwear. I tried to tell him that posting pics aren’t that big deal, but he’s convinced that folks will DM his man and that will lead to cheating.
Meanwhile, my God brother vents often vents on Instagram whenever he and his boo have an argument. I told him to stop that, but he is stubborn and doesn’t listen. Bringing this around to why I wrote you. How do you think social media should play a role in relationships? Looking forward to hearing from you.
Jimmy Jones 93
Dear Jimmy Jones 93,
Thanks for writing to me. I actually love your question. Social media has been a thing that has penetrated pretty much all of our lives in some form or fashion. If you yourself don’t own an account with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, or some other app, you at least know the names I just mentioned aren’t gibberish. Heck, even my grandma is aware of Facebook and Twitter. Although I’ll admit she is familiar with the latter more so because of 45 and his nonpresidential antics. But moving right along.
Given social media is such a big part of modern day culture, people like your God brother, his boyfriend, and you, are constantly trying to figure out how it fits into the context of coupledom. While I think two people in a loving relationship with trust can each successfully maintain their independence with their respective social media profiles, I am fully aware that for some couples, social media can cause issues stemming from acts of disrespect. Acts that were alluded to in your letter.
Now me personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with your God brother’s man flexing for the gram. As much as people like to pretend they work out and eat like rabbits for the sake of prolonging their lives and maintaining good health, most people spend their time sculpting their body so they can look good. Look good naked, and look good in the trendy fashions that only really fit a particular size.
With that said, there are a whole lot of people on the ‘Gram and other platforms showing off their figure. I can’t even lie, I’ve been that person on occasion to show my progress in my goal to be “thinny” or “slick” (that’s skinny/thick or slim/thick). But I understand that in posting body shot pictures, you can potentially open yourself up to attention, wanted or not. As a person in a relationship, it’s your job not post anything too distasteful as to embarrass your mate, or open the door to aggressively flirtatious DMs. So I would say posting “leg day” photos of yourself in your underwear hiked up, and your eggplant exposed, walks the line of disrespectful if you’re in a relationship. Unless it’s your business (as in you’re making money) to be seductive, or your partner hasn’t expressed a problem with the photo, there’s no need to show all your goods. Save something for your man. In essence, I happen to agree with your God brother for addressing the leg photo post. That’s about all I agree with him on though, no shade.
Let me this next point crystal clear. I want you to write it down, tweet it, share it, do whatever you must to understand it and spread the word. Here we go, “Social media is not a diary.” It has long been a pet peeve of mind to see people take to Twitter or Facebook or whatever, to detail their every thought. And judging by these people’s posts, you would think they have nothing to be thankful for as they are always complaining. So when folks vent on social media platforms about their mate they may be beefing with at the moment, I give the biggest eye roll.
The more couples put their business/problems on Instagram and things, the more they welcome people to participate in their relationship. They invite folks to criticize what they’ve built together. It’s that simple. And it’s funny these couples have the nerve to claim “everyone is hating on their relationship.” So if I were you, I would try harder to convince your God brother to stop airing dirty laundry.
Suggestions going forward.
- Remember, a relationship between two people is between two people. So folks should be mindful of how they use social media.
- If folks don’t trust their mate, then social media will definitely be a threat to their relationship.
- Oh and there is nothing wrong with discussing with your partner some social media guidelines you both may want to follow.
As always nothing but love,