Social networking is all about being social, right? Perhaps; but if you wanted to get technical, you could say that being antisocial was a kind of social interaction too.
Does this have no place in social networking – the world of Facebook, Twitter? Well, wonder no more, because all over the social universe, there is an avid following for the running soap operas of terrible marital fights taken public these days.
And fighting couples use every communication method Facebook-like services offer, too. They could use taunting Facebook wall posts, or they could use changes to the relationship status in a way that would humiliate the other in public.
It’s almost as if couples enjoy the feeling of having their relationship be a circus. When people in a mutually abusive marriage want the energy of a good public bash up, they no longer have to pick a fight at the shopping center or the child’s PTA meeting; they always have an ever present crowd of onlookers on Facebook.
This is quite remarkable if you think about it. Most of the time, people think of nothing other than putting a happy face on their abusive marriage when friends and family come by.
For couples to actually go and join Facebook groups specifically meant for couples that want to get into a good bout of mudslinging, washing their dirty laundry out in public as it were – that is quite a novel turn for the anthropologists to study.
A strong attraction to the possibility of venting in public is that it would be easy for you later, to analyze everything that happened, and get your friends’ opinions – or rather, to get your friends’ opinions when they fall in with you and against your significant other.
Everyone is already on Facebook, wasting time; what harm could it do to get them all to referee a fight? It’ll be like those movies where there is a fight in the schoolyard or in prison, and everyone calls out to their friends to come watch and chant Fight! Fight!. So this is what marriages have devolved into – a sideshow not unlike a street fight that has loads of curious onlookers in attendance.
As hysterical as these couples might think it is, marriage counselors don’t believe that there is anything entertaining going on here at all. In fact, to treat your spouse like just another friend, with there being no sanctity to what is said to her and her alone, it’s just one more step in the undoing of the institution of marriage they feel.
The only way that married people would find it acceptable to call each other names in public would be if they did not see the difference between marriage and friendship (maybe not even friendship).
And even if sometimes they claim that it is all done in jest, if it looks like, smells like and sounds like an abusive marriage, that is what it is. However there could be one upside to this for onlookers. It’s like looking at a sitcom or a soap opera and thinking,that kind of looks like what I do; is that how awful I look when I do that?.
Perhaps this isn’t as new as it sounds. Consider the new Seinfeld-created show on NBC, The Marriage Ref. Married couples come on the show, and get their fight off in public; and a panel of experts, all celebrities and viewing audiences at home, will pitch in and vote for who’s right.
But, to the onlookers more often than not, this will be their only window into this relationship; and more often than not they would just conclude that it was an abusive marriage, and wonder why these two are together at all.
The thing is, as traditional marital advice goes, having the support of your friends and family is a great way to insure the longevity of your marriage. When all anyone sees if your marriage is how you two are at each other’s throats all the time, you can kiss that support goodbye.