Many couples these days meet through the internet, but I’ll bet that for every love match made online, another couple splits up because of computers. Here are some of the common examples of computer-induced relationship meltdown, together with some advice on how to prevent them:
Too much time on your PC
No one can say that harvesting your tomatoes in Farmville, grooming your dog in Pet Society, and looking at videos of kittens on YouTube aren’t vitally important tasks. However, you should remember that your partner probably needs a little attention too.
Don’t worry, the worlds of Mordor or the plains of Lordaeron will not cease to exist if you decide to take a romantic trip to McDonalds with your loved one. If you need a bit of encouragement to get off the computer, then install some breakout software, such as WorkRave, which will force you to get off your PC at scheduled times.
The curse of the ‘Away’ status
Status indicators in programs such as Windows Live Messenger, Facebook Chat, or Yahoo! Messenger can be a relationship killer. In particular the ‘Away’ state is a big protagonist, causing breakdowns in communications that can lead to bust-ups. Here are some common scenarios:
* Your messenger program is set to Idle, showing your partner that you left your computer in mid-conversation.
* The same app puts your status back to Available when you move your mouse, and your beloved sees that you’re back at your PC and you still haven’t responded.
* If you’ve disabled status indicators and are always listed as ‘Available’, this can cause even more problems. Get up from your computer for a few minutes and your partner may start talking to you with no response, appearing that you’re ignoring them.
Facebook relationship status
Mess up your Facebook relationship status and you might end up literally changing the status of your partnership. The list of possibly statuses on the social network continues to grow: single, separated, widowed, married, it’s complicated, etc.
Choose wisely or you could really screw up your chances of love. For instance, putting it’s complicated when you’ve been married to someone for 20 years is not a good idea. Setting yourself as in a relationship after a first date is also a big no-no.
My advice is to speak to your partner and agree with them what you will both put as your status. Failing that, just don’t put anything!
My mail is your mail
Just as it’s wrong to read your loved one’s diary, or go through their mail, so you shouldn’t delve too deeply into their digital life. The best relationships are always built on trust, but just to be on the safe side I would make sure you create a strong password for your mail and social networks, and always make sure you sign out and close the session when exiting a program or social networking site.
Not that you’ve got anything to hide, but as soon as partners are going through each other’s mailboxes it’s game over for the relationship, so better to make sure it can never get to that stage.
The green-eyed monster
The internet makes it pretty easy to cheat on someone, at least virtually speaking. But before you go installing a keylogger or even a video surveillance system to check what your wife is doing on the PC in the spare bedroom every night, remember that online relationships are not the same as they are in real life. On the Net, it takes a single click to become friends with someone. In the real world, it can take a lifetime.
If your husband has some slim, pretty-faced friends among his 300 Facebook contacts, you shouldn’t assume that he’s sleeping with them all. You should also always remember that chatting to someone of the opposite sex online isn’t always the same as flirting with them.
The joy of text
Although videoconferencing is starting to gain ground on other means of cyber communication, text still remains the main way of making contact online.
The main problem with text chat, messaging and email is that it’s often very difficult to understand the tone that the writer is intending. A single sentence could be construed as serious, absurd, offensive or dumb, depending on the interpretation of the reader.
As a result, it’s important to be very clear in your online communications in order to convey your sentiments clearly. Much as many people despise them, smileys and mood emoticons can be an effective means of showing the intention of what you’re writing.
Have you split up with a partner because of the internet? We’d love to know what happened and what advise you could give to other couples to avoid doing the same.
[Via: OnSoftware Spain]