By Todd Olthoff, Married Life Pastor, Saddleback
In the last post, I talked about what could happen with what seems like an innocent connection on Facebook. I shared one idea for how to keep yourself out of danger. In this post, I'll share several more ways you can keep yourself safe from the perils of social networks.
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Second, if you are writing things you would never want your spouse to see, stop it now. Have an open check and balance system in your marriage when it comes to Facebook. Allow your spouse access to your account. Only use your account when your spouse is in the room. Let your spouse know who all your friends are and even have the freedom to check your email account when you get updates. If you are not willing to be open you are probably already having conversations you shouldn't have.
Third, don’t "friend" old flames or people you dated in the past. It is probably a good idea to not even have the temptation around. You can completely avoid the temptation by just not “friending” people who could step into this kind of role in your life.
Fourth, avoid the instant chat feature and texting. If the only form of communication is to write on the other person’s wall, you avoid the long drawn out conversations that feel private that can lead to the kinds of emotional affairs described above.
Finally, limit your online social media time. Don’t get consumed in living in the never ending, always on world of social media. Only check your Facebook page once a day when your spouse is present. Don’t substitute real live face to face relationships for online virtual relationships. You have a real life to live!
Hopefully you will consider the potential hazards of allowing social media to dominate your life and do everything you can to protect your marriage and family. I haven’t met a person yet who said they went on Facebook to find someone to have an affair with. It is something that snuck up on them and happened subtly over time. They thought they were immune when they first started so just be wise in how you engage and interact with these services. While you may never act on or have an affair, having anyone that you compare your spouse to in an unfavorable way will negatively effect your marriage.