Shared accounts: Caring or controlling?

(Kelsi Quigley/The Signpost)
(Kelsi Mooney/The Signpost)

From the moment we are born, we begin learning an important concept: sharing. As children, we share toys, snacks and bedrooms. As we age, the concept of sharing doesn’t change. What we share does.

Instead of “Hot Wheels,” we share a car; instead of snack baggies, we share a grocery bills and we still end up sharing a bedroom. However, in my opinion, there are a few things in life that might be better left unshared.

Lately a new trend on Facebook has caught my eye.

Couples, married and unmarried, are sharing Facebook accounts. At first, some of the shared accounts I stumbled upon made sense. They usually belonged to older couples who used Facebook primarily to keep in contact with kids and grandkids.

It makes sense to share an account when you’re only using it to occasionally look at photos and read updates about family members.

It wasn’t until I came across shared accounts of younger couples, some who weren’t married, that I began to furrow my brow and think over what that action means.

It had never occurred to me that people would want to share a Facebook account. I’m not sure where this attitude comes from, but I should probably give the credit to the strong streak of independence that my parents instilled in me.

It’s not that I don’t know how to share. It’s just that I am more comfortable doing things on my own. For me, the shared social media takes on a much different form than a Facebook account used by only one person. The shared account slowly turns into a documentation of a relationship between two people, ups and downs included.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to wonder why on earth someone might share an account. Is it for ease and accessibility? Is it for family members? Couples, especially married couples, generally have very similar day-to-day activities, minus a few things here and there.

I asked around to better understand the point of view of those who share accounts. The general consensus seemed to always come back to the answer, “It gives us some real accountability.”

We have all seen the news reports and statistics that show the harm that social media can do in a relationship. While these reports contain interesting data, I’ve always believed that social media is simply a new venue for cheating, lying or hiding information from a significant other.

As someone who puts a big importance on honesty and trust in my relationships with family and friends, I can’t imagine the need to keep tabs on my significant other via Facebook. I would hope that I could trust them with something as simple as a Facebook account, and, in return, they could trust me.

I don’t think you can prevent someone from cheating or gossiping behind your back by sharing social media. You may reduce the number of ways they can do these things, but for people who have the intent, they will find the means.

In my opinion, sharing an account boils down to a lack of trust and need for control. If you can’t trust your significant other to manage a simple Facebook account, this can be an indicator of bigger trust issues in the relationship. If someone is urging you to combine your Facebook with theirs, then you might want to look into their motives.

Don’t allow yourself to be controlled via social media because, before you know it, the controlling will seep into your everyday life.