Just when I thought I couldn't be more scathing of 'smug couples', I recently read the most depressing thing I have seen since UKIP won the local elections. According to a recent survey, 1 in 10 couples in the UK have a joint Facebook account. Worse still, it's not the older, less tech savvy amongst us that have opted for Facebook a deux but younger couples between the age of 25-30.
What is wrong with people these days? Is it not enough that 70% of our Facebook feeds are filled with 'cute' babies and wild flower-ed, hipster weddings, we now have to suffer being liked, poked and commented on by couples joined at the 'account'.
One could think that the reason for joint accounts is less to do with being in a happy relationship and more to do with distrust, that couples are opting to share accounts as a way of monitoring faithfulness and ensuring there is no Facebook flirting taking place to muddy the matrimonial waters. This in itself would be bad enough, but not actually the bit I find most depressing. Let's presume the couple in question do trust each other and the reason for a joint account is simply because they see no reason not to. That's even worse! Whatever happened to a bit of independence?
A couple that Facebooks together, stays together? Nonsense, a couple that Facebooks together are so intertwined in each others lives I am amazed they can breathe ... or have any friends left.
Maintaining an element of independence is key to a healthy relationship. To not know your partners every thought and whereabouts not only means that you'll have a hell of a lot more to talk about at the end of the day, but that you have enough trust and respect for each others personal space that you don't need to live in each others pockets to consider yourselves to be part of a valid relationship - which, at the end of the day, is far more healthy than both being able to message Aunt Janet in South Africa at the same time, is it not?
According to some, having a shared Facebook account is the modern day equivalent of having a shared bank account. Really? Shared bank accounts work because often, when running a household, it is much easier to have a joint account than to write a cheque to the person doing the shopping every week. A Facebook account is a personal platform for people to share photos, thoughts and 'feel good mantras' (cringe). I'll be the first to admit I have friends on Facebook who I haven't seen for 30 years and have absolutely no interest in whatsoever, but they're my friends to have absolutely no interest in whatsoever, not my partners.
But we've been together for 20 years and all our friends are mutual! ... Do you work? Do you have hobbies? Do you have long lost cousins? Only having mutual friends isn't a sign of a healthy relationship it is a sign of co-dependancy - or irritating couples who feel sorry for poor, single people.
Perhaps I'm over thinking it and having your own Facebook account is no reflection of the relationship you are in, perhaps you rarely use it and can't be bothered to set up two? That's still no excuse. Having your own social media account is about personal independence. It is something to keep for yourself, presenting yourself as an individual - regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not.
I'm not talking about hot sex chat with that guy you used to go to school with behind your husbands back either. I'm talking about conversations with friends and some personal online space which your 'other half' doesn't have 24 hour access to. It should have nothing to do with trust and everything to do with healthy space and personal distance within a relationship.
I have an alternative for those worried about de-activating a joint account. Why not walk around wearing a T-shirt printed with the words 'I'm in a couple somebody loves me!!!!' on the front, 'back off he's mine!!!!' on the back and 'I'm worried my boyfriend is flirting online!!!!' printed on the sleeve? Same message different format.