Valentine's Day: Tech etiquette for modern-day relationships

A couple walk near a heart-shaped walkway displayed at a park in Manila. Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 14, 2017, 05.34 AM (IST) Ankit Tuteja

You may have unconditional love for your partner, but you don’t need to put all of that out on display to the world. And before you mistake us for an anti-PDA (Public Display of Affection) brigade, let us clear that out. We are neither intending to celebrate Valentine’s Day by preaching healthy relationships nor we expect you to abstain yourself from expressing feelings to your partner in public. In fact, the idea here is to remind couples of tech etiquette, which is usually found missing in modern-day relationships. And what other day could be better than Valentine’s Day to put together such dos and don’ts?

1. We understand that you want to be up to date with what’s happening in your partner’s life, but it’s not a good idea to snoop on his online activities.  Because you have passwords to all his accounts, doesn’t mean you should log in to them every now and then. Believe it or not, it could prove to be unhealthy for relationships in a long run.

2. No one is going to come and tell you that you need to cut down on your lovey-dovey posts and mushy pictures on social networks. It’s you who need to understand that everything between a couple doesn’t need to go out. Of course, it’s your account and you are free to use it the way you want, but don’t forget, it’s a public platform too. Do you really want to take people to your bedroom?

3. A healthy sign of a successful relationship is the respect for each other’s personal space. You must be an understanding partner and giving your better half the much-needed space in life. But have you ever thought about digital space? With most of us spending a lot of time online, it’s imperative to understand that the space in digital life matters as much as the space in real life.

For instance, you don’t need to know all online activities of your partner on social networks. A lot of inside jokes go into conversations with friends and colleagues on social platforms and you may not understand all of them. So, it’s better that you don’t bother yourself and annoy your partner with unnecessary questions.

4. PDA on social networks is fine, but its overdose isn’t. A carefree person like you might not mind people talking about you getting into excessive PDA, but make sure that you are not spamming their news feeds with things not of their interest. So, it’s better that you keep an eye on when you go overboard with things on public platforms. In fact, it makes more sense to have personal conversations in a private space. And for that matter, you can keep them limited to instant messengers. After all, that is what messengers are for.

5. No matter how vindictive you feel, we suggest that you don’t send messages to your ex or your partner’s ex. You have no idea what all it could snowball into and how badly it could backfire you.  

6. We don’t encourage your habit of peeping into your partner’s screen. You are a companion and not an FBI agent assigned with a task to keep a track of someone’s movements. Your partner might not object to it explicitly, but it could be uncomfortable for the other person to be monitored all the time. Or what if she is planning a surprise for you? We are sure you wouldn’t want it to be ruined.

7. Most importantly, if you can’t keep yourself from going overboard with your love life on social media, make sure you share the post breakup scenario too. You can’t leave your audience hanging. After showing us the entire movie, you can’t keep us away from the climax. So isn’t it better to be in control of your moves from the beginning?