Was reading elsewhere someone noting their opinion that when people are posting online about how great their marriage is, that marriage is probably in trouble in some way, in the manner of how our online presentation of ourselves is highly mediated and controllable, unlike our real lives, which are messy and not always great.
I’ve been online long enough to take as a given that the online versions of our lives are the edited versions. I have always been open to people who read me online that they’re getting a version of me tuned to the medium, and I don’t feel obliged to share everything that goes on in the day-to-day of my life. Certainly that can cross over to the aspirational (presenting our lives as better than they are) or defensive (presenting them as different to counter a growing reality). With that said, I think it’s also the case that we can be cynical about how people present their lives online, and why.
I frequently write about being married to Krissy and how lucky I feel that I get to be so. It’s not because our marriage is in trouble, otherwise it would have been in trouble for close to a quarter century now. It’s mostly because I just genuinely *like* my wife, as well as love her, and because I am aware of just how different (and almost certainly lesser) my life would be without her. I think it’s good to publicly acknowledge that and to appreciate her (as well as, of course, let her know privately, away from the rest of you).
I suppose what I’m saying here is that when people express love for each other online — whether it’s to a spouse, or a parent, or a child, or a friend — consider that it’s not fake, or an inverse relationship, or a harbinger of trouble for that relationship. It is possible for people to be sincere online. It’s not all fake relationship news. And if sometimes it *is* fake relationship news, it’s okay to hope that by presenting that aspirational picture, the people involved are putting up a signpost for where they want that relationship to go, and will find a way to get there.