One thing that I enjoy about our modern world is all of the new and interesting ways we have to communicate. As the great family therapist, Murray Bowen, once said,” Communication is always happening.” But I have noticed how much one can learn and understand about family dynamics from the way and frequency in which someone shares thoughts and feelings, especially through social media.
I ask myself a question as both a therapist and a friend when I am on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In or other forms of social media. What do these posts tell me about the person’s boundaries, or willingness to take in and give out information? I raise this question because of the extremely large number of problem conversations I have with clients, families, and friends about conflict related to social media posting.
The term boundaries is a fairly new idea, developed by psychologists, therapists, and other doctors in the 1990s to describe the interface between what separates you from the outside world. One generally has personal boundaries and relationship boundaries. Sometimes friends or loved ones may divulge information about fairly sensitive areas through social media like politics, sexuality, or money without even realizing their boundaries. If this is a concern with someone you know, how comfortable are you addressing these items in a face-to-face conversation?