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Stop blaming social media for your MARITAL PROBLEMS!


In Episode 010 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott discuss how social media affects marriages.



Nik:

Welcome to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts and I'm here with my husband,

Rich:

What's going on is your boy Rich, and today we are going to talk about digital divorce.

Nik:

Right at the beginning of every episode, we always have to remind our listeners that we are not licensed or trained therapists or counselors. We have been married for almost two decades. And so, we use this platform is just a place to share our opinions, our advice and our experience. If you haven't already, make sure you follow Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you listen to podcasts on. And if you like what you hear, show us your love and support by giving us a five-star rating on iTunes.

Rich:

As always, thank you to our listeners, it is a pleasure to spend our Sunday afternoons with you. Thank you for tuning in. And yeah, we appreciate you.

Nik:

Yes, we do. Thanks so much.

Rich:

If you have kids, there becomes a point where you have to let them go. And no, I'm not talking about just when they get married, or just when they head off to college. But there are multiple stages throughout life, that you have to let your children grow up and let them go.

Nik:

And I know for me, it was a lot harder when they were young. Every stage was an opportunity for me to loosen the reins and the leash a little bit. I never considered myself to be a helicopter mom and try to be involved in every little thing that my daughters did, but at the same time, I wanted them to understand that I was there for them that I'm here for them. And I'm always here to support them. So, there's a fine line between that and actually letting go.

Rich:

And I think sometimes parents struggle with that. Because, for me, I know letting go, especially now, you know, we do have a child that's about to head off to college and less than, you know, eight months, and it's letting go and letting her become the young woman she's supposed to be. So, I think sometimes we struggle as parents because maybe we don't like the direction they're going, or they're not making the choices that we would have made, or we think we would have made at that age. But that's part of growing up is letting our children make choices. And I think the earlier that we can grasp that idea, the better it is for that child because they're able to become and develop into who they're supposed to be, and not who we are trying to mold them into.

Nik:

Letting them make their own choices, but also letting them experience what it feels like to not succeed, to feel failure for our kids to actually get their feelings hurt. I think that's the hard part is as parents, and especially as parents in our generation, we want to protect our kids from everything. We don't want our kids to walk to and from school in the snow, because it's cold outside, but the truth is, is it any harm in them walking two blocks to school in the snow. Really, there isn't. And in fact, there might be some pretty good lessons in that. And I feel like when it comes to letting go, yes, it's about protection, but it's also about I feel like a lot of parents and we are included in this category a little bit is making sure that our kids not only have everything that they need, but everything that they want at all times and allowing our kids to break free from that, I think it's hard, but it's necessary.

Rich:

I mean, I think it's just trusting that you have raised your child well and understanding that they're going to stumble. And that's not the part that they need your support in they need to know that it's okay to stumble, and that you're still going to be there. And I think a lot of parents struggle with that because they want to prevent their children from struggling all together, or stumbling all together when the reality is a good stumble sometimes can help you gain your balance, it can help you really focus on what it is that you're trying to accomplish. So, when we allow our children to go through life, and have some of those opportunities for growth, as we talk about, then it builds a better stronger adult, long term.

Nik:

A big opportunity to let go for me came when the when our oldest got her driver's license. And the first time that she drove to and from school by herself, it was almost a reality check a lot of our time, up until that point was spent in the car. And that's when I had an opportunity to talk and to connect. But now she didn't need me to take her to school. She didn't need me to take her to and from work or any of those things. And I had to readjust my framework and what that looked like as a mother so that I can still be there for her because it wasn't that she didn't need me. She just didn't need me in that way anymore.

Rich:

But I also remember the first time we dropped either of our daughters off for kindergarten, and you know, you have parents, they're standing there, this school bells ring, and they're still standing there because they're just they really don't want to let their child go. You know, you've got parents that are crying, dads and moms, let's not put it on the moms, they're dads that are struggling with letting their children go to. And it was hard, like I remember going to work and I'm like, oh my god. My child is like wonder what she's doing right now. I wonder? She's okay I wanted to she eat. I wonder if she took her nap. I wonder if the tea if the kindergarten teachers being nice to her, I wonder she's made friends. And there were all these questions that honestly stayed unanswered until the end of the day when I had an opportunity to talk to her and find out and check in because you know, there wasn't a let me just send her a quick text, let me call and call the school and see how it's going. And I think there are just multiple opportunities throughout raising children that we face as parents just like that first day of kindergarten.

Nik:

First day of kindergarten, first day of middle school was a huge another huge one for me. I felt that I had a certain amount of control when they were in elementary school. But when they got to middle school, the middle school is what like 1800 students and they were going to be exposed to things like drugs and sex and all of these things that I felt like I had protected my kids from but by the time they got to middle school, I had to consciously make it decision that I wasn't going to monitor and restrict their music anymore. Or, that I wasn't going to fly off of the handle when they brought a topic of conversation like, drugs to me. That was a very common conversation that I had with my kids and had to understand that the training that we had had given them up to that point was sufficient enough to hold them through and make the right choices through middle school through high school and hopefully through adulthood.

Rich:

And ultimately, I think that that's what we always have to fall back on as parents: is have we taken the time to train our children and to raise them to the best of our ability and provide them with all the tools to be successful? Because if we have, then we shouldn't be afraid to let them go to let them grow up and to let them experience new things in their lives.

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Rich:

Did you know that statistically, there are one in three couples that end up divorcing because of social media?

Nik:

Actually, no, I didn't. And I didn't even know that there was a thing called digital divorce. And for me, this is a topic that I was oblivious about until we started having a conversation about it. And mostly because there was no social media when we got married back when we got married. So, the fact that social media is impacting these marriages the way that they are, to the extent that 8% of adults in relationships admits to having secret accounts from their partners, or that 33% of divorces now start as online affairs. It blows my mind even listening to and reading those stats, my mind is just blown.

Rich:

I mean, that's crazy. To think that social media, you know, I look at social media as a fun place to go catch up to read about what's going on in other people's lives to share what's going on in my life if I want to, I use it a lot for work, you know, posting success and interviews with clients and what a day in the life of a realtor looks like. Like I really use social media for fun and an outlet. So, to think that people are allowing social media to invade their marriage is just crazy to me. Like I maybe I don't understand it enough. Or maybe I'm just really that naive, but I guess I just never even considered that this new fandango and social media could be an issue in someone's marriage

Nik:

A deal breaker. Like social media is literally a deal breaker in people's marriages. And research is saying that the more a person looks at their partners accounts, the more suspicious they become about what their partner is doing. So, I'm like you where social media is not a place where I'm meeting people. I do make connections because I do have social media friends, I've been on social media a long time. I have made money by having and maintaining social media.

Rich:

For me when I hear how dangerous or how evil social media is. I fall back on social media is not the devil. If you're having marital issues around social media, it's probably important for you to kind of research and figure out what the real causes. Because one of the things you mentioned is when a partner starts to look at their spouse's account, they get more suspicious, and they're wondering what's really going on. That's not social media. That's trust. Like that's an issue with trust that probably needs to be addressed.

Nik:

But it's easy to blame someone for what they're posting on social media. For instance, let's say I post a photo on social media, which I do, I post lots of photos of myself on social media, and some man makes a comment on my post that I don't know. But you're looking at it, or a partner's looking at it like oh, my goodness, who is this person and they automatically start to draw all these conclusions and misconceptions about what they're seeing. And you're right. It does boil down to trust. I think it also boils down to jealousy. But how can a couple address something like that when the cause of that frustration is the social media posts?

Rich:

Well, and I think that you bring up great points because as you mentioned earlier, you've been on social media, since dang near social media was created. And initially, I struggled with that, because I felt like you were giving access into your life, our lives, our children's lives. And we had never really had a discussion about that. We had never really talked about the impacts. Because as your influence grew, I remember a time we were at an airport, flying back home or flying somewhere, and some random young woman kept staring at you. And eventually she got her courage up, she came and she was like, are you and you were like, yes. And she's like, I follow you on YouTube. And, you know, that's happened a lot more than you would think it would, where we just randomly are places and people know you from your social media. And so that's an invasion of my privacy. Because I'm like, Well, I don't know who this, you know, I'm very private. And I really don't trust anybody. So, to have a random stranger that feels like they know you because I think that's the thing about social media is people that are part of these accounts that are following you or commenting on your post. They believe they know you; they believe that they have a closer relationship with you than they really do a lot of times. And so that does begin to be an it can be an issue in someone's marriage.

Nik:

It can and as an influencer, I do, and I did consider myself to be a social media influencer. It was especially at the beginning something that I didn't plan for it to grow in the way that it did. I had no idea what being internet famous was until I became internet famous. And for me at that point, I think that it was too late to have that initial conversation. And so, I think discussion, especially for those of you that are interested in becoming influencers, and I know that's very popular now and I got into it at a time that it wasn't so popular. There weren't a lot of resources. There does have to be those discussions, because it's not just you that affects. We were at Disney World, in Florida, at a restaurant and people were walking up to us so it's not it wasn't just me. It was my family. It was my children. I remember a time when they were on vacation without us. And they were actually with my grandmother, and some person a woman because that's my target audience came up to them, are you, Nik Scott's kids? And my kids were like, wait, you know, like, this is not what I asked for. So, I do think conversations around social media, especially pertaining to that aspect are very, very, very important. Because while all of the research is around, spending too much time on social media and painting this perfect picture and a couple having to live up to this, that influencer piece could definitely also be a cause for divorce. If there aren't conversations.

Rich:

You just have to be open and honest. It's easy. You know, there's songs, there's slogans, there's all these things about people sliding into your dm, right, these and these things happen. There are people that you know, I mean, I've never had it happen, because and I don't because I really don't even know what a DM is to be honest with you. I don't even know where I would find it. So, if somebody has slid into my dm, my wife would know first of all, because She has access to all my accounts. And there are some people that probably their eyes just got wide their mouths hit the ground because they were like, What? But you know what, for me, I have learned in my relationship in my marriage, that transparency is key. It's the foundation of trust. And the reality is trust is essential if you want to have a successful marriage. So, I have no problem with my wife logging into my Facebook, my Instagram, my LinkedIn, or whatever other social media I might have that I don't know I have, because I don't really know what I have to be honest with you. But at the end of the day, my marriage is more important than any piece of social media.

Nik:

People's eyes got big when you said that. And people might be shocked by the fact that there is that transparency with your social media because the truth of the matter is, is that one in 10 adults admits to hiding messages and posts from their significant other. Hiding messages and posts that I don't even. Like, why are you hiding messages if you're hiding messages? What else are you hiding?

Rich:

Right.

Nik:

Like that to me, I go back to what you said at the beginning of this discussion that it is not about social media. It is so deeper than social media, but social media makes it seem that like that's the easy thing to grasp on to. Well, he's hiding post and some woman and this... What? Like, it's so much bigger than social media, if you're hiding a social media dm from your spouse, what else are you hiding and why are you hiding it.

Rich:

And I think that's the bigger thing because, you know, if you're hiding that message, someone sent you that picture someone sent you are whatever it is, then you probably don't have good intentions because there is nothing on my social media that I know about, that my wife can't know about. And let's be honest, if someone does DM me, then I'm bringing it up to my wife. Why? Because there's one thing I swore to myself years ago, there will never be anybody that can come to my wife with some information that I haven't already shared with her. Because that's not fair to her to be caught in a position where she's off guard where she's like, what? And so, I'm, I'm very open and honest, because I have nothing to hide. My phone does not have a lock on it. Why? Because I don't need a lock, like what am I locking my phone from? If somebody steals my phone? Well, I'll get a new one. But when my phone rings, my wife can answer it. I don't care who it is because there's nothing to hide. And I think that's the bigger issue here is if you are having issues in your digital world in the social media world, it's probably because you have other issues within your marriage that you need to address. And if that's not true, I would say that if you're hiding post, if you're hiding direct messages, if you're hiding things, then you're one step away from making even worse decisions.

Nik:

When you are married. I think it's hard for people to understand where the line is drawn between you being you and me being me and having my space right. Because it is important for couples to understand that I do have my space and if and I'm not talking about my space, like my space, yet, like the social media account, I mean, my own personal space, where is that line drawn in a marriage and I think that's where it's like when I was single, I was able to to mitigate and manage all of these messages, and now that I'm married, I'm automatically just supposed to allow my spouse in my social media, in my DMS in all of these places where I feel like those are private to me. So, I think, again, there should be conversations around that. And some experts say that the conversation should even start before marriage, because couples are now entering what's called a social media prenup into their marriages, where they're outlining some of these things that we're talking about even before they get married.

Rich:

While yes, it's true when you're single. You can get dm you can have all this, whatever, who cares. But for me, I feel like if you are having anything happen in social media world, that could be offensive to your spouse, that you feel like you have to hide that you feel like you need to be secretive about, then you probably either need to not have those things happening. Or, you need to be open and honest and let your spouse know what is happening. Because just because someone's sliding into your dm doesn't mean you allow that to happen doesn't mean that you created that opportunity. But when you start to hide it, when you start to engage it, when you are being secretive and not talking to your spouse about what happened, then now you're opening the door for other issues to happen and for trust to be broken. So, I do agree that yes, we're all adults, so handle it. But if it becomes a point where you're not handling it, and your spouse finds out that every right in the world to be upset, to feel that the trust has been broken to feel that you weren't honest about it, because you weren't.

Nik:

Social media has created this space where people can be whoever and whatever they want to be. It's given us this space where we feel like we can do and we can say things that we would never do and say, in real life. I always train people in my profession, don't do or say on social media that you would never do and say in real life. So, if you're the kind of person you're faithful, you, you are trustworthy person. If someone walks up to you at a restaurant or at the grocery store at the gas station of the opposite sex and pitches themselves to you, so to speak, how would you handle that situation? Would you say, oh, yeah, here's my number and exchange numbers in person? Because if that's not what's happening in person, then why would you have the audacity to assume this type of personality on social media when that's not who you are?

Rich:

Why make yourself available if you're not available? You know, there are spouses out there that don't have their relationship status on their social media. They're not even friends with their spouse because they don't want them to see what they're doing on social media. And it may not even be that they're doing anything negative. But to me, those are red flags. If you get a friend request from your spouse and you deny it. What are you doing on social media that your spouse can't be your friend? I have an example of the importance of transparency. I'm a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, the only fraternity that matters and I'm on a group chat with my fraternity brothers. And somebody found a picture of me and I was standing next to this young woman. And they posted in the group chat. They were like, what's going on Rich? You got some you need to tell us? And one of my boys really good brothers, he calls me and he's like, what the hell? And I'm like, what? Cuz I don't really get on the group chat often, but when I do, you know, I try to catch up. But he brought to my attention. There's a picture of you standing next to this woman a y'all are smiling, and somebody took your picture and it's on social media. And she kind of looks like Nik, but she doesn't look like Nik. And I'm like, who is this woman? And what are you doing? And I just started laughing. And my buddy's like ain't nothing funny. And I was like, listen, first of all, that is someone who's in the industry with me. My wife knew I had lunch with her. My wife, I believe, may have posted the picture on my social media, because her company runs my social media accounts. I was like, let me tell you something, there is not a picture out there that I know of, that my wife is gonna be caught off guard that you're going to bring up and be like, and first of all, who will be that stupid? Like, why would you take a picture with another person outside of your spouse and then know that is being posted on social media and not even know like, your spouse doesn't even know that's going on. Like, that's just dumb.

Nik:

If you want to See the picture, become a patron. I'm definitely on post the picture on Patreon, so people can see it. And it was an innocent photo. And yes, I knew about the photo and I can understand, especially when it comes to people like, who don't really know you as a person. And they have a messy drama in their lives, and they want to create messy drama for you. It's almost like well, I know that I would be doing it and he ain't is perfect and trying to tarnish your reputation and things like that. I can definitely see how that picture would have been caused for concern. Because I'm pretty sure that when the picture was posted, it was well over a year ago now.

Rich:

Yes, it was.

Nik:

It was well over a year ago when the picture was posted. Somebody probably screenshotted that photo, so that they could be like, see yup. Mm-hmm. Screenshots are forever. But again, having conversations I think that's the biggest thing is having conversations about social media, because then there's the other end of the spectrum, right? There's the people who are always posting how perfect their marriage is, how perfect their wife or their husband is and they're always giving these great odes and poetry and these wonderful words about their spouse on social media. And it creates this idea with their followers and their friends, that their wife or their husband is far superior than what they have at home.

Rich:

And, you know, that can cause issues for those that are viewing you, right, that are looking at your social media, because they start to compare their own marriage or their own relationship to these ideas that they see on social media. You know, because I know there are people that look at my wife and I and they're like, there's no way they can really be that in love with each other. There's got to be something. And the truth is, I love my wife and she loves me we trust each other. Do we have issues? Yes, we have issues we argue about stupid stuff. And then a day later, two days later we look at and we're like, oh, whatever, that wasn't even that serious. And we laugh, right? But does that mean that everything is perfect all the time? No, this is marriage. We've talked about that, right? There are going to be issues. But if you are just following us on social media, and you don't know us once a week, you tune into Naked Proverbs and you hear the advice we're giving you, oh, man, if my marriage could just be like Rich and Nik's. First of all, you have no idea what it took for us to get here. The pits that we have fallen in the roadblocks, that we have stumbled over the good times the bad times, the moments that we were probably just so close to being divorced, that we didn't realize it. You don't know those stories, because well, unless you're tuned into Naked Proverbs, you're not even hearing that all you're seeing is where we are now. So, I think it's important to understand that when you start to compare your own marriage to other people's marriages on social media, you can also create issue.

Nik:

Thank you so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you listen to podcasts on. And if you're listening on iTunes, give us a five-star rating. We will talk to y'all next week.

Rich:

Peace.

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