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Privacy management on a small campus

UIS’ campus is not necessarily the perfect place to find a soul mate, that is, because of the complete lack of privacy on campus. It is hard enough keeping personal business private, let alone relationship business. If you do find a meaningful relationship, it will not be an easy task keeping it in order. Nonetheless, there are some rules that you should follow when attempting to pursue a long term relationship on a small campus: Social networks are the enemy.

1. If he/she will tell you someone else’s business, he/she will tell yours.

2. Talk to your partner.

In a modern world, people have the opportunity to use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram to find out information about your relationship. You do not want to broadcast too much information about when you and your other may be in an argument or any other personal things, because people will use that information to try to destroy what you have. If you are, however, one of those people who cannot avoid tweeting or posting about your other, make sure that you and your other communicate about what is and what is not appropriate.

According to Beth Ribarsky, it is up to the couple to manage how they want their relationship in the public. Ribarsky is an associate professor in the communication department and teaches most of the classes about interpersonal relationships; one of her most well-known classes is Dating and Relating. One topic is couples who “air their dirty laundry on Facebook.” She went on to say, “the couples, themselves, have to, specifically, think about how they are going to present themselves.”

“Don’t let everyone know what’s going on in your relationship,” said Ciera Hoosier, a freshman, biology major. You have to know that you will not be able to trust all of your friends with your information.  It is healthy to vent and talk about problems weighing heavily on your chest, but be selective with whom you share that information with.  There will be some people you stumble upon at school (maybe you know some at home) who will tell you every piece of gossip they stumble upon. This is the person who you want to make sure does not know your business, because when they find out, the entire campus will know.

“The most important thing you can do it talk to your partner,” said Ribarsky. It is impossible to have a successful relationship without being transparent about what it is that you want out of the relationship. This is applicable to relationships worldwide. Talk about the parameters of your relationship and go ahead and put a label on it. Labels are your friend!

Labels help you know what is and what is not acceptable in your relationship. Labels are more important on a small campus than anywhere. This is because your other will, most likely, run into someone you know (not necessarily your friend) and they may do some slight flirting. Your label will let you know how you can react. This is why you need to talk to your partner about “expectations,” stressed Ribarsky.

Trust and honesty are what Hoosier suggested a couple have if they are serious about each other. Having a healthy relationship in such a small place is not impossible, but it will take a little more work. If your partner knows what you want and vice versa, your relationship could have some longevity.

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