Suppose that your partner hasn't been, shall we say, all that steamy between the sheets lately. No matter how much effort you put into improving the situation- primping everything that can be primped, dropping a small fortune on uncomfortable lingerie, putting together the perfect slow-jam playlist, decanting a bottle of robust pinot noir at bedside- you're unable to create enough of a spark to light a match, never mind a roaring, passionate fire.
And, understandably, you're quite irritated about the whole thing. You want to vent, desperately, lest your head explode with frustration. Do you phone a friend? Do you contact a lot of friends by sharing wry comments on Facebook, Twitter and other social media? Or do you unleash your angst on your own anonymous blog, sparing no detail, leaving no gripe behind? Blasting your partner online may temporarily make you feel better. It's cheaper than therapy. However, should your beloved stumble upon your online comments, the scarcity of lusty nights will be the least of your concerns.
My new novel-"Mortified: A Novel About Oversharing"-is a cautionary tale about doing just that. It's a what-if kind of book in which a blogger reveals way too much about her personal life.
Most folks would like to think that they wouldn't ever cross the line between harmless social media sharing and the kind of sharing that crushes relationships. The protagonist of "Mortified," Maggie Kelly, is the queen of oversharing. She writes a scorched-earth, anonymous blog in which she thinks she'll be able to blog about everything without suffering any consequences. Maggie excoriates her family, particularly her husband, in graphic and profane ways. It makes for fun reading, until her blogging identity is discovered and her husband Michael learns about her depiction of his sexual inadequacies. From his mother. Ouch.
If you ask divorce attorneys, they'll tell you that material published on Facebook, Twitter, and other online venues plays a prominent role in their work these days. For example, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 81 percent of divorce attorneys reported an uptick in cases citing something that was written online as evidence. Meanwhile, SmartMoney reported that upwards of a third of U.K. divorce filings in 2011 "contained the word Facebook."
So, instead of unloading snark about your partner online, pause and imagine the whole world reading that post before you hit "publish."