A lot of things make us roll our eyes on social media, like pictures and captions that seem extra filtered or otherwise staged. But perhaps nothing makes us mutter a WTF under our breaths like seeing a couple’s joint social media account.
Why in the world would two people share a social account, or weirder, an email account, when the purpose of having it is to connect with people personally and individually? Sure, it's fairly common for people to set these up pre-wedding for planning and hashtagging simplicity, but continuing to use just one account as two different people is becoming more of a thing to do, thanks to the royals.
Last month, our favorite royal-parents-to-be, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, launched their official joint Instagram account, @sussexroyal, to post pics of their work together and of course, how cute they are.
But what about the rest of us who aren’t as royal, as famous, or as public? Is there ever a good reason to start a joint social media or email account? And, if so, how could that affect the people we interact with since they're now interacting with our plus-ones?
Dr. Kia James, a licensed therapist, admitted there is a huge downside to sharing accounts since you personally give up your privacy.
“When someone wants to share something personal with you specifically, they may not feel comfortable telling you,” Dr. James said. “If one of you has a history of overreacting, an innocent email communication can cause conflict. If there is an inappropriate DM or email sent to your partner, you may assume that they are engaging in inappropriate behavior instead of realizing the sender's agenda has nothing to do with your partner's agenda.”
Having joint accounts can give off a major red flag to your friends and family members that something seriously must be wrong in your love life. According to Shannon Smith, relationship expert at dating app Plenty of Fish, that might just be the truth behind it all.
“One reason couples do this is because they don’t actually trust each other,” Smith explained. “Maybe someone cheated, or maybe transparency is the priority and the couple feels the need to keep tabs on each other's social interactions. Maybe this approach was taken to present a united front and showcase their bond, but it can appear as a desperate move.”
While joint accounts can cause double the drama in a relationship or be a sign that some conflict is happening offline, there are some legit reasons why couples might want to come together and share their social profiles and email accounts.
The first is pretty obvious: for business reasons. Lots of couples are working together these days and even becoming social media influencers together.
“It's 2019 and influencers abound — from every walk of life and every family dynamic you can imagine! It ranges from large families sharing vlogging channels to couples sharing Instagram accounts that detail every aspect of their lives together for the world to see," Smith pointed out. "People love to see their love. It's a package deal, and that's how they've branded themselves to their followers for broader appeal. #RelationshipGoals is the goal."
The other logical reason is that the couple lives far away from their nearest and dearest and wants to keep everyone in the loop in the easiest way possible, with one account.
“For the couple who lives abroad or is apart from friends and family, this will closely intertwine their lives, because when people are separated from their close friends and family by physical distance, it may simply make sense to some to provide joint updates to loved ones via shared social channels or a dedicated email,” Smith said.
The only other benefit of joint accounts is that it can just simply make life easier — sometimes, and only for some people.
Crystal Rice, LGSW, a therapeutic consultant, says that if you plan to be with your partner for the long haul, getting a joint social media or email account can be a great way to actually be in a partnership.
“Being in a partnership isn't about two people coexisting, it's about two people sharing a life. And if you truly are sharing your lives together, unifying your communication inputs and outputs can make that process easier,” Rice elaborated.
What she is saying is that it can make thing easier when you want to communicate out pictures and news to family and friends, send messages sans secrets, or keep each other in the loop about plans and questions sent in by people.
Of course this can only work for the couple that has full trust and zero jealousy. If not, joint accounts can just be silly and probably lead to one person, or both people, having secret side accounts of their own (I’m placing bets on you, Prince Harry!).
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