Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes

#155 Sharing a Facebook account

Not all Christian couples share a Facebook account but the people who do tend to be Christians. The reason for this is unclear. Actually, both are unclear: why someone would share a Facebook account, and why Christians do it the most.

facebookasian.jpgPeople who have shared Facebook accounts tend to forget we can’t tell who’s updating. Jeremy-N-Wendy just updated their status, but which one is it, Jeremy or Wendy? Guessing is required. When their status is something like “Jonathan&Sarah is counting down the hours left in the Obama administration” that could well be either Jonathan or Sarah. It’s easier when a gender-specific activity is mentioned. Stati* like “ToddAndMelissa The ‘Hawks really cleaned up in the draft” and “Josh&Heather is harvesting my peas on Farmville!!!!” require zero guessing as to which spouse made that update.**


Sharing an email address is another prevalent internet trend in Christian culture. This will also be explored in a future post and it will also have no satisfying conclusion.

* That’s Vulcan for “statuses”

**In Christian culture it’s unlikely the wife would be playing fantasy sports or that the husband would confess to playing Farmville. Outside of Christian culture you may need to wonder, but within it, gender roles are pretty pervasive.

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posted May 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Similarly, my newly-married Christian friends decided to forgo their individual email accounts and create a joint account. So now when I email Leah, it goes to “Eric and Leah,” so there’s no guarantee that he won’t read it. That bugs me. Is it a trust thing? Do the couples have to prove that there’s no secrets between them? I can’t imagine there’s anything convenient about sharing Facebook or email accounts. Very rarely does anyone send out joint emails.

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posted May 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

One reason I have heard for couples sharing an account is so that any contact with “old flames” (or, what “secular people” call “exes”) can be monitored by each spouse.
For instance, if the husband’s ex-girlfriend sends a friend request, the wife may vote to click “Ignore.”
This is probably because the husband “backslid” and was “sexually impure” with his ex.
As we all know, once you’ve been “sexually impure” with someone, further contact is strictly forbidden.

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posted May 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

The idea that all of your contact must be monitored creeps me out…I guess it’s under the guise of “accountability” but let’s be honest–that’s plain paranoia and not trusting your spouse.
My partner and I have friends of the opposite sex we hang out with on our own. Why? Because we trust each other, and because we both get along well with the opposite sex. I’ve always had a lot of male friends and my man has never minded…he just prefers to meet them eventually so he knows them. Which is reasonable. Having a joint facebook account and monitoring my contact with them? Not reasonable.
I guess when you believe men are crazy sexual beings who can’t control themselves, and that women are easily manipulated and weak, then you can’t trust each other. My partner knows I would never cheat on him and I know he would never cheat on me–and that’s enough. We trust each other because if we didn’t, it would smother any respect between the two of us. And of course, a lot of people mess up in this area, but that’s a chance you take by marrying someone. Sometimes love sucks.

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posted May 18, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Hilarious post, because it is so dead on! I think the folks who already commented have got it right: these couples want to monitor each other. It’s too bad too, since it takes all the fun out of hacking into your spouse’s account.

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posted May 19, 2010 at 3:34 am

It’s a trust thing. They do it to prove to each other they have nothing to hide. Same thing with joint bank accounts.
Sounds kinda paranoid if you ask me. If you have to go to such lengths to prove to each other that you are trustworthy, it doesn’t sound like a lot of trust is there to begin with.

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Jonathan Charlie Chang

posted May 19, 2010 at 7:13 am

LOL. This is something I’ve been wondering. Like I have no idea which person is commenting from davepattijones. I have no clue who I’m replying back to either! It’s all very confusing. I love this post.

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posted May 19, 2010 at 7:58 am

And aren’t those pictures just too cute? Especially the first one!

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posted May 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

Maybe they share all of the same friends. That tends to happen when you lose your identity in another person. All I know is I would be so annoyed if I got all my boyfriend’s emails and updates. Rooting through it would be such a waste of time. They must keep their emails very impersonal as well. Sometimes I get very personal messages with info that I don’t have the right to share with my boyfriend. Maybe I don’t feel I have the right because I’m backslid and he’s just my live-in boyfriend and not my husband. Or maybe I just respect my friends. All I know is that when people want to communicate with me, it means they want to communicate with ME. “Us” doesn’t have much to do with it. There could be many reasons to share accounts, but none of them are good enough.

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Rollo Tomassi

posted May 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Is it really trust if you feel the need keep a constant vigil over someone? This is just one of a great many other mediations for insecurity that Christians have packaged as “fun and hip”. It’s just selling surveillance as a virtue with a christian-kosher smiley face on it.

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posted May 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm

The thing with accountability is a lack of trust in self as much as a lack of trust in the other. It’s not just that women believe that men are sex-crazy beasts and that men believe that women are weak and easily manipulated (beautifully put, Em – and I’m certainly not saying that you were confining the views to one sex or the other), it’s that men and women believe this of themselves. And if you’re pretty sure that you can’t resist [insert gender-role-specific sin here, or any sin really], then you’re not going to be able to resist it; you’ve self-fulfilled your own prophecy. And so you have to have someone policing your activities immanently the way God supposedly polices our activities transcendently. It’s a flawed way to relate to one’s spouse that reflects a flawed way to relate to God and to the self; it’s all part of the same dis-integrated, mistrustful whole.
Rollo Tomassi – brilliant.

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Mark van Wijk

posted May 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm

ahh.. you Americans are funny. A quick scan of my friend list reveals only 3 out of 250 friends share accounts. One is an American couple, and one is a whole family on one account (perhaps they’re home-schoolers now?). I’m a pastor too, so thought my hit rate on shared accounts would be higher than that! Thankfully, New Zealand Christians seem to be a little more sensible 😉
I know a lot of people that share an email address, but I think for us this is a carryover from when NZ-based ISPs would charge extra for a second email address (and before you ask – Yes we have heard of gmail/hotmail/insert-free-email-provider-here)
I was was gonna suggest a name change for your blog to ‘Stuff American Christian Culture Likes’ but I see your tagline clarifies this. As you were. :)
thanks for the laughs
Mark, Auckland, NZ

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posted May 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

My parents each have their own Facebook account, but it’s funny because they’ll USE each other’s. So, like, my Dad will post something from my Mom’s, like if he is commenting on one of my pictures. And then he signs it “Dad.” And my Mom will post a status update from my Dad’s page, but sign it “Mom.” I am unclear why they do this. But seeing as how involved in Christian Culture my parents are, this does not surprise me one bit! Very funny post. : )

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posted May 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Well, I love this column, but I have to say out of our church’s 500+ facebook friends I can only think of 1 or 2 couples who share an account. We’re Methodists, though, and evangelicals consider us heretics anyway.

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Rollo Tomassi

posted May 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I must admit, I don’t see this too much. Even my current and previous pastor and their wives have separate accounts – however, everything the post is is public while their wives tend to be strictly private.
That said, this is just one incidence of many other institutions meant to curb Dry-Drunk christians from engaging in undesired behaviors. As if they’d all be masturbating furiously to porn if the family’s computer weren’t deliberately placed in the living room. I understand the wisdom in removing one’s access to temptation, but if the desire’s there to begin with, we tend to arrange that access anyway.

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posted May 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Sarah: exactly right, I think it’s actually more detrimental that men and women believe this of themselves. I can’t tell you how many young women in the church I’ve heard say that women can’t lead in the church because “we just wouldn’t be any good at it.” They don’t question these self-limitations very often, it’s just “how it is”.
It’s pretty pervasive. I had a girl tell me once she liked that the girls were always stuck doing dating studies and the guys got to do cool deep theology stuff because, she didn’t need to know that much about the Bible, because one day her husband would know it and tell her what to think about it.
I literally had to walk away from the conversation. My brain almost exploded. If people really think this way about themselves–well, it’s interesting where the concept of free will comes in, because willpower is implied. And you’d think that with even a small amount of willpower, couples could handle having private business and allowing their spouses to also have private business.

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posted May 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

This is the best post! The pictures are hilarious! Huzzah!
Nicely done, Steph.

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phree thinker

posted May 22, 2010 at 3:39 am

“Leave and cleave” – “two shall become one” – “flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone”….should i say more? since Facebook is a social engineering test program, it is not surprising the christian culture would respond in this fashion. there’s no oppty of being an individual, even online… creepy!

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posted May 23, 2010 at 1:44 am

I don’t think it’s always a trust issue. For some, such as my parents, I think it’s a convenience issue. My father created his Facebook page several months ago so he could see the pictures my sister occasionally posts of her kids and other things. He also uses it to follow me. Mom has taken to on RARE occasion using his facebook account to comment on our stuff. It’s the only time she uses facebook at all, and I think she simply doesn’t see the point in creating her own account for that.
Similarly, the share the same emails. This is mainly because the only people they get emails from are us kids, people from their church, member of our extended family, and my mother’s one friend (most of which is those annoying forwards). Again, to them, the idea of setting up two different email accounts would be too much work with no real need for privacy. (Plus they only got Internet access because I was still living with them at the time and wanted it. I got one of the email addresses provided by the ISP and they got the other.)

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posted May 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm

It appears most of these comments have to do with husbands and wives who don’t trust each other and/or themselves — and for the record, I’m not saying that isn’t sometimes the case — but here’s a perspective I didn’t see mentioned:
The couples I know who have shared FB and email accounts are doing it not because they want to keep a partner from sneaking out, but because they want to warn outsiders against trying to sneak *in.* Old flames might think twice before sending a test-the-waters email (“You’re looking great these days. I sure hope old what’s-his-name is treating you like the treasure you are. Maybe we could catch up over coffee sometime, just for old times’ sake?”) to an account you obviously both use. Ditto for anyone who fancies the idea of being your future ex.
That said… the bit about sports updates vs. Farmville? Yep. Pretty much spot-on. :)

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posted June 1, 2010 at 10:51 am

Ha! I love this one. I could never in my life fathom how couples could share an email address let alone a Facebook account. Dude, these friggin things are free. It doesn’t cost more to have your own!

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posted July 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I totally agree with this one. I am Christian but me and my husband have separate accounts, my parents do and my siblings and their wives but I have seen some of my friends sharing and its annoying especially if they suddenly start to post things when before only one did and you knew it was the the one of the couple you were closer to. I have seen this recently with my good friend. Her husband is all into shape now and he keeps posting all his running acheivements and stuff- under her name on Facebook- its annoying cuz I know it is not her. Then there is my sister in law- has own account, my brother also but she is always doing his facebook game applications making it look like he is doing Happy Aquarium and stuff.. again annoying. I dont go into my husbands, even if he doesnt go to facebook often or he mine. I like that. We share enough as is :)

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posted July 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Call me cheesy, but up until not to long ago I thought this was stupidity as well, but I think I am seeing why this might actually be a good thing.
Divorce rates are almost 60 percent in the church(terrible, but on par with secular society), and the majority of those resulting from unfaithfulness. New figures are reporting that facebook has now been found to be a tool used to initiate and perpetuate affairs 20%(1/5th) of the time. Personally, I have seen quite a few married couples in my immediate circles devastated as one has used facebook to do just this.
Scary since facebook has only been a round a few years. I think you will probably start seeing people share social networking accounts much more often even outside of Christian circles as time goes by.

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stephanie drury

posted July 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Yikes. Good point, Doogan.

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posted August 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Seems to me that if you can’t trust your spouse enough to have their own Facebook/Email/Twitter/Xanga (is that still around??) then there are obvious trust issues. Doesn’t matter if it’s them “sneaking out” or some mysterious ex “sneaking in” (sending a Facebook message). If you can’t trust your spouse to just not respond/shut down an old flame via Facebook, what happens when they see that person at the mall. Will it just be too much for them; they “won’t be able to help” walking up and start making out? I mean, come on!
Maybe Facebook has facilitated some of these types of activities… but so does grocery shopping, going to the bar, work, school, walking down the sidewalk, etc… Maybe to stop this, we could all just becoming surgically conjoined once we get married! Then, we would all be so happy and certain!

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posted September 25, 2010 at 4:19 am

Doogan, I’m not sure if you’re a stats guy or not (if so, I apologize for my elementary stats lesson), but one of the first rules of statistics is that a statistical correlation does NOT imply a causal relationship. Thus, just because 20% of people who have affairs with each other have contacted each other via Facebook, it doesn’t mean Facebook is causing or even contributing to the extracurriculars.
In much the same way, I’m sure there is probably at least a 50% correlation with people who have affairs and who have communicated via email and probably a 90%+ correlation with people who have affairs and who have made plans for their next rendezvous via telephone or text. Still, no one is arguing that we should go back to the days of party lines or that both spouses should always answer when the phone rings.

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Earl Wayne

posted February 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

It is kind of odd when I see couples sharing a FB account – on the other hand, some people just want to be able to post family pics and keep in touch with relatives etc. I don’t see the harm in it, although I agree it can be a bit confusing when reading status updates!

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posted February 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I know a married couple with the same account and then at the end of their status updates they put the first initial of the first name at the end so everyone knows who posted it.
Example:: Joe N Victoria Williams
“So excited for the Oscar’s tonight! V”
I realize some couples share the same first initial but as it said in the article, unless you dont really know your friends that should be able to tell who is posting the update. Men and women speak totally differently. Even in writing. If they are actually your friend you should be able to tell. I just think it’s not a big deal to share facebooks. My fiance and I plan on doing it when were married!

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posted June 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I actually am in the minority on this one. I believe it is actually not a bad thing to share a FB account with your wife or husband. My wife and I have been married for over 2 years and have a strong relationship. We communicate well and try and keep as much transparency amongst us within healthy reasoning. Look, Im not sure what the world did before FB but I find it humorous how quickly we feel the need to have this little world. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great way to catch up with people and sometimes you just have to stay up with the times. That being said, my wife and I chose to operate as a unit. We do not share email addresses or passwords. We do not look into each others phones, call logs or texts. She has her privacy in that regards as do I. But in FB we have so many mutual friends. I rarely use it, but I like what someone stated earlier… It allows preventative measures for the creeping IN which is more important than the creeping OUT. Why not when making decisions as a couple look at making choices that are the safest and provide the highest return on trust, transparency and clarity in a relationship. Is that such a bad thing? It beats the alternative. The numbers don’t lie, these social media sites reek havoc in many relationships and sometimes unintentionally and sometimes without warning. I chose to play it safe for my family. The real important people, friend and family have her email, cell and address to visit. I don’t think the acquaintances and friends of friends of friends is invading someones privacy. This is my view and I would not be surprised with all the numbers that you do not see more married people starting to go this way with FB. Wish you all well!

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stephanie drury

posted June 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

there aren’t many people coming to this archived version of the post any more, but the one at the original site is still getting traffic. You could post it over there and hopefully continue some conversation if you want! It’s at:

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Jon Erdmann

posted September 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Do the couples that share a facebook page, also share underwear, socks and toothbrushes as well.

I will not keep friends on my contacts that share accounts, I want to know who I am talking with.

If one has to spy on the other, get rid of the internet all together, buy a pair of handcuffs and connect and throw away the key.

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