Facebook – Blessing or Curse?


It’s easy to say that any and all contact with your spouse during a deployment is a good thing.

Experts, such as Shannon Fox, a psychotherapist and family counselor agree. They say every contact with your deployed spouse makes reintegration that much easier. According to this story, Facebook is where it’s at. They say milspouses are simply raving about the deployment blessing that is Facebook and all that help and contact it can bring.

But as someone who has sat in front of that familiar homepage watching and waiting for any signs of life from my husband, I know that it can be easy to fall into obsession. Has he been online lately? Did he post a comment on someone else’s wall but not mine? (And why would he do that?!) Or was he online while I was asleep — and why didn’t he just call and wake me up? Maybe if I wait just 10 more minutes he’ll appear.

And then there are the OPSEC issues. Over his mid-tour leave during our last deployment, our battalion commander gave a briefing at an family readiness group meeting. He proclaimed the evils of Facebook and warned that soldiers who post too much information will be punished, and harshly. He exhorted us to police our soldiers and help them avoid posting information that could put others in danger.

Yes, there are many upsides to Facebook contact, but like anything, there are also downsides. So I ask: do you consider Facebook and blessing or a curse?

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • I think Facebook, just like any piece of technology, can be a blessing and/or a curse depending on the user. Personally, I think Facebook is a fabulous communication tool, but that is because I *choose* to use it as such. Not only is it a great way to stay in touch with my husband during deployments, but Facebook helps me to stay keyed into what is happening with the FRG, what events are occurring on post and in the community, and what issues are impacting the military community as a whole.

  • I agree, it is a tool , neither a blessing nor a curse, but both, depending on how it is used.

    I too have found myself “online stalking”, though ~ “Has he been online lately? Did he post a comment on someone else’s wall but not mine? (And why would he do that?!)” Thanks for that – I thought those types of thoughts were just my own dirty little secret!

    I do think, overall , the ability to stay updated on the little things in each others lives helps keep the connection.

    • Amy

      And it keeping the connection, like I said, is where’s it at. I’d love to hear the prespective of someone who has done deployment both with and without these tools. Are things better this way or before? Is the tool worth the hassle?

  • We will use Facebook this next time around, but I am not reliant on it, and not hurt if he chooses to communicate (briefly as is the way with Facebook) with someone else. I am the one on whom he spends the money to call over static-filled phone lines. I am the one he is coming home to. But I will cherish every photo or comment he gets the chance to post on Facebook that gives me a small insight to what he is experiencing and how he is doing life at that moment.

  • Amy

    That is a great point — and a great attitude. It’s easy for me, probably because I am a younger spouse, to be so jealous of his time and attention that it eats me up when he spends time writing to someone else. But you’re absolutely right — why SHOULDN’T he?? I spend time with other people while he is gone.

    Thanks for this fabulous perspective. You just made me think of this in a way that I had not before.

  • Julia Mitchell

    For us, the issue was OSPEC. We both have Facebook accounts, however mine is temporarily disabled because I have some friends that are from my online school who are from a country that is a concern. I do not wish to have information, no matter how slight or innocent, be leaked out on my behalf. My husband still has his account and occasionally keeps up with his friends although there is not much time for him to do so, and he talks to me frequently on the computer.

  • Kristina O.

    Im wondering why no ones speaking up about infidelity. Majority of military does it! ****, my husband isnt even deployed yet and hes tried! Why do they take us for granted?? We’re here supporting them and missing them while they decide to talk dirty and show their stuff to some ***** or some “playa”.

    • Melissa

      Majority of military does it? So very much love being stero-typed. Can you show me statistics? An actualy study? Numbers? So you are saying that more than 50% of our service members in uniform are unfaithful? I disagree.