The Internet (And its Trolls) And Your Engagement

Meagan Dill
woman on computer shocked


Okay, time for some real talk. When it comes to your wedding, it may be inconceivable that anyone could feel anything but complete joy at the union of you and your husband-to-be. Sadly, this is not always the case. So often in life there are bitter people who behave in ways we can’t understand – possible culprits include an estranged ex, an old bully from your high school days, or even a total stranger. As an ever useful tool but potentially dangerous weapon, the internet makes it unbelievably easy for people to trash your marriage before it’s even started.

Case in point: I recently read a news story about a woman who published an announcement of her engagement in the New York Times. Nothing out of the ordinary so far. The thing was, though, an anonymous reader (who may or may not have known the couple in real life) published their announcement online alongside death threats. In around the same time period the couple received mysterious and disturbing phone calls.

You might wonder what could provoke such a vicious attack. In this case, it seems that someone had taken offense at something about the couple which was a little different: they were a same-sex couple. You may think that you’re safe from this kind of abuse, but the problem is that there are endless variables that outsiders might judge you on – like a difference in age, ethnicity, nationality, or religion between you and your partner.

While this is all a rather unpleasant thing to deal with, it’s important to take a few precautions to protect yourself and your spouse against any possible online abuse throughout the engagement period.

First off, be aware of what you post, where you post it, and who can see it. If you have a Facebook account that only allows friends to see and comment on your posts, then publishing engagement-related posts should be safe enough. (Hopefully that spiteful ex of yours is not a Facebook friend.) On the other hand, a tweet sent from a publicly accessible Twitter account is likely put you at a higher risk for online abuse.

Meanwhile, more and more couples are setting up wedding websites as a useful and convenient way to keep guests updated on arrangements – but again, this can cause problems. The solution: find a way to limit who has access to it. Perhaps you could give only guests the URL, or a secret password which must be typed in to enter the website. This way you greatly lower the chance of someone undesirable checking out the details of your wedding arrangements or perhaps posting nasty comments

In cases like these, it really is better to be safe than sorry. When it comes to your wedding day, I think it’s worth taking a couple of reasonable precautions to ensure that no-one is able to spoil this special event.