The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. A DAY. Social media is so integral to modern society that its use may even be established as a basic human right in the future (no, I’m not joking). In fact, you’re probably reading this on your phone right now, aren’t you? Ironically, a tool specifically designed to connect people can also make them feel isolated and obsessed over how they appear to others.
Here are a few ways that social media can put an enormous strain on your relationship.
The very connectivity that has made social media so popular can also be harmful to your relationship. We are able to connect to millions of people at the touch of a button. It has become too easy to stray from a relationship. Instead of working through the problem, we can simply seek solace in the company of someone else.
It Creates Trust Issues
We all do it, none of us are above a good profile stalk. We can’t help but scroll through other people’s profiles, especially if we are romantically involved with them. Chances are we won’t like what we see, we know this, but time after time we dive in anyway. When will we learn. We have the ability to scrutinise over our partner’s every move, and it only takes one misplaced “like” to plant the seed of doubt.
It creates unrealistic expectations
“Relationships goals” this. “Body goals” that. People don’t want everyone to know just how imperfect their relationship actually is. They want their followers to be jealous of what they have, so they focus on the cute couple selfies and holidays, whilst neglecting to mention the daily shouting matches and broken furniture. These relationships seem perfect, but are usually far from it. Comparing your own relationship to what you see online will create unrealistic expectations of you and your partner. Instagram models have a lot to answer for.
Moving on is more difficult
Who wants to see their ex happy? I mean honestly? Unless by some miracle you and your ex parted on good terms, having them in such close proximity will not help you move on. The last thing you need is to see how much fun they are having whilst you have just polished off your second tub of Ben & Jerry’s. The only upside of seeing their satanic face plastered all over your feed is seeing them downgrade…which they always do. Yes I’m petty – I’m not even sorry.
We share too much
One of the best parts of being in a relationship is being able to share things with each other that aren’t shared with anyone else. Now that we have social media, people are showing everyone literally everything about their life. When you share intimate details with complete strangers, sharing them with your significant other loses its value. Nothing is private anymore.
Using phones in presence
Put the phone away you disrespectful ass. There are few things more irritating than being cut off mid-sentence whilst the other person replies to a text. Your attention is instantly divided and your partner will assume they’re not interesting you. Should I keep talking? Do I just sit there until they are finished? The silence If someone is actually making an effort to engage with you, don’t throw it back in their face. There’s only so much the group chat can do for you…
We’re lacking social skills
Talking to someone when they are not face to face gives a lot of people a sense of confidence that they would be unable to replicate in person. Real life scenario; that “confidence” soon shrivels into a jittery mess. Social media provides a barrier where someone can take their time planning the perfect response, which takes very little effort and removes the spontaneity of genuinely interacting with someone. Things can be so easily misinterpreted over text as well, which makes it impossible to really get to know someone and MUCH easier to fall out.
A lightly veiled post that could be about anyone, but there is always a specific person in mind. People will want to know who that person is, it’s just human nature. Pretty soon your inbox will be flooded with “what’s up?” and “Is this about me? lol”. Again, rather than discussing the problem with your partner (let’s face it, it’s usually about them) you end up venting your frustrations to people who really have no business being involved. This is how gossip spreads, and we know how easily gossip can blow a situation out of proportion.
So there you have it. Social media is capable of great things, but if used incorrectly it will only serve to create doubt and insecurity in your relationship.
When was the last time you switched off your phone to spend time with your other half? We are so consumed with our social feeds rather than appreciating our time with each other. We only have so much of it, so put the phone down once in a while. It won’t kill you.