Whether you spend hours comparing your life to others on FB, Instagram every piece of food you consume, or attempt to write witty tweets on a day-to-day basis, you are consuming and spreading the mass hysteria that is social media. And whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay (especially as our parents use it more often than we’d like….).
Within this realm, we need to recognize the effect social media now has on the modern-day relationships, because let’s face it, long gone are the days when writing letters were a sufficient means of communication between partners.
Here are the top three ways social media affects your relationships. (Warning: not for the faint of heart):
1. You can always find out what your exes are up to: ’till death do you part.
Remember when people ended relationships and they never heard from the person again unless they decided to call or send telegrams? No? That’s because our generation hasn’t lived that kind of life. This aspect of social media is a gift and a curse, depending on how you look at it.
It’s a gift because you can always see if the new beau is a downgrade or if your ex seems miserable without your majestic presence. But if the new person is an upgrade? If your ex is living life to the fullest? All hell breaks loose. You feel like crap. You can’t stop stalking, and therefore you can never move forward with a new relationship.
Don’t go down this road. Delete them and move on. Unfortunately, your friends can tell you what’s going on, but that’s unavoidable. This is why they are forcibly with you now until death.
(Or at least until Zuckerberg decides to free us all from the chains of social media).
2. A changed relationship status on Facebook is the marker of “official” (formerly known as “going steady”).
What makes a relationship official? Perhaps spending more time together, meeting the family, or going out with each other’s friends every other weekend? Or, you know, a verbal commitment between one another? Yet, official has also come to mean updating your status to “in a relationship with ______,” proving to the world that yes, you are in fact together.
Although this change in status seems more predominant with the younger crowd, the fact that this can (and has) started fights with a potential significant other speaks volumes. Facebook is an internet presence; your commitment to one another is your reality. Choose wisely.
3. Your relationship (and life) is easily on display for the world to see. Cue the jealousy.
With the use of social media. everyone can post pictures of their life together – where they are vacationing, who they are with, and where they are located. You know what this brings more of in a relationship? Jealousy.
Your partner has been tagged at a location with somebody else, and you weren’t aware. They are in a picture with another man/woman, and you think the worst of the situation. They’re obviously cheating on you and lying to you. And just like that, relationships are destroyed due to a lack of trust.
Perhaps you see other couples doing things that you would want to do, and you compare and contrast. Right off the bat, you’re prone to not appreciating what you may have right in front of you. Be aware of these issues, and try not to discuss them over a Facebook message.
Although social media clearly has an effect on our relationships, it’s important to remember the true value of in-person communication. How we portray ourselves on the internet may not always correlate to how we live offline. Therefore, it’s important to take social media with a grain of salt, and utilize it for the positive it brings to our relationships – a better and faster means of communication.
As our consumption of social media keeps increasing, remember to focus on appreciating the small things that make you love your partner day in and day out without the use of a screen.