Nowadays social media, at least for most of us, constitutes a big part of our daily life. For some in a positive way and for others in a negative, sometimes destructive way. Unfortunately, social media can be a double-edged sword, if used wisely it can be for our benefit, whereas misusing it might have a devastating effect on us.
An interesting observation is about social media in relationships. Starting, maintaining and ending a relationship for many couples is closely related to the usage of social media, couples are meeting online, dating virtually and in some cases even getting married. The rules of the game have changed; balance is a key part of that change to maintain a healthy and happy relationship.
The Mystery Factor
Social media, for some parts of relationships, have minimized bit by bit the mystery factor that people experience when trying to get to know each other. Back in the days, getting to know the other person whom you like or even the one you are in a relationship with, would get you for face to face conversations, going out frequently, have meaningful conversations together. Whereas nowadays, part of this might be true, yet a big part of the process which includes the mystery and fun if I may call it of discovering the other person is stripped down by researching and checking out the other person on social media.
Many tend to go on social media and check the other person’s profile, history, pictures, circle and we try to deduct and reason based on what we see even before having a real conversation with that person. As Ashley Knox, MSW said “[…] social media might help you to discover things about another person that perhaps you would have found out later in time if the interactions were purely in person”, and that is exactly how the enjoyable part is extracted from the relationship.
Using social media is not a bad thing, at least when done in moderation and keeping a reasonable mind while doing so. The problem arises when we overuse social media platforms. In a relationship that would be destructive and leave to drastic effects in a relationship.
Some couples spend an excessive amount of time on social network sites instead of spending it with their loved ones, on household or relationship matters, that would lead to a negative impact on the relationship, and in some cases to divorces in case of marriage as described by Joshua from the AZ Family Law Lawyers.
Comic by Drew Brockington
On another note, we see a lot of couples constantly posting love messages, confessions and pictures of their romantic activities, showing how their relationship is perfect and how they are happy together. While that might be true in some cases, in most this is totally the opposite. It would be an attempt for them to convince themselves that they are having a great and happy relationship before convincing others on the social platform.
Nikki Goldstein a sexologist describes it best: “Often it’s the people who post the most, who are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media“.
When couples are enjoying their time together, they live in the moment and have fun with their time together, because that time is so precious that memories can be built and stored forever to come and relive in our minds and internal library of emotions. While that is true, this doesn’t mean they cannot take a couple of photos to store, or share but they both ensure that this does not take up all their time and joy, it might be shared later on, or used to laugh together while remembering the moment.
Posting too much and often about the activities and moments that the couples experience together is usually linked to insecurity in the relationship based on what researchers from Northwestern University found while surveying couples about posting on Social Media.
Paranoia and Trust
Funny enough, many couples act as detectives and their tools are Facebook, Instagram, and other social platforms. Spouses track their partner’s online activities and start to get paranoid about them if they are cheating and having affairs. In many cases, that would be false and leads to paranoia, and in turn to major problems and issues in the relationship.
The lack of trust, which is one of the cornerstones of the relationship, leads to that kind of action, using social media to stalk someone or your partner.
FOMO “Fear of Missing Out”
I would consider FOMO or Fear of Missing Out as one of the most critical effects of social media in relationships. Many couples can get caught up in the FOMO effect, following and tracking every update and news on the social platforms, looking for affirmation about what they have posted, and fearing of not knowing the latest about another person, an Ex or lover, friends or family. By doing that, couples get caught up in the unknown and don’t live the present and enjoy the moment.
FOMO can destroy relationships; many couples argue and fight because one or both feel not appreciated and important with their significant other because the time they spend together is not well spent, and totally wasted on social media checking the likes comments, and chatting with people who are not present.
Technology can help us to strengthen our relationship and bonds with others as long as it is used wisely and in moderation. Couples need to keep in mind that to keep a healthy and sustainable relationship they need to preserve their private life, especially with their partner, and have faith and trust.
Enjoy every moment together and no need to get affirmation from everyone else on the web on your activities and your relationship.
Getting more likes, comments and reactions doesn’t mean that you are more in love is not an indication for your relationship health. Your actions and care toward your loved ones are what keeps it healthy and strong. Preserve it.