The Love Attraction

Stepping Up Your Charm

The Effect of Social Media in Relationships

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.

Overdoing It

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.

Social Media in Relationship Comic by Drew BrockingtonComic 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“.

Insecurity

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.

Communication in Relationships
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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.

Recommendations

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.

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13 Comments

  1. Rodarrick

    I totally agree with you on this part of fear on losing out “fomo”. I have this fear almost everytime. It just often feel that eveytime I decided against social media, I always end up getting back immediately because I fear I will lose out on some valuable information and that would ve a bad one for me. To me, this is really awesome and I can only say that I value the information you have shared here and I know it would help us all if we can adhere to it while making changes in our life.

    • Salim

      I agree with you Rodger, FOMO became somehow if I might say as dangerous as drugs. You get hooked on social media and you keep going back and sliding and checking and waiting for notifications. You even get anxious when you hear the notification sound on your phone, and rush to check it out. Unfortunately, we lost that enthusiasm with our real-life interaction with our partner and even friends.

      It is hard to make changes but it can be done, we just need to use it in moderation.

  2. Shelley

    Social media has cone to stay but then, being the fact that our life is on it does not mean we should lose everything else  that has made us who we are and what we are in everything we do. We have gotten so adapted to the lude on social media that these days, it is often hard to live outside it. Now, we overdo it at the detriment of our valuable life with all other people. We end up neglecting the real for the unreal which is social media. And we forgot that most thongs on it are just fak and iyr real life is out of it

    • Salim

      I like the way you described it “lude on social media”, unfortunately, that’s what it is and we tend to disregard this and don’t accept that fact. While social media and technology can be helpful in our lives, yet it is a double-edged sword which we most of us still till now don’t know how to use it, and it’s repercussions, we use it blindly and we often cry later on because we got hooked up or live in ignorance of its effects.

  3. This is a great article! I really like how you madeit clear that social media is okay, just don’t overdo it. I usually hear the extreme of each end, and it’s nice to see you take a middle road in this article.

    • Jessie, moderation, and balance is the key, going extreme in both ends is not always a good choice. At the end, you have to follow technology and be familiar with it and use to your advantage.

  4. Joo

    I love this article. During my dating days, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I didn’t even have cellphones. What did we have? Pager. Lol. Oops, now you know my age.

    When I look around at how people are dating these days, I would say 80% of the time, they are on their phones, scrolling through their social media feeds, engrossed in their own world, rather than the person right in front of them.

    And it’s so true what you say, that people who are insecure about their relationships tend to post more about it on their social media accounts. I’d rather keep these private things private.

    Thanks for the great tips!

    • Joo, Thank you for your input. You mentioned paper, well I strongly believe that paper, writing letters, still can bring back the excitement and romance into a relationship even nowadays.

      Social Media has that sort of effect not only on love relationship, yet on any type of relationship.

  5. Chrissy

    Really liked this article. Social media is here to stay and looking people up to see what you can find out about them before actually talking is a new norm. People just have to remember that not everything they see on there is the whole truth.

    • I agree with you Chrissy, not everything you read or see on Social Media is the truth. A lot of people tend to fake their reality on social media in an attempt to masquerade their problems online while in fact, their real lives and relationships are totally different.

  6. Back in the day when meeting girls in person or online, there was excitement because I didn’t know much about them and would potentially learn more next time we meet.

    Nowadays just knowing their first name can result in doing a long deep search on Facebook, LinkedIn or other sites just to find their profile. This is something everyone does. It’s crazy.

    While single for me Facebook was used a lot. Once I found my woman (relationship part) Facebook started becoming an afterthought and practically nonexistent. Now I’m married to her and still have no desire to use social media at all.

    Truth is love life overpowered the desire for social media and my wife never got into it from the start.

    • True Dave, we tend to play the role of the detective nowadays with Facebook, Instagram and other platforms as our tools.
      I agree with you while many when they get into a relationship they tend to forget about those platforms still many tips the scale in the other direction in an extreme way. It’s about acceptance, I know and observe several couples that I personally know, where social media is used to track and evaluate the actions of their partners. Not communication is existent, their judge before even discussing the problem, backing up their claims with Social Media, such a pity.

      I am glad to hear about you and your wife, keep it up and much love.

  7. Senal Rakbo

    Wow, could’t agree more. Everyone is perfect on social media but the reality is completely different. Technology is good. In fact, it’s great. Unfortunately we tend to overuse it. As you mentioned, Instagram likes and comments make some people happy more than real-life relationships.

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