Don’t take this the wrong way, but social media can be a bitch. It can literally destroy a relationship. It can cause anxiety, unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It can also create jealousy, FOMO and guilt. Those late night rabbit hole lurking sessions can bring you so far down that you forget what is really important.
On the flip side, social media can bring people together, who may otherwise never have connected. It can be used as a way of branding (insert a little self promotion here…) or advertising for your business. It can be used to catch up with old friends that you’ve lost touch with, or have moved far away. Social media can be an excellent tool to do all of these things but the issue arises when it starts to control us, and our actions, rather than the other way around.
My title is extreme, but so is my viewpoint. I sincerely believe that social media can, have, and will ruin relationships if you let them. A few examples to chew on:
- A potential couple meet on Tinder, start talking, and decide its worth it to meet up. Great! A connection made that otherwise couldn’t have happened without the internet. The issue: Prior to the date, each person creeps the other’s social media, generating a first impression that is not only fabricated but limiting. Maybe he sees she has too many clubbing photos for his taste so he shows up late and acts disinterested the entire time. Maybe she bails an hour before because he has a photo holding a fish and she’s not into that. Neither of them even had a chance…
- Two friends make plans to see each other the following week, nothing too extreme, dinner and a movie maybe? They decide on a time and a place and leave it at that. The issue: The day of one decides she isn’t feeling up to it and cancels. She proceeds to take a nap and upon wakening, finds her roommates being rowdy in the living room. They convince her to go to the bar, “for one drink”. At the bar, a snapchat is taken of her and posted to someone’s story. The friend she canceled on sees this and is pissed, followed by anxious: “why would she say she didn’t want to go out when she obviously did?”. This friend proceeds to act cold for a while, not feeling entirely comfortable bringing it up, while the other friend wonders why, when she went home at 11 to watch Grey’s…
- A couple have been dating for a while and have been going strong. They’ve had a couple of bumps along the way but who hasn’t? They both follow each other on all social media platforms, as is the norm. The issue: The constant updates. The jealousy. “He liked that girl’s photo…I’m no longer his snapchat best friend…Why are there girls in that photo when he said he was having a boys night??” It’s enough to drive anyone a little crazy. When you’re provided with that much information about your significant other, all the mystery is gone and replaced with suspicion. Social media literally makes it acceptable to stalk everyone…even the person you’re supposed to be able to trust more than anyone else…
Now, I’m not one to poke holes without providing any solutions so see below for some of my tips for not letting social media take over:
- Keep social media “check ups” to a minimum. When you’re not with your significant other, don’t feel the need to keep tabs on them via their social media.
- Don’t believe everything you see. Always remember, people are showing you the bits they want you to see, the best possible outcome of a probably mediocre situation.
- Trust in people, not in social media. Rather than jumping to conclusions immediately when faced with a potential lie (see example 2) believe in the relationship you have in real life, not online.
- Use social media genuinely. When you’re mad at your girlfriend or boyfriend don’t try and make them jealous by liking certain people’s photos or commenting inappropriate things.
- “You don’t have to post it to prove it”. Don’t feel panicked because your significant other didn’t post a photo professing their love for you.
- Unfollow those who upset you. If someone’s posts upset you, don’t be afraid to unfollow for fear of what they will think. If you’re following an ex fling’s new girlfriend to be nice, cut that shit out.
- Don’t read into everything. Try not to get upset when your friend posts a selfie on Instagram but hasn’t responded to the group chat about making plans. Let other people make their own priorities.
- Disconnect when you’re with friends or your partner. Give them your full attention and don’t make them feel second in line behind your smartphone.
Thanks for reading,