In today's world, everyone can have an impact on the world from the convenience of their own homes by telling their personal stories and sharing stories that they have heard from others that have touched their lives in some way. Couples are not left out in this story. Thanks to social media, we are now able to share our relationship with the world. But how much is too much, and what are the impacts?
Sharing too little or too much on social media might make others doubt the sincerity of a relationship and reduce intimacy in a relationship. Social media gives you the easiest way to cuddle with your partner from a distance. On the other hand, has been recorded as the number one deal breaker if couples cannot meet the make-believe standards of social media relationships. A good relationship requires finding a happy midpoint between over-sharing and under-sharing.
Marriage and other romantic relationships have problems, so social media can’t be blamed for all of them. However, it does have a big effect on relationships today.
The effects of social media on romantic relationships can be categorized into two parts. I like to refer to them as the killer and booster effects.
The killer effects of social media on romantic relationships
- More separation
Most people will agree and testify to the statement that our days begin with scrolling on our mobile devices and end with trolling on our electronic devices. Everyone wishes to be one of the first to know, hear, see, or share information on social media. In this quest, we become more interested in building an online image rather than focusing on our reality. Social media can become a distraction during moments of intimacy.
This is mostly witnessed if neither couple chooses to use the “no phone” technique during dinner dates, in which they consciously agree not to check their phones or respond to incoming social media alerts. They could be together physically at a table but miles away on their phones, traveling first class from Facebook to Instagram, transiting through Snapchat.
About a year ago, I chanced on a couple who shared how they realized social media was taking their moments together. The wife explained that she would always wish her husband a happy birthday on Facebook and spend most of the time reading comments received on the post without wishing him in person. Until the husband complained, she thought it was enough to celebrate him. The irony of the matter is that all this time, the husband has been home with her, but she’s busy celebrating him electronically or virtually instead of spending quality time together physically.
- Resentment among couples
First of all, we all do have insecurities. You might have dealt with yours, but there is a high possibility that you can revisit it if you do not know your triggers. The biggest problem in relationships since ancient times is said to be communication. We either miscommunicate or become misinformed. Couples who follow each other on social media get to see things that will either support or trigger their insecurities. Whose picture is he liking? What are his comments on the timeline of his female followers? And many others can ruin the quality of a relationship. What are the activities you are involved in on your social media pages that will cause your partner to fret?
- Tension in the relationship
It is common for couples to disagree with what must be posted and what should not be revealed on their respective social media profiles. Some prefer privacy, and others don’t. Currently, there is a trend where couples have one account to share their relationship. Aside from giving followers some kind of authority over the relationship through their comments and demands, this trend can also cause comparison. We all forget that no one is posting their fights, yet we encourage the urge to compare our relationships with those of other couples. Comparison can also have a positive impact on your relationship. It can cause you to try new lifestyles but can also be a factor in a breakup when not checked.
Despite the above-stated negatives and many other possible negative effects that could occur in one’s relationship dependent on the usage of social media by couples, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
The booster effects of social media on romantic relationships
- Stay connected
You will never meet a couple in a long-distance relationship that considers social media to be a source of contention in their relationship. Physical separation is no longer an obstacle to their progress. Just as it keeps everyone connected globally, social media has allowed us to be more aware and engaged in the lives of those we care about, including our partners, wherever we may be.
Couples are exposed to other activities to keep their relationship fruitful. The content one can find on their timeline can be very educative and useful. Either date night ideas travel ideas, or other lifestyles of other couples, one can be open. For example, a couple could be at a point in a relationship where they are used to the same routine for years, and that post from a relationship expert or other couples can spice things up in their relationship.
- An increase in feelings of intimacy and satisfaction
Research by some researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Kansas says that including your significant other in your social media posts increases intimacy and satisfaction. I believe this act shows you that your partner is not ashamed of you and appreciates all you do.
Even though social media can complicate things when it comes to finding a partner and establishing a long-term relationship, it’s possible to use it to your advantage.
Make it a point to address the role of social media in your relationship from the beginning and do your best to adhere to the limits you establish. The problem isn’t with social media per se, but rather with how we interact with it.
Photo: Damir Khabirov/Shutterstock
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