This isn’t the first article you’ve read about the effect social media has on relationships, and it won’t be the last. I believe this one might be different than the others. Unlike the otherwise ubiquitous consensus that “social media isn’t the problem, you’re the problem,” I am posing the exact opposite. I think social media did ruin your relationship, and I’m about to tell you why.
1. Loudspeaker Attitude
This is mostly prevalent in girls, but as a guy I’ll admit I’ve fallen victim to it in the past. Social media has given us an outlet to post our otherwise most inward thoughts in a space where everybody that cares enough to friend or follow us can read it. Having an argument with your significant other? Here’s a passive aggressive post about it. There is a vast difference between keeping your partner a secret — something you should never do — and keeping your relationship private, which is what you should always do.
I’ve seen more than ever that on social media, people love to spill out their thoughts and emotions for no other reason than to keep them from piling up on the inside. Bad choice. You wouldn’t have to let those emotions hit the boiling point if you would just talk to your significant other about what was bothering you instead of posting deceptive song lyrics about how you feel.
Your relationship should be your safe spot. Your haven to go to when things get tough. Your significant other has a dutiful responsibility to be your rock when the waves of your career, studies and life thrash against you. Social media has seen this dichotomy change and more than ever we see people turning to vie for the attention of the masses instead of the select few who matter. Why is this?
I use social media as a virtual barber shop — a place to talk news, sports, political topics, whatever’s hot right now — and you don’t bring up the personal stuff with mere strangers and acquaintances. The quickest way to hurt your boyfriend/girlfriend is to make them feel tolerated instead of downright desired. When they see you turning to social media for validation instead of them, they’ll be hurt. Remember the time your significant other broke some important news via social media before they even told you? Yeah, that sucked.
3. Social Media Pond
Here’s a fun fact for all you lovelies in relationships. Within the last 72 hours, somebody probably flirted with your significant other. Or tried to. Your significant other turned them down and you were none the wiser. It happens. It’s happened to you too, right? Someone chatted you up and while you appreciated the attention, you kindly turned them down and never thought twice about it. Well now, multiply it by ten and become readily conscious as to every single time it happens.
People have realized social media is merely another pond to go fishing in. Likes, emoji’s, favorites and direct messages are the weapons of choice for these online love assassins and we’ve got so caught up in the bloodlust we can’t tell who is flirting and who isn’t. Some of you say you don’t care. Some of you are telling the truth, most of you are lying. You see, we’ve invaded our significant other’s online spaces, hunting the internet timelines and trying to protect what’s rightfully ours. The truth is, you can’t. If your significant other wants to stunt on social media instead of for you, there’s nothing you can do about it.
4. Selective Perception
Although this is number four, I believe this is actually the most important. Social media has given us an avenue of what I refer to as selective perception. Think of someone you know and the life they depict themselves as having on social media. Now think about the life you know they truly live. This aspect also extends to relationships. People get on social media and see all these relationships.
Long, lovey dovey posts about being with their best friend, collages of romantic pictures and incessant flirting for no other reason than they want EVERYBODY to see it. Now people see these things, but they don’t see the arguments, the drama and troubles that all traditional relationships have and begin to question why their own relationships aren’t so prim and pristine.
This selective perception has created a pseudo-relationship that doesn’t genuinely exist and I believe it has put an unnecessary strain on most relationships. People are dipping out of relationships in search of that perfect “social media” relationship that simply doesn’t exist.
5. Us Vs. Them
The big one. Here it is. I have seen relationships end over this, as wild as it may sound. Too often we have seen people put emphasis and pressure on themselves and their significant other to keep a sacred divide between social media and the relationship. I’ve seen people get angry because their significant other posted something on social media before they responded to them. I’ve seen people get upset because they snapchatted somebody back before responding to their text.
I understand the anger. When you enter a relationship, although you don’t sign any papers, you create a verbal agreement with your lips that you are now putting that person’s priorities (slightly above) those that you’re not currently sharing a bed with. Yet I see time and time again people consciously go out of their way to meander the social media hallways while their significant others looks on in disdain. Maybe it hurts so badly because it’s so blatant or maybe it’s another fabrication social media has dropped on our shoulders.