It’s no secret that social media can be addictive, and we’ve all been guilty of mindlessly scrolling through our feeds at one point or another. However, when social media use starts to interfere with our relationships, it’s time to take a step back and assess the situation.
Social media can have a profound impact on our romantic relationships, and in some cases, it can even lead to their demise. In this article, we will explore the impacts of social media on relationships and ways how you and your partner can do something about them.
Can social media actually ruin relationships?
A recent study by Brigham Young University found that excessive social media usage may lead to lower satisfaction in interpersonal relationships. Since relationships thrive on close connections, app-surfing is likely to become a threat if you don’t put your phones away.
Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or just starting out, it’s important to recognize the potential pitfalls of social media and take steps to keep your relationship healthy and thriving.
5 Ways to Know if Social Media Is Killing Your Relationship
As for your relationship troubles, could social media be the culprit? Here are a few dead giveaways you should limit your social scrolling.
1. You Haven’t Been Interacting a Lot In-Person
Do you ever feel like your partner’s phone gets more attention than you do? If so, you’re not alone. Many couples feel like they can’t communicate and connect the way they want to because one partner is always on their phone.
Maybe you’re that partner. Your significant other could be trying to broach this topic, but they might be afraid to come off as annoying. Or, they don’t mind – because they’re doing the exact same thing. Either way, this is an unhealthy habit to sustain in your relationship.
The next time both of you go on a walk, a date, or anywhere together, notice what happens when you’re both silent. Do you instantly feel the urge to reach for your devices? If that’s the case, it may be time to address this issue.
2. You’ve Fallen Into a Comparison Trap
The most harmful aspect of social media is its ability to generate unhealthy comparison.
Looking at the insta-perfect pictures of other couples can make you question the state of your own relationship. How come those two look so happy together? How come they get to visit luxurious places every weekend? They must be the happiest couple in the world!
Needless to say, it’s all a well-built facade. While the couple may not be completely unhappy, you’ll never see them post a video of them arguing. You’ll never see a screenshot of their heated texts. In most cases, not even their “close friends” account will ever get to see the worst of their relationship.
Despite constant reminders, social media is skilled at making us forget that all relationships are imperfect. What you see makes up for a tiny percentage of what goes on behind the scenes.
3. You’ve Been Snooping
Social media can be a gateway for nosy and toxic behavior. So much so that many couples ask for each other’s passwords so they can go through likes and comments. Oftentimes, they’ll scroll just enough to find something to accuse their partner of.
The need to keep tabs on what your partner is doing online is damaging for both of you. Snooping and trampling over each other’s privacy is a warning sign that your relationship lacks trust. It’s also a sign of a deep-rooted trust issue on the “snooper’s” part.
When an invasion of privacy and trust issues get mixed together, it’s only a matter of time until the relationship falls apart.
4. You’ve Been Sharing All About Your Relationship Online
Platforms like Twitter are a breeding ground for “oversharing,” or saying inappropriate things in the wrong setting. Many users will spend their 280-character limit to essentially expose their relationship online, probably out of a desire to feel seen and connect with others.
Oversharing can range from boasting about how good the sex was last night, to how much your partner made you cry over something. While it’s true that “your social media, your rules,” you should think about the consequences this can bring into your relationship.
You may feel comfortable publishing all of this information, but does your partner feel the same way? It’s something to think about.
5. You’ve Been Feeling More Insecure
Don’t underestimate the click of a button when it comes to insecure people. For some of them, liking pictures or merely following individuals they find attractive online can wreak havoc in a relationship.
This insecurity can gradually take over, resulting in bigger suspicions. Suddenly, small questions start leading to bigger problems, provoking needless arguments out of thin air. If a couple has access to each other’s social passwords, they would have more ways to fuel insecure behavior.
5 Ways to Manage Social Media Use and Save Your Relationship
Watch Your Social Media Use When You’re Together
This should be the first step for all couples. Unless you’re both laughing at memes together, it’s best to put your phones away and pay attention to each other. Social media can wait.
Ideally, you should use the last minutes of your day to do something fun – something both of you can enjoy. Whether that’s watching a movie or having a candlelit dinner, these are just a couple of proven ways to exercise your emotional intimacy.
Understand Your Partner’s Insecurities Regarding Social Media
So, your partner has voiced their discomfort about you liking certain pictures. What should you do?
First, you should understand that they’re coming from a place of insecurity. As you know, insecurity is deep-rooted and largely has to do with the way a person sees themselves. Even if you were to stop liking the pictures altogether, that wouldn’t solve the underlying problem.
A person’s negative view of themselves should be addressed in individual therapy. Otherwise, the ensuing poor self-esteem can taint their interpersonal relationships beyond hope.
As a side note, spying on your significant other’s social media isn’t an insecurity. Rather, it represents controlling behavior that should also be addressed in therapy. If your partner ever disguises emotionally abusive behavior as “boundaries,” it’s time to have a serious talk.
Check In With Your Partner Before You Post About Your Relationship Online
If any of you overshares to the point where a partner is feeling exposed, there needs to be a check-in regarding this behavior.
Know that it’s okay to be a private person, and it’s normal to feel uncomfortable when your personal life is accessible to everyone. If your partner loves you, a simple conversation can help them understand that.
You can make this conversation easier by telling them you value your time together, and that you’d appreciate it if they kept it to yourselves. Of course, you can let them know that your adventures together are okay to be shared. You just don’t want them to overshare your personal lives.
If They Don’t Want to Post Something, Respect Them
Posting sweet couple photos isn’t always proof of love. Read that again.
While it’s different for everyone, social media shouldn’t have an impact on how you value each other. Some people who are madly in love would sometimes prefer a low-profile approach to social media. If they aren’t fans of posting syrupy pictures with lovey-dovey captions, that doesn’t make them love you any less. If infidelity is an issue, it’s best you talk about it than coming at your partner for trying to “hide” your relationship from the public.
Constantly asking your partner to do something they’re uncomfortable with can strain your relationship pretty quickly. If you love them enough, you’ll let them show their love in different ways.
Remember That Social Media Can Be Deceptive
Social media never discloses the whole moment, in any circumstance. Pictures are still unable to convey feelings, which means that the story you tell yourself about a certain couple is literally that – just a story. Keep that in mind when social media makes you feel bad about your own relationship.
Ways to Use Social media to strengthen your relationship
Use It to Stay Connected When You’re Apart
Make your husband’s break at work more delightful with a cute, emoji-packed text. Send your wife plenty of selfies and pictures of your pets when she’s away on a family trip. When used for its true purposes, social media can solidify your connection by immersing you into each other’s lives.
Tag Each Other on Relatable Posts
There’s no better feeling than seeing your partner has tagged you on something. It feels particularly meaningful when the content involves inside jokes, or alludes to special moments you’ve spent together. A simple “this reminded me of you” text can lighten up their whole day.
Post Pictures With Each Other
No, not the overly-planned, meticulously-captioned kind. Post the pictures that mean something to you, and don’t post them for validation purposes. Post them because you want to share a precious, real moment with people you care about. If your intentions are genuine, your significant other will appreciate you for it.
The Impact of Social Media on Relationships is a Double-Edged Sword
You should think of social media as a magnet: while it brings couples together when they’re apart, it tends to repel them when they’re standing close together. So why not log off for a minute and cherish the amazing person right in front of you?