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Social Media and Relationships

Have you ever found yourself competing with your partner’s phone for attention? Ever been out on a date or in the middle of an important conversation or regular bonding time with your partner yet he/she could not seem to take their eyes off their phone/watch/computer or maybe they did, only to resume a few minutes later? Well, I have! We all have!

How did you feel? sad? Angry? Disappointed? Unhappy?

Now, here’s the deal ..

The average person uses social media for two hours and 24 minutes every day. That’s over five years of your life spent scrolling, posting, and liking. Given that social media has become so ingrained in daily lives, it is not uncommon to see that it’s a major source of tension and bone of contention in relationships.

Asides from being a tool that has successfully destroyed relationships, it has become a yardstick for measuring your relationships and drawing comparisons with other faux relationships misconstrued as the ideal, perfect relationship with “Cinderella-happy-endings” because of a few seemingly happy pictures, goofy TikTok videos here, and there and a long thread of what “Relationship Goals” should look like.

Anyway, the positive impact of social media is seldom felt anymore as the negatives have overwhelmed the good. We are usually so engrossed with uploading and liking Instagram pictures, replying to E-mails, checking notifications that we often forget that as much as it strengthens our online exposure and virtual influence, it subtly diminishes our interaction with the real world and communication with the external environment around us including our partners. We must balance our offline and online time so we don’t neglect our loved ones in favor of screen time.

“Social media is a double-edged sword,” says communication expert Leslie Shore. That’s because social media allows for quick and efficient communication, but it also changes the way people interact with one another.

This is especially true with relationships. Most times, we are caught up with our phones and more concerned with happenings on it than we are concerned with communicating effectively with our partners, you are often oblivious of their moods because you won’t put down your phone for a minute and pay attention to your external environment.

"The holds our devices have on us are invisible until someone actively calls [it] to our attention," says Shore, noting that we often pay more mind to our phones than those we're spending time with. "It is almost impossible to create or enhance relationships when social media is, in the first place, taking our time and attention away from who is in front of us."

Also, it’s rarely impossible to stay faithful and committed to your partner because of how much social media exposes us to. The internet posts, the people; it takes discipline on a whole new level to not get lost in the crowd or get entangled in the web of infidelity. I am 100% sure there were times you met someone on social media that you considered a close comparison with your partner but for some reasons, you didn’t pull through with your thoughts even after you liked all their pictures and sat in their “DMs” for a while( I promise I won’t tell on you…lol). Many relationships are currently letting go off the hook of love and the tingling butterfly feeling isn’t so thrilling anymore to stomach. This could be as a result of many things, but one which is rampant and conspicuous is the fact that one person, unknowingly to them, sabotages the relationship with covert or possibly overt actions he/she considers ‘insignificant or trivial.’

Actions such as smartphone addiction, light-flirting, watching irrelevant videos(such as twerk videos), and texting every single person they meet like they’re single and ready to mingle (had to rhyme this…lol), half the time, some of these actions are done secretly and so, subtly sabotages the relationship and it’s only a matter of time before the relationship meets its waterloo.

Do you find yourself in such a situation? What are you doing about it? (let me know in the comment section)

What Are the Effects of Social Media on Relationships?

Here are a few other things social media does to our relationships;

  • Social Media Causes Infidelity: There are so many couples who have caught their partners cheating via means of social media. It is easy to start up a conversation with an old crush on social media, or a work colleague. Eventually, these conversations could end up leading to more things. It could be innocent at first, the more you talk, the closer you might become. This could then lead to flirting or confiding in someone else about serious problems besides your partner. Maybe you even end up going out for coffee or lunch, and one thing leads to the next, you end up cheating on your spouse. Whether it’s emotionally or sexually.

  • Social Media Breeds Comparison and Unhappiness: social media can be very fake! Ever seen happy pictures from couples and you start to feel sad or unhappy because your relationship hasn’t got to that stage yet or that your relationship isn’t as perfect as the pictures staring you in the face? Yes? Social media only shows you the happy minutes, not the entire relationship moments or hurdles and if you let these things get to you, you may begin to draw comparisons with your relationships and that can make you unhappy and stir conflicts between you and your partner.

  • Social Media Causes Mental Health Issues: Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can cause problems in a relationship. Seeing your partner suffer from depression and anxiety can be heartbreaking to see. The lines between social media and real-life situations can get blurry, causing mental health issues. This is mainly seen in teenagers, but it can also be a problem for adults. You might see people with seemingly perfect bodies, and this could cause depression, making you want to have that perfect body, or even wanting your spouse to look the same way. This “fake” sense of perfection could have serious effects on your mental health thereby, affecting your relationships.

· Social Media Destroys Communication: As Dr. Dale Archer puts it, “It used to be a ménage à trois which means three people engaging in consensual sex, but in this high tech world, that third person is being replaced by the smartphone. ”Smartphone addiction has become so widespread; it even has its version of a celebrity mashup name: nomophobia (no-mobile-phone-phobia). Social media has a way of ruining effective communication with our partners. In most cases, couples now settle conflicts on social media. Rather than talk about it, Instagram stories, tweets, and WhatsApp stories unashamedly do the talking on their behalf; absurd if you ask me!

Social media can be a great way of communication, but as you can see, it also has its pitfalls. It could lead to distance in a relationship, infidelity, or even addictions to social media. If used too much, social media could also lead to depression and anxiety, which will affect a person’s relationships with those around them. If you constantly find issues in your relationship, chances are your relationship might be suffering from up-close social media-influenced issues. Pay attention to your partners just as much as you do to your phone. There are over a hundred issues that result from the effects of social media on relationships, find your thorn and pluck it the best possible way you can.

until next week friends!


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