How Social Media Can Be Ruining Our Intimate Relationships

We seem to be living in a world that is constantly plugged in. Everywhere I look I see people on their phones, checking social media, or even taking pictures of items to be later posted online. Even as I sit here typing this out, four out of the five people at this table are on their phones. 

Whether we like to admit it or not, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and other apps have taken over our lives. According to the Huff Post, on average, we are on our phones for about 5 hours a day. It makes total sense that with how much we interact with social media on a day to day basis, that it has started affecting our relationships with our significant other. 

One of the ways that social media has ruined our relationship with our significant other is in the way that one partner can care more about social media than the other. This is definitely an issue that has presented itself in my current relationship. I am a very avid Instagram poster as well as a Snapchat user. As soon as I started dating my boyfriend I would post pictures of us, videos of him doing something funny on Snapchat, or even pictures of us on dates on Snapchat as well. This past week was my Formal for my sorority and as soon as we took a picture together, it wasn't even seconds later, that it was posted on my Instagram.

 However, as the weekend ended and Sunday approached I grew concerned that my boyfriend hadn’t posted a picture of us on his Instagram yet. My concern grew into worry and multiple thoughts filled my head. Was he embarrassed by me? Did he not want people to find out about us? Did he not want certain girls knowing that he had a girlfriend? These thoughts kept overwhelming me until I couldn’t hold it in anymore and exploded on him. Besides the fact that it was totally my bad, and he was completely blindsided by my rant, we began to argue.

I told him my feelings about the situation and how I felt like he didn't want anyone to know we were dating, but it felt as if he just wasn’t getting what I was saying. He brought up the fact that I’ve met his entire family and his best friends so it wasn’t the fact that he didn’t want anyone to know about us, it was the fact that social media was just not as important to him. To him, he just didn't feel the need to do it. It was not something that he thought about. The thought of not posting important pictures online as soon as they happened had never crossed my mind. And it made me realize that during my formal I was so obsessed with taking the perfect picture for Instagram, that I could have been using that time to enjoy it with my sisters, and my boyfriend. It made me think that I cared more about other people thinking that I had a good time at formal with my boyfriend than actually having a good time at formal. 

Another issue that seems to present itself in relationships with social media is the fact that girls' boyfriends are “liking” other girls pictures on Instagram.

Although this issue is not relevant to my relationship I know that it is one that affects many of my friends’ relationships. For myself, there is one hard no, I don’t think its okay to like ex’s pictures, but like all rules and hard no’s there are exceptions. But for me, if they are an ex then that means they should be in the past not the present. However, as doctor Jenn Mann put it perfectly in an article that she published, there are two types of men who like pictures on Instagram, the innocent and the guilty.

Just because your boyfriend likes a girls picture on Instagram does not mean he wants to hook up with her or ruin what you and he have for a night of fun. It could just mean he knows her, he happened to like it, or he accidentally liked it. These are the types of men that you don’t need to be worried about. The guilty kind, like girls' pictures on Instagram knowingly doing so, so that they receive the attention of that female. 

I am no relationship expert, but couples should communicate with one another and talk to each other about how the situation makes them feel. By doing this, a couple should be able to come to some sort of conclusion about the role that social media will be playing in their relationship. This role differs from relationship to relationship. The men who tend to fall into the innocent category are the ones who take the time to listen to you and are the ones who are willing to find a  way to fix the problem. However, the men who tend to be guilty are the ones that can deflect the issue and turn the argument on you. 

At the end of the day, it is important for everyone to strive to be in a healthy, loving, and trusting relationship. And it is important to remember that our lives offline should be what we care most about, rather than our life online.