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Ah! Social Media. For most of us, it's one of our vices, simultaneously a space of comfort and distress. That high you get over a particular like, followed by the low of an unfollow sound familiar? It's like the real world but amplified; it is more brutal and vain because it is all behind a screen. 

Depressing start isn't it, but what adds even more trouble is it's effects on our romantic relationships. I mean, how many times have you heard it said how much easier relationships would be without social media? 

While we know on some level that our online presence shouldn't impact our reality, for many of us, it does, and our fears are far from unwarranted. With social media being weaponised and evolved to be the most addictive version of itself, there's a reason we spend so much time on it; it plays on our dopamine-driven responses. To further exasperate this, social media provides a greater public sphere in which relationships can be scrutinised, in turn creating a breeding ground for insecurities. Because no matter how much we like to deny it, we all make comparisons and depending on your mood, these comparisons can quickly turn into an argument. 

With such complications of conflicts, infidelity, and jealousy being an added result of social media, it's crucial to communicate your needs with your partner. Remember, concerns and insecurities vary for individuals. Does your partner/ you get upset if they are never posted? Does one of you have problems with them liking certain people's pictures? 

It's easy to brand such concerns as controlling and manipulative. However, they usually stem from being hurt by previous partners and by examining the results of a recent study published in Computers in Human Behavior, who can blame them. 1/10 admit to hiding messages and posts from their significant other; the internets a shady place. Couple this with the fact that high internet usage shows to produce dissatisfaction in relationships, and the value in understanding and being patient with your significant other cannot be overstated. 

The only real remedy for all this is talking to your partner and getting to know their expectations and beliefs around social media. Explain why you don't perhaps post them or why you have boundaries over who they are interacting with online. Try your best to reduce phone time when your with them so they feel appreciated and attended to, and you should be just fine. Social media can throw a spanner into the works, but it's nothing a bit of compromise and a few honest conversations won't fix. 

Orla McHale

Bristol '23

Second yr English Literature student.
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