We live in a society where we basically put everything on social media: what kind of food we ate that day, our workout routines, our sex lives, our problems in our relationships, confrontations we don’t want to handle in person so we handle them through passive aggressive posts for the other person to see. It seems that there is no such thing as over sharing when it comes to putting our lives online. I myself, have been at fault for this. Twitter is practically my personal diary when I am doing good or going through a depressive episode. The feeling of putting my emotions out there and then hitting “tweet” is my guilty pleasure. However, there is one thing that I believe should not be shared on social media that a lot of my fellow followers and friends do: sharing my relationship status for the world to see.
I have received some heavy criticism for this. I’ve seen countless posts and tweets that people make bashing those who decide not to share their relationship on social media. “If they don’t post about you they are protecting someone else” or “if they don’t post you, they’re hiding you” are popular sentiments. It’s kind of crazy how our culture has shifted from loyalty being based off trust to how much you post about a person in a day. It is expected of us now to prove ourselves to everyone, to prove our happiness and perfection in all things in life. First, I do not say no to posting online ever. What I believe is that it’s over done. The second that you put aspects of your relationship onto social media, you give up privacy and open your relationship up to judgment and scrutiny from those who have no place to do so.
Here are the reasons why I personally suggest keeping your relationship offline.
1.) You’re Letting Everyone And Anyone Into Your Personal Business
Have you ever come across a couple who posts consistent pictures and activities of what they are doing on social media and then in a blink of an eye all of their pictures are gone and now they are making posts about how they are “back on their bullsh*t” with a peace emoji? Yeah…I see this quite often. People who do this are letting the world see how many times they are in and out of a relationship. It allows strangers to keep tabs on you and for exes to see the new person you might be dating. You are allowing people who had nothing to do with your relationship make judgements and assumptions about your intimate life. Many advertise their partner as the love of their life, that they are going to be with them forever and ever etc, primarily showing everything during the honeymoon stages. They advertise to people that they have a solid relationship full of love and that they know what love is, but the relationship eventually ends down the road. You may say, “well, what’s wrong with that?” It’s embarrassing. You feel lied to and feel like you have to explain yourself to other people, even the ones who have nothing to do with your personal life and are only asking to be nosey. Some people feel ashamed and are made fun of. When you have an audience, it’s hard to handle personal struggles such as heartbreaks properly. Most people result to bashing their ex and posting happy pictures so people can believe they are okay. We advertise our partner as if they are the one but reality always hits, and your bad relationship sometimes can convey the wrong message to others.
In established relationships, social media posts are something that are done all the time, or that is expected. Posting about your significant other is not a stamp on love, it’s just a simple act that doesn’t have much meaning. Some people just don’t want part of their “personal life” for all to see and It’s surprisingly hard for some to grasp the idea. Most people in our generation believe if you post a picture of a meal you need to post a picture of your partner. A meal is not personal though — your love life is. In many non-established relationships it’s the way for some to feel accepted. In many ways it can be of no use to a relationship — just validation to feed insecurities. People can show people off for the wrong reasons. Your partner can show you off for the wrong reasons.
3.) Social Media Becomes A Need to Feel Valued
I’ve been seeing a trend, specifically in the Twitter atmosphere, that if your relationship isn’t publicly shared your partner doesn’t value you and is keeping you a secret. This creates insecurities in all of us, where we feel that social media is a necessity to making us feel important, validated, and loved in an intimate relationship. This need for sharing our personal love life on the internet is being held above our connection with someone in real life. I was in a year-long committed relationship where we posted our relationship all over social media. My boyfriend still had an affair on three separate occasions during the year that we were together. As I grew up, I noticed how many times I asked my partners to place their stuff online because it validated me. I have learned that loyalty does not lie within the internet — a social media post doesn’t prevent anything. Loyalty lies within a person. Trust is an intimate emotion and is better shared and built off time with your partner, not having to be proven online. Some people are posting about their partners because they won’t stop nagging about it, so it’s affection shown with false pretences. Some are posting their relationship because they need to show that they’re picture perfect or “Instagram worthy”. In some relationships it even creates false competition, where people are complaining about their partner not posting about them enough or as much as the next person does. On top of all of that, it can lead you to compare your relationship to someone else’s. You might look at a couple on Instagram and think how happy they look, all the while you’re in a rough patch with your partner and start to feel like what you have isn’t enough.
If you want the world to know you’re with someone — great, you have the choice to do that! But from my perspective, a good relationship already has enough to face without adding more pressure. Some people like private lives, and just because they aren’t exposing their heart to the public doesn’t mean they are hiding it.