I have not seen even one person who would deny the fact that social media has affected every area of life, including relationships. Social media has helped millions to find friends, build and grow businesses, get support. But the overuse and misuse have harmed more lives, marriages and people than we can imagine.
I am creating this series of social media impact on relationships (business, social, family, friends) and the first in the series covers how social media affects romantic relationships.
Is social media affecting relationships?
The short answer is yes, overuse or misuse of social media can put a dent in marriages and love relationships. One of the studies suggests that if you’re dating people which share too much tend to have a lower relationship satisfaction. According to Thrive Global, around 50% of a study’s users reported negative effects on their relationship after using social media proving how social media destroys relationships.
Social media can be addictive
The biggest side-effect (or the ultimate result) of social media and relationships is the addiction.
With so much information, flashy content, it’s easy (and natural) to get addicted to social media. As a social media coach, I get at least 2 messages every day seeking help to get rid of social media addiction. Social media addiction affects all areas of your life but it messes up your personal and love relationships more than we can imagine.
With people spending hours on social media every day, it’s easy to see how their loved ones can be neglected. This is why it’s important to think about priorities and what really matters in your life.
Before you realize what disaster overuse of social media is doing to your romantic relationships, it’s important to acknowledge that you’re addicted.
What you can do:
- Use apps like to find how much you’re spending on social media networks
- Be with yourself for an hour and recollect how much time you spend with the one you love. How does it make you feel? Good? More time needed? Imagine what will happen if you make more time for your special one.
- Put daily time restrictions to your social media apps
- Review your progress after a week. See what difference it made to your personal life and work.
Before it gets too late, we got to understand and realize how social media destroys relationships. Digital experiences, appreciations, and flaunting can give you happiness momentarily, you need to focus on real-life relationships and true emotions because they are the ones that will shift your perspective and bring in true happiness.
The comparison and validation trap
One of the issues some social media users are dealing with is definitely the need for validation. We feel the need to receive likes and favorites in order to feel that we belong to a community, we’re likable, we’re popular. When we see someone posting amazing vacation pictures or mushy moments, it is likely to get into our subconscious mind and make us do similar things to have attention or admiration. It may also lead to jealousy and that is certainly not healthy for a romantic relationship.
Watch this simple video to take a look a how fake social media life can be. Unfortunately, it’s true for a huge audience.
What you can do:
- Note that both partners may feel differently about public display of love and affection.
- The real joy is in knowing that your partner is happy when you express all your gestures, love in private. And you don’t mind it expressing it publicly only for your special one, not to show the world.
- Every person, partner, relationship, and circumstance is different. Figure out what your man or woman would love, forget what the world may think about you.
- Do things for each. You don’t have to post every picture of your love gesture and mushy moment on social media. Let a few things remain private for a reason.
Digital intimacy isn’t true intimacy
Posting happy pictures online all the time doesn’t mean they are truly or fully happy. In fact, most of the time those persons that show a happy digital life might not have a great marriage or relationship in real-life.
When you see happy couples’ pictures; smile, like if you like it, don’t judge, and don’t let these pictures or posts question your personal relationship.
A word about online dating since it seems to have become the only way to find dates these days. You find and chat with multiple partners at ease but it has its downsides.
If you date someone digitally a few hours per day, that doesn’t mean you know their true identity or nature. That’s why you need to focus more on real-life intimacy, as digital intimacy isn’t true intimacy, and it won’t bring you happiness in the long run. Dating multiple partners online can cause serious self-esteem, security, and trust issues in the long run.
What you can do:
- Chat with one person at a time.
- Don’t be desperate and take it slow and try to know the other person. You’ll figure in a few days if it’s going to last.
- Go to real social events and make friends. Someone of your kind will find you. Make your offline or online date more exciting with a combination of two.
Even in friendships, over-dependence on social media leads to fake friendships. Listen to Mayurakshi Ghosal in this video and what she found out in her Snapchat and social media friendships
Social Media has open room for flirting and cheating at ease
If you’re looking to flirt, casual dating, or just enjoy your time meeting other people, social media can help you with that. With this ease, it has opened room for cheating. It’s more likely to overlook the boundaries when dating prospects are easily available on so many social media and dating sites.
The impact of social media and human relationships is beyond measurement now.
Instagram tops among social media sites where many people use direct messaging to find dating prospects.
35% of American teens have hooked up or flirted with people of the opposite sex on social media. While for adults the number is lower, the truth is that at least 5% of those in a relationship flirt on social media and some even hook up and cheat.
What you can do:
- Know your boundaries. Respect your current relationship and your partner’s trust.
- Speak to your partner if you are feeling distracted from your relationship. Do things together offline to spice it up again.
How You Can Use Social Media to Nurture Your Relationship
- Everything comes with its pros and cons. Things go wrong only when they are overused or misused. Interestingly, social media isn’t all bad for personal relationships. Read on;
- I have seen some amazing couple accounts and influencers cashing upon social media together. Look around Instagram, Youtube and Facebook; they leave you inspired and thrilled with what all couple can do together to live life better and even make money out of it.
- Sharing your accounts passwords is a bold gesture of building trust and enhancing love. Try it. It’s cool to spot that twinkle in your partner’s eyes and that killer naughty smile when you will do it.
- Being on social media together and using it in a subtle manner to connect, tease and surprise your partner randomly brings a feeling of youth and excitement. Overdoing kills everything, though. Avoid it to avoid unnecessary attention and unfollowing from your connects.
- Lastly, you can social media to either bond better with your partner or break the bond you shared already. You make the choice.
What else you think social media does to relationships? I would love to hear your opinions and experiences.
Sunita Biddu is a digital business coach and power blogging mentor helping coaches and small business owners. She helps with building a strong and profitable online presence and reputation that creates a self-sustaining business. Sunita writes on this blog once a week about easy-to-use guides and articles about business, coaching, social media and blogging. You can grab some of her free resources and ebooks from the resources section.