Yes, social media can be fun and helpful. This explains why everyone seems to be on social media these days. But while sites like Facebook and tools such as Twitter and Instagram can help us connect with so many people around the world, they can actually cause a disconnection between you and your significant other. Social media can in fact hurt your relationship, especially when you don’t use these online tools properly.
So exactly how harmful is social media to a relationship? Here are some ways that it can hurt your relationship with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse:
In a recent study, it was found that in 2017 global Internet users spent an average of 135 minutes a day on social media. That’s more than 2 hours spent online connecting with other people, on average. As it’s the average time spent, it stands to reason that some people spend even more time than that.
What that means is you may be taking time for social media that you should perhaps be spending together with your partner. Seriously, a relationship needs real companionship and proximity. You need time together alone to connect and strengthen your relationship. But if you spend too much time on social media instead, your partner may feel unappreciated and abandoned.
Or perhaps you’re constantly updating your social media sites with tidbits about your relationship. When that’s the case, people may become too nosy about your relationship, and some of them will invariably post things that can break you two up. Regardless of how good your partner is to you, others may point out their shortcomings and suggest that they can do better.
It’s easy enough to find examples of great couples online. Sometimes they look so good together that you feel envious and wonder why your own relationship isn’t as glamorous. So if a woman keeps getting expensive jewelry or flowers and you don’t, you feel in adequate and underappreciated. The same goes if you’re a guy and you see other guys getting back rubs from their girlfriends.
Sometimes the problem is that other couples in your age group are getting married or moving in together. This makes you feel pressured to advance your relationship in the same way. But couples have their own ways of loving one another, and you don’t have to be the same as other people.
This isn’t a problem with just guys cheating on their girlfriends. Women can do the same thing too. It’s easy enough to be a little bit more daring and flirtatious online, because the interaction is private and it can be erased with a tap on a button.
In fact, some social media tools like Tinder were designed to make it easy for people to connect casually. Tinder and other similar apps have now taken the place of meeting people in bars. People just have to “like” each other, and then they can chat through the app and flirt with each other. Some have even used this to cheat on their partners.
Yes, it’s perfect fine and expected that you’d check up on your partner’s social media page every now and then. But when you’re aware that people can use social media to cheat on their partners, you may become extremely fearful and paranoid that you may be constantly checking on what your partner is doing online.
Then you and your partner have a problem. Now there’s a lack of trust, and that can cause a rupture in the stability of your relationship.
So what’s your partner doing? Did they “like” or comment on someone’s photo? Is it a problem if that person has the same gender as you, and is considerably more attractive than you? What’s wrong and what’s right?
It’s true that if you find out that your partner is doing something questionable online that makes you uncomfortable, you need to have a serious discussion with your partner so you can reach a compromise. But if you keep up the constant surveillance without any proof of infidelity, then perhaps your lack of trust is the problem with the relationship.
In conclusion, you must know how to include social media in your life in a way that doesn’t hurt your relationship. It’s not really social media that can ruin relationships—it’s the way you’re using it improperly that can harm your relationship.