relationshipSocial Media

The impact social media has on relationships

Source: Erik Lucatero

When it comes to relationships, social media has the power to make or break them.

Instagram has grown to become a platform allowing unrealistic dreams to seem like achievable realities. ‘Instafamous’ girls hugging 1000 red roses in sponsored posts to claim how utterly infatuated they are, and for what is the definition of failing relationships to appear as #couplegoals in a snap and post of a pic.

Despite being fully aware that the posts we are exposed to convey a fake reality; we still compare, copy and compete with the fraudulent photos our eyes encounter. We are set up with unrealistic expectations of what relationships actually are. Relationships have a purpose and drowning the Instagram feed with cute couple photos and a caption expressing how in love you are, instead of addressing your love directly to your partner, will add no extra value to a relationship, so why do it? What is achieved? Is there now an assumption that if we don’t post showing ourselves loved up on social media, that we aren’t in love and that our relationship is weak? Why do we allow social media to act as guidelines for our relationship?

“Who’s that girl/boy you added on Facebook?”

Not only does social media create false expectations, it can also be a huge contributor to jealousy. If you see your boyfriend or girlfriend adding users of the opposite gender and you have no idea who they are, would you get jealous? Would you check out that persons profile in case they’re a potential threat to your relationship? Even though you completely trust your partner (well you should do anyway), a part of you can’t help but wonder why they added these users. So, you investigate a little more… eventually, you come to the realisation that this user is, in fact, your partner’s cousin (oops), and you feel a deep relief. We allow ourselves to be impacted by these actions on social media, but is it healthy? Why has social medias role in society become increasingly more important, and how has it now got the power to interfere with relationships?

I can’t be completely biased, I am a social media addict myself although I tend to swerve away from posting my relationship all over it. Social media is a fab way to keep you and your ‘lover’ connected. If you couldn’t Snapchat or message each other 24/7, would relationships last as long or be as intense?

I think we can agree that social media now can impact relationships, mainly under a negative light. Does this mean that users in relationships should stop using social media? Well, that would never happen. Social media has now been framed as a vital part of our lives, it’s something that will continue to grow and dealing with its consequences is something we will have to accept.

By Hannah Goulding

Twitter: @goulding_hannah
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