Social media is a wonderful tool meant to connect people around the world. However, if not used carefully, this tool we use to connect can actually destroy your relationships. It can enhance loneliness, desensitize, create a façade, and hinder actual social interactions.
Perhaps being constantly connected to those you care about the most has more damaging effects than positive ones. With social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, it is easier than ever to keep tabs on whoever you want. Here’s how the digital age could actually be harming your relationships.
#1 Over Sharing
We’ve seen it with celebrities for decades. Too much publicity can lead to couples feeling like their relationship is under the world’s microscope. Also, finding out about your romantic partner’s opinions along with the rest of the world can kill intimacy, cause friction, and even lead to break ups. Studies have found that couples, especially in new relationships, who use too much social media are more likely to have turmoil in their relationships.
Additional pressure is pushed onto the relationship that otherwise wouldn’t be there without the watchful eye of social media. Constantly sharing your life with the outside world can lead to a false image and unnecessary stress of how others perceive you if problems arise within the relationship.
#2 Social Media Addictions
Social media can be a real addiction, and just like any addiction, it can destroy your relationships. Think about it, going on dates where you’re on the phone the whole time and being obsessed with documenting every moment of your date via social media can be hinder your quality time.
Even checking your phone during important moments of your relationship signals to the other person that social media is more important than them. Nothing pushes people away faster than realizing they are second to your phone. When you put your phones aside and give your undivided attention to your partner, quality conversations can be had and memories can be made.
Social media can ignite narcissism within some people. Narcissism means that you’re more concerned with yourself, and your image than you are with connecting to other people. Social media, after all, is based on the image of yourself you choose to portray.
Unfortunately, narcissism is an unattractive feature and can be lethal to even the healthiest of relationships. Don’t allow yourself to be more involved with how your relationship looks like to the outside world versus how it feels in the quiet private moments. Your partner’s feelings should always come first to a Facebook like or retweet.
#4 Lack of Intimacy in Relationships
Research has proven that couples who use social media as a regular form of communication feel like their communications are less intimate. A lack of intimacy can lead to distance and dissatisfaction in the relationship. This simple act of communication via chat services can cause relationships to crumble simply because they lack something intimate, or personal. On the other hand, technology can bridge the gap between long distance relationships and can prove beneficial if handled appropriately.
Couples must find a balance to keep intimacy alive, to allow ourselves to get to know each other in person, and to keep private moments important. Couples experiencing relationship damage due to social media should seek an expert with an online master in social work background to get counseling, and repair their relationships.
Social media definitely has its place in our society. But online interactions are never worth the death of a great relationship. Find a healthy balance for your social media use by discussing with your partner best practices you both prefer.