Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Relationship

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Bet you can’t picture a world where social media didn’t exist. What were we doing before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Tinder? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately — social media has significantly influenced relationships for our generation because nothing is truly private any more. Before the influx of apps that came with the new and improved iPhones, we used to only have to worry about (going super old school here..) Myspace or Facebook. Now “Facebook Official” isn’t even enough! How many apps do you use a day? One? Five? Ten? I personally can think of at least seven off the top of my head that I consistently use on a daily basis. So what does this mean for our relationships?

They are centered around media. You go out to dinner, you have to post a picture. You have Valentine’s day with you man, you’ve got to post a picture with some cheesy caption everyone hates like “Valentine’s day with bae” just so he feels comfortable and everyone knows you spent the holiday with him. You can’t escape it. Wether you like it or not, everyone from our generation pretty much uses social media to some extent. There are very few people who have no digital footprint that fits between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. Younger and younger, we are focused on having our lives entirely connected through social media, but we don’t realize that it can be harmful.

It’s easy to get jealous about or misunderstand another person’s social media. You aren’t exactly writing a dissertation about why you are hanging out with who you are hanging out with in your social media posts while you’re writing your one sentence caption. You also aren’t thinking off all the possibilities when you look at that person’s account and see something you don’t like– you immediate jump to the worst conclusion. It’s easy to assume things from social media, but it’s really hard to know for sure what is going on. This can spark arguments really easily. Why is your ex liking or commenting on your picture? Who is that girl that put a smiley face? Why did you get a snapchat from him? The list goes on… I bet we can all sympathize with this one, on both sides of it.

People feel the need to interject or “just let you know” because they saw it for themselves and they thought you should know about X,Y,Z. Okay, think about that ex you broke up with that you still really liked. Now think about how many texts you probably got with screenshots of their social media. “Oh my god, can you believe this girl!?” or “Uhm, do you know about this?”. This goes for people in and out of relationships or even people who have things with other people. It’s really hard not to snoop or want to snoop when you have people dropping things in your lap constantly. Even if it’s something really stupid like a comment that consisted of one emoji… it’s enough to make you insecure sometimes.

There’s a level of anonymity. It’s hard to be 100% trusting when it takes three seconds to direct message someone, add someone, snapchat someone, etc. that they really shouldn’t be talking to. Some aspects are very public, but you choose what you put out there and also what things you do in your private messages. In relationships, it can be difficult because there is no way to prove what that girl snap chatted you or vice versa. People get territorial over their significant others, but it becomes consuming sometimes when you know that there are so many ways to be secretive on social media.

It’s so casual. Tinder is a perfect example of this. 3/4 of the things said on Tinder should never come out of a person’s mouth when they’re talking to another person. This is hard on the receiving end because when you have an Instagram for example and someone feels inclined to comment something on a picture of yours they probably shouldn’t, you have very little control over it.

If something is bugging you, you dig for more. Trust is a huge part of relationships and it can be very difficult seeing something little on the person you are dating’s social media account and to just let it go if it bothers you. You start nitpicking their page and then somehow you end up on some girl’s ex-boyfriend’s brothers page or something just searching for something, anything, to catch that person on. PUT DOWN THE PHONE. STOP THE MADNESS.

Instead of focusing on being happy, you’re focusing on what bothers you about that person’s outward appearance to others on social media. Wether you’re a guy and you don’t like that she posts pictures of herself at the beach or you’re a girl and you don’t understand why he needs to have that shirtless picture or picture with his friend that is a girl on his Instagram or Facebook, is it really worth fighting over? Probably not.

It’s easy to get controlling. It’s not difficult to get annoyed over social media and end up asking your girlfriend / boyfriend to not post specific things, to post more things of you two, to tag you in things, to comment on their pictures just because you can, and so on. It gets really hard to be happy in relationships when you are so focused on controlling that person’s actions on social media. It’s their account, let them be.

People have too much confidence sometimes. Having a girlfriend that constantly posts pictures of herself or a boyfriend that follows a bunch of models on instagram can be kind of hard sometimes. It’s easy to get caught up in what other people are saying instead of focusing on how much that person means to you.

You have no privacy. Think about that friend you had that went through a nasty break up and how it became public information so quickly simply because they weren’t posting pictures with their significant other, they changed their relationship status to single, or they took to social media to complain about their now ex-boyfriend/ girlfriend. On the other side of it, think about someone you have dated who constantly knows what you’re doing or who you’re with because of social media. Checking in, posting pictures, snapchat stories, etc. is a really easy way for that special someone to keep tabs on you all the time.

It forces you to constantly be connected. You don’t get down time. It’s really easy to have social media posts brought up in conversation or get in stupid arguments over them simply because it’s out there. You don’t get a break from your phone because you are texting someone back, updating a post, or still getting likes or comments on posts you’ve already made. There’s a constant influx of new information.

It’s impossible to hide anything. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s an important factor. It’s really hard to do your own thing without that person knowing exactly what’s going on since it’s so common to post about your life on social media. If you wanted to have girls night, be prepared to have your guy asking you how Courtney is doing the next day since he saw a little glimpse of her in your snapchat story.

Other people keep you connected. Playing off of that, even if you aren’t using social media, the others around you are. It’s not that odd for boyfriends/ girlfriends to have their significant other’s friends on social media apps so even if you don’t post it, it’ll still get brought up.

So how can we fix this? Hmm… let’s try focusing on ourselves and being happy rather than what he said or she said on social media. Unless your boyfriend is hitting up girls he doesn’t know (or hell, that he does know) on social media or your girlfriend’s page is looking more and more like a stripper’s or something, there’s really no point in arguing over it. Just put the phone down, take a break from posting, and be happy!

I'm the founder and Editor in Chief here at Cosmia Magazine. I'm currently an undergraduate student at SDSU where I am studying Speech Language Pathology. I am part of Pi Beta Phi here in San Diego, have my own photography website called Kaitlyn Photography, and love to write. I am a coffee fanatic, love the beach, adore mom & pop breakfast restaurants, and think a picture is worth a thousand words.