“Who are you texting?” “Why did you like their photo? Would you rather be with them?” “Why didn’t you reply?” These phrases are becoming all too common. Social media is destroying our relationships. But how is it destroying them? Is there anything we can do? It’s 2017 and we want to keep the good people in our life for as long as we can. Don’t worry, I’m here to help!
1) ONLINE DATING
First things first, most of us have probably used a dating app. Tinder, Plenty of Fish… there are loads out there, and at some point or another, we have probably used one, whether it be for a joke or a genuine search for a lover. We are also aware of the stigma caused by these dating apps. I’m going to talk about Tinder here.
The well known “Swipe Right” app is an easy way to contact people who live close to you. You match with those who you ‘Like’ (or ‘Super Like’ if they really get your heart pounding), whether that be appearance wise or from their bio/interests. But let’s be real here, it’s not really a ‘dating’ app, is it? I don’t know anyone who has actually been able to meet someone successfully from Tinder who was looking for more than one memorable night. Tinder has officially ruined this idea of online dating, and has made it more of a quick search for a little somethin’ somethin’.
So maybe you’re lucky enough to already have a special someone in your life. There are many ways in which social media can mess that up, including unnecessary paranoia. Your partner might like a photo of someone else, and your brain will assume they fancy them or they’re seeing them behind your back. Or perhaps they’re friends with an ex on Facebook and you don’t trust them, or you notice a girl/boy’s name on their Messenger and you think there is something going on. These feelings are completely natural but it can’t be helped. But remember, relationships are built on trust, so they shouldn’t be sneaking around anyway!
3) ‘GOALS’ AND COMPARISONS
For those in a relationship or those who are single, #goals is a stressful trend. People in relationships might have a perfect day out, or go on holiday together, and you wish you were in their situation. It can put pressure on a relationship because you feel like what you have together is not good enough as you are not like the couples you see or the ‘goals’ all over social media. On the other hand, it makes single people feel more… single. They feel lonely because they see these happy relationships flaunted all over the Internet and they wonder why that can’t be them.
4) NO INTERACTION
If you’ve read my first blog post, you’ll already know how social media kills real life interaction (if not, click here, you won’t be disappointed!). Even when you’re with the one you love the most, social media gets in the way. You are more interested in what is happening on your Facebook or Twitter feed than what is happening with your partner. You’ll lie in bed scrolling away, or go out for a nice meal and take photos of every second of it. It kills the mood, it causes arguments, it ends the relationship.
5) LOSS OF FRIENDS/FAMILY
Not all relationships are romantic, and it’s not only romantic relationships that are affected by social media. The issue with constantly talking online is that you cannot read someone’s tone in what they say. Yeah, they can throw in a few emoji’s to try and express how they feel, but even emoji’s are used sarcastically. And this confusion can result in arguments, which don’t always end well.
No matter what kind of relationship it is, whether it be friend, family, or romantic, we often tend to forget that people have a life outside of social media. As soon as that ‘Active Now’ symbol comes up, you expect a reply instantly. This can cause arguments in itself, as the person might be focussing on work and have Facebook open in the background (which sounds stupid, but we are all guilty of it). Remember, if someone does not reply instantly, they are not ignoring you. They just might be busy!
Family can also be affected. There are parts of our personal life we don’t share with our family, and parts of our family life that we don’t share with our friends. Despite social networking sites being designed to keep you and your friends and family in contact, sometimes the crossover doesn’t end well. A family member might put images on Facebook from your childhood that might embarrass you. Perhaps some family members don’t understand the boundaries of a personal image and share something that you’re not overly happy with. Maybe you had a rough night out with your friends when you told your family you’re going to a coffee shop with a few friends, and you’re tagged in images and posts you’d rather not be. Trust is broken, arguments are caused.
Despite saying all this, social media and social networking sites are a wonderful way of keeping in contact with loved ones. Just make sure you are spending enough time with them in real life and you are not living on your phone!
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful New Year. Remember to like the Facebook page and follow me on Twitter to have your say (or comment below)!