Social Media (SM) is a way of being connected with friends and family yet it comes with a dark side and the risk of destroying your love life and relationships!
SM was invented for people to keep in touch with friends/family and share their happy times and memories. But a study of 16,750 by Kaspersky Lab found that instead of making people feel happy it has the opposite effect. The research found that looking at other people’s happy lives make them less happy with their own.
Did you know that people spend an average of two hours per day on social media!
Issues from Social Media
- 42% of people were jealous when their friends got more likes on their social media posts.
- Where envious when they see the seemingly happier lives of their friends on social media.
- 59% of people were unhappy when they saw pictures of parties/occasions they weren’t invited to.
- 45% of people were unhappy looking at photos of their friend’s overseas trips.
- 37% of people found looking at photos of their past made them feel they were not as happy now.
- 58% of people are annoyed about things they are tagged in or posted about them.
- In the United States 1 in 7 divorces come from spouses becoming occupied in sketchy social media behaviour.
- A study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found 81% of lawyers saw a spike in divorces based on evidence from SM.
Negative affects on your Relationship
- Stalking someone’s timeline will give you a lot of information, in fact, you can end up finding plenty of posts/pictures that will ultimately hurt you! You know past loves, good looking peoples’ posts that they liked, past conversations as well as photos. There are a million things you could find to make you jealous, insecure or give you reason to obsess. You can even end up worrying about business platforms like LinkedIn where they may have a abundance of ‘hot’ connections. I see this with clients who are having issues and arguments because they felt insecure after stalking the other persons social media page.
- Micro-cheating: this refers to behaviours that ‘flirt’ with infidelity! The new term covers forms of online flirting like. Social media makes online flirting relatively easy to do.
- Social media makes it easy to connect with old flames online, anywhere, anytime!
10 Ways to Keep Social Media from Destroying Your Love Life and Relationships
- Have a Social Media Talk
Have an open and honest conversation about what is and isn’t ok when it comes to social media. Ask specific questions: ‘What do you think counts as inappropriate behaviour on social media? What rules do you have in mind? Have you had problems around social media in a past relationship?’ Having this conversation makes things clear, rather than ignoring potential problems. Also, periodically review your guidelines, as things and people change.
- Don’t Compare
It may be easy to do, but don’t compare your relationship with anyone else’s! Other people’s relationships may seem better than yours, but remember you are looking from a distance and social media is NOT reality! I repeat it is not reality! People generally only post the good parts of their life on social media so it is not an accurate representation of their life. In fact, research has shown that having a lot of ‘happy couple’ posts/pictures on social media is more of a sign of unhappiness rather than happiness. The happy couple are actually enjoying the moment rather than taking that ‘perfect’ picture.
- Don’t be a Timeline Stalker
If you are going to be friends in the online world then it gives you access to a lot of information and it is easy to get obsessive about stuff that doesn’t matter. Looking at all the past relationships, ‘likes’ and past comments can cause you to have doubts that have no basis in reality. It can be all too easy to read into things that aren’t there. That was then, this is now! We all have a past and that is where it is best left. Keep to the current time, rather than trawling through their timeline!
- Like as if you are Doing it in Front of your Partner
Like, like the worlds is watching you because it is! Imagine you were having the online conversation in front of your partner. It changes the perspective and also stops you from doing anything that would hurt them.
- Be Aware of the Time you Post
Maybe liking someone’s post at 2am in the morning is not such a good idea. You wouldn’t call someone at that time, so why be liking on Facebook. Keep to respectable hours!
- When it comes to your Exe’s
It is good to be open with your partner about the conversations you both have with your exes. When you hide things, or need to hide things it makes you look guilty. Keeping track of posts and what’s happening for your exes can have a negative impact on your current relationship, maybe it seems unfair but it can be true. You think it is cool to be friends but it can cause you trouble you don’t need. If your exe still likes you and you like their posts, it can give them the impression you are still interested or it might give your partner the wrong idea too.
- Keep what you are Doing Transparent as There are Consequences!
Whatever you post, remember everyone online is watching and can see it. Social Media is a public forum and screenshots are a reality, if you don’t want someone to see it, don’t say it. Don’t say something that you don’t want someone to find out later. Or that would potentially hurt your partner. Also, it is one thing to comment on someone’s wall where everyone can see it, but doing a PM – personal message is another thing. If it is not a business thing, why the need to PM?
- Don’t Air Dirty Laundry
Keep your private life, private! Don’t share your problems or arguments online for all the world to see. There is a record of what you put online forever. Save the personal stuff for real life, between the two of you!
- Take Time Out
The average person spends two hours on social media, time that could be put that time to better use creating memorable moments! Spending so much time online can make anyone feel neglected. Take the time enjoy the moment and each another irl(in real life)! Also, if you are going through a difficult period where you might be tempted to flirt or stray it might be the time to do a social media fast and connect with the person you are with.
- Allow Privacy
This may sound like a contradiction after everything else that has been said but intimacy does not mean sharing absolutely everything with each other. It is not necessary to share every thought, feeling and action. I love the saying that ‘fire needs air……..so does a relationship for it to breathe and thrive’. A good relationship is a mix of time together and apart. You need some experiences that are our own, which also makes live more interesting. So, ditch the urge to spy on your partner!