Jasek: Maintaining a Romantic Relationship in the age of Social Media

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I was born in the wrong era to be a hopeless romantic. The 1950s is where I belong, where boys would ask my father for permission to take me out on a date to the movies and milkshakes afterward, and promise to have me home before curfew. 

Dates like that don’t exist anymore, because relationships are overrun by dating apps, like Tinder and Hinge, and social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat.

It is hard to detach social media from our personal lives, so it is safe to say that it is almost impossible to detach social media from our relationships.

I will acknowledge that social media has some advantages for long-distance couples, such as FaceTime and quick Snapchats, but social media oftentimes forms, shortly maintains and, most of the time, ends relationships.

There are so many reasons why social media dooms relationships in this day and age. Here are just a few:

To begin, social media limits personal interaction. One “ding” and we’re consumed by the notifications. Your loved one could be sitting right next to you and instead of talking to them, you’ll be scrolling away on your feed and chatting with whoever.  

Keep your phones in a different room when you’re spending time with loved ones, or at least put them on do not disturb. Cherish the time you spend with them. It is most definitely more important than a tweet or DM. 

Social media is a constantly-open door to the past. Yes, Snapchat memories can bring you the nostalgia of good times with others, but they can also bring about unwanted emotions.

Not to mention, how easy it is for an ex to re-enter one’s life with one click of a “follow” button and, suddenly, their name is in your notifications, inviting temptation and, possibly, leading to poor choices and the resulting consequences.

Leave the past in the past. There is a block button for a reason. 

Social media not only invites emotions and temptation but also insecurities and mistrust. One comment or like from someone else could turn into a serious problem, and a small fear could grow into an obsession. 

Some check their significant other’s profile every hour to see who else followed them or stalk the people from their “tagged photos” section on Instagram on occasion. Ultimately, this leads to constant comparison. Couples compare their relationship to others they see on social media, but no two relationships are the same– and no relationship is perfect. 

I also have to mention that couples who post more on social media are typically more unhappy and insecure about their relationship. There is a clear connection between unhappy couples and excessively posting the relationship.

Social media also grants us permission to overshare, ultimately gaining possibly unwanted attention and opinions. One will share every detail in hopes to validate that the relationship is going well and the couple is happy. 

Yes, switch your Facebook relationship status to “taken,” but keep the relationship offline. Privacy is especially important for a growing relationship. 

Another aspect of a relationship that may be lacking due to social media is trust. Trust is built.  It’s the foundation and, like a house, without a foundation, there is no stability and there can be no growth. This generation has consistent access to social media and, for the reasons stated above, social media can ruin relationships because of a lack of trust that it instills.  

The key to balancing a relationship with social media is being more invested in your partner and caring more for the relationship rather than what your feed looks like. Find happiness in the little things you both enjoy and put the phone down while having quality time together.  

I will admit, I struggle here and there to balance quality time together with still being active online– it is the repercussion of living in this generation.  

Overall, protect your own peace, as well as your loved ones. If social media is controlling your actions and thoughts, recognize that it is unhealthy. Do not let those controlled actions turn into set behaviors. Set app limits on your phone, allowing you to step back and take a break. Communicate with your partner and set boundaries regarding social media. 

Social media is the center of our daily lives, and hopefully, now you are aware of the dangers it can pose on relationships. Don’t let social media ruin your relationship. 

For comments/questions about this story, tweet @TheWhitOnline or email Thewhitopinion23@gmail.com.

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