If you’re in a crowded room or a public space just look around you. Look at the number of individuals on their phones.
Don’t you feel like asking, how would we even live without social media?
How would this entire generation survive without the internet?
Social media platforms are it Instagram or Twitter is what we see first thing in the morning when we wake up. It is also the last thing we see before we go to sleep. So, it’s not surprising that social media has a profound impact on our lives. From everything we do, how we speak to what we eat, and what we wear, social media plays a key role in it.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that social media profoundly affects how individuals interact with each other. Social media platforms like Facebook have not only brought us closer to friends and family but have also helped us meet so many people and form so many new relationships online.
But are the relationships we see and make online, affecting our offline relationships?
Is Social Media Bad For Relationships?
Research shows that social media can both positively and negatively impact relationships. But, what we see in real life tells a different story. According to therapists worldwide more and more couples have been coming forward with their relationship problems that are a direct impact of social media.
Thanks to social media, almost everyone’s relationship is on public display. You see couples, buy a house, go on vacations and birth beautiful babies.
This is one way in which social media sets unrealistic expectations for all couples. To be fair, the romanticization of couples and relationships is not a new thing. This has been a thing for decades now, thanks to Hollywood and romcoms. But unlike movies, which are made up of scripts and actors, we know social media consists of a real couple. It’s a real couple sharing their real-life experiences.
But, the question is, how what posted online is actually real?
There is a curtain of mystery over everything posted on social media, that keeps you guessing how “real” is everything you see on these platforms. This is just one example of how social media can negatively affect relationships.
Social media can have both positive and negative effects on relationships based on how you choose to use it. But, let’s have a look at the most common ways social media impacts relationships according to experts.
5 Ways Social Media Impacts Relationships
One thing that we invite you to notice in yourself over here. This will help you subjectively understand the problem better.
Which one of these comes off as a surprise to you?
It Sets Unrealistic Expectations
Most of what you see on social media are curated posts that are filtered to display the picture of a highly unrealistic relationship. When you spend so much time on social media you often begin to compare your life with what we see on social media platforms. It makes you want to measure up to what you see on social media.
But at the end of the day, you cannot live up to the unrealistic standards.
Inevitably, real life is not going to look like the highlight reels on Instagram at all times. This can be a great disappointment.
When you spend time obsessively on social media, it becomes hard to accept the fact that your life will not be the same as what you see on other people’s feeds. This will not only personally affect you but also your relationships. There are many cases where people start to feel jealous of other people and their relationship and feel resentment towards their own partner for not being the same way.
Feelings like this can create an extremely toxic environment making it hard for a relationship to last.
It Takes Away Quality Time that you Could Spend with Your Partner
The more time you spend on social media, the more time you’re taking away from real life. As you sit there mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, you’re missing out on spending quality time with your friends and family.
Scientists have recognized both Internet addiction and social media addiction as dependence issues. Issues like these with your quality of life. The more social media you use, the more dopamine is released and you feel a particular high that makes you happy and excited. The more you get used to this feeling, the less exciting real-life events seem to you.
Once you get addicted to social media, the simple and quiet moments of your life, no longer excite you. The coffee date that would once give you butterflies in your stomach, now no longer excites you because it does not compare to the vacation in Greece that you see your peers enjoying on Instagram.
This leads to a decline in emotional and physical intimacy.
It Often Lead’s to Body Image Issues
We’re all aware that most of what we see on Instagram is all edited and filtered to perfection. But sometimes, our brain fails to register that. The more you see these images online, the more insecurities about your own body begin to surface.
You can find more than enough studies that have linked social media to body image issues.
Your body image issues can significantly affect your relationship and your partner. There are studies that show that heterosexual women with body image issues have a harder time becoming sexually aroused. The same goes for heterosexual men.
This affects the marriage quality of both the wife and the husband. The insecurities that social media creates not only hinders emotional and physical intimacy but spoils the overall quality of the relationship.
Can Birth Narcissism
Narcissm and social media are positively linked. Research confirms that addictive social media use reflects a need to feed the ego and an attempt to improve self-esteem, both of which are narcissistic traits. And different types of social media play into different aspects of narcissism.
For example, people who frequently tweet or post selfies may be displaying grandiosity, one of the common traits of narcissism. Since you can be narcissistic without having a personality disorder, it’s possible to develop these traits over time and at least one small study has found excess social media use may be a trigger.
The bottom line here is, being in a relationship with a narcissist is not healthy and can lead to trauma later on.
It Can get Highly Addictive
Many scientists have compared social media addiction to drug addiction. Using social is highly escalating behavior. The more you spend time on social media, the less satisfying it gets.
So, in order to feel the same satisfaction you once did before, you start to spend more and more time on social media. The more time you spend on social media media, the less time you are spending with your loved ones in real life.
This is called social displacement. It is ironic that social media, which was invented in an effort to bring the world closer together, is now the root cause for social displacement and social isolation in many individuals. You can only imagine how an addiction like this can affect a relationship.
How often have you seen a couple at a restaurant, busy on their phone rather than busy with each other? How often do you see a group of school friends, all busy on their phone laughing at memes, rather than laughing with each other? Control how much time you spend on social media before you get addicted.
Focus on building a healthier relationship with social media, one that in no way affects your relation or your mental health. Have control over your social media usage, don’t let it have control over you.