Change is one thing that takes time to sink in for anyone. But this one change that is seamlessly embedded into every one of us’ life is social media. When was the last time you switched off your phone to engage in a deep-meaningful conversation with your partner? Well, for most people, it’s seldom. Because we are so busy scrolling down our feed that we forget what truly matters in real life. In the quest to create that so-called “Perfect” life on social media, we forget how it affects our real-life relationships. Let’s see the effects of social media on marriage and genuine relationships.
An impressive statistic from a recent survey says that 24% of people agree, missing out on real-life events in their interest to document the exact moment online.
They do this to seek charming words from someone who does not give a damn about how happy they are.
We worry about getting the perfect picture for display rather than enjoying the moment. We feel happy when we upload a photo and get good comments on it. But gradually, the happiness diminishes as we look at other’s pictures or posts.
Social media is nothing but a game of creating a false reality. A reality that induces feelings of jealousy and comparisons down the line. Indeed, it’s a vicious cycle to break!
Dating In The Digital Era
Have you been in a room with your partner and both of you head-bent on your phones? Are you both flipping through pages on social media, giggling to yourself while watching something funny for a few hours every day?
This is the reality of almost every relationship today in this social media age. You can’t help but ask questions like:
- What effect does social media have on relationships?
- Does social media do more good than evil to relationships?
- What power does social media hold in our daily life relations?
In this time, where face-to-face interactions have several restrictions, social media is the center of our communication. Furthermore, social media is integrated into the core of our society. Its effects on relationships and love lives are no exemption.
Asides from the many advantages social media brings like:
- Ease of communication between partners.
- Fast exchange of information.
- Virtual memory storage.
There is quite a long list of negative things it does, and we would get to them in a bit.
How Social Media Affects Relationships In General?
There are multiple parameters of social media affecting us in our daily life. A prevalent example of it is boosting our ego by presenting ourselves as humans without imperfections in the virtual world.
For instance, there might be incidents where you end up looking at yourself in the little box while on Skype. Sometimes, you may also end up making the picture window big just so the person on the other side thinks that you’re looking at them. At the same time, you are engrossed in watching your image instead of being actively present in the conversation happening.
And this is just for any regular event in our life. On the other hand, relationships are dealt with more callously. People update their relationship status online first, even before informing the person concerned.
“It is none of people’s business” -we hear this argument enough nowadays when someone is made fun of or wrote a negative comment on the relationship status on social media.
However, we forget that social media is a public forum, and the moment you choose to show your persona life on Facebook or Instagram, it does become people’s business.
A survey study of Facebook users found that users who use Facebook excessively are more likely to indulge in Facebook-related conflicts with their romantic partners.
That is why relationships face many challenges from social networks. We cannot always blame either party as the actual intention may not be cheating. Nonetheless, social media makes you vulnerable to many activities, which results in fights with your partner.
Let’s dive deep to understand how social media destroys relationships in real life.
Ways How Social Media Is Affecting Your Real-Life Relationships
Among all the harmful effects of social media on relationships, here is the list of top significant social media impacts in real-life relationships.
1. Wastage Of Time
This is a no-brainer that social media consumption is one of the major causes of wasting precious time and delaying essential tasks at hand. In fact, statistics claim an average person spends about 2 hours on social media daily.
What seems like a small chat with a person soon turns out longer than you intended. As a result, things between you and your significant other tend to heat up, even though there might not be anything dishonest in the conversation you were having online.
2. You Befriend Strangers
Social media means connecting and interacting with strangers online. Even though there are many benefits of talking to strangers online; however, it can soon turn into a devastating mess for many people.
Primarily, it’s critical to be safe from online stalkers. They can disguise themselves as good people and later lure you into befriending them as people are vulnerable in social media.
A research report by YouGov shows that 39% of male and 30% of female stalkers on social media platforms are “single.”
Even harmless flirting with random strangers on social media can adversely impact your real-life relationships as you never know when the person you’re talking to reveals all your chats online and send it to your partner. This way, it could seriously jeopardize your relationship with your girlfriend/boyfriend.
3. No Meaningful Conversation With Your Spouse
When was the last time you sat with your spouse and had an engaging conversation with them? Perhaps it’s been a long time since you both talked about life in general.
If you think deeply, it’s because both of you are always busy updating stories on WhatsApp and Instagram. Even if you are sitting in the same room, you’re always on your mobile phone.
You both sometimes get so busy checking other people’s updates that you unconsciously waste valuable time utilized in meaningless virtual activities.
The recurring of these events lead to severe consequences in a relationship as the base of any successful relationship is having an open conversation, not necessarily they have to be meaningful all the time.
Research by the Pew Research Center in 2020 says that 51% of adults claim their partner is often distracted by their cellphones when trying to have a conversation with them. Another 40% say that the amount of time that their partner spends on social media bothers them.
Shelly Sommerfeldt, a clinical psychologist, specializing in relationships, vouches that open communication is relationship is an integral element to foster trust and connection.
Being in social media 24*7 takes away the ability to communicate appropriately with spouses, which further destroys a relationship’s very basic foundation.
4. Privacy Is A Myth
Nothing is private on social media. Believe it or not, but every time there’s a conflict with a friend or family, people start updating their social media status to gain sympathy.
This small feud further results in friends commenting, taking sides later. A group of friends now fuels a simple fight that two people should handle. As a result, it takes only a second for social media conflict to destroy a relationship.
5. Unrealistic Expectations
Unrealistic or misleading expectations are on the rise as relationship goals, and body goals soar to unachievable heights. For instance, couples might try to attain the “Perfect Couple” tag after seeing their favorite celebrity duo on social media.
This behavior of setting unrealistic social media expectations on both the partners in a relationship can have adverse effects like feelings of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety, says Lucy Gordon, a counselor for children and young people.
Sex and behavioral expert, Chamin Ajjan says – “what you see on social media are filtered posts that only highlight an unrealistic image of what a relationship is or should be.”
Social media creates an impractical image in your mind that does not resonate with your reality.
While trying hard to level up, you can lose yourself, your identity, and uniqueness and become someone else. Real-life is not like the highlight reels that social media portrays. Don’t get caught in that web because it will only hurt your relationship.
6. Feeling Jealous
If there is a place you would find jealousy for sure, it is social media. Social media algorithms show pages you or your partners’ likes, comments, or follows. This can incite jealousy, especially when the relationship is going through a tough patch.
An unknown study writes that the use of Facebook in particular increases cases of suspicion and jealousy feeling. This is why having a proper understanding of partners’ social media usage is essential.
7. Social Media Portrays Fake Life
Everyone appears to be happy on social media, not to say that they aren’t satisfied in real life, but the glorifying of the glamorous life on social media should be checked.
From happy smiles, perfect bodies, perfect couples to extravagant spending, it would interest you to know that things do not always seem as they appear. The fake life on social media creates an illusion in the heart of many. The effect of this is prominent on daily relations with people.
8. Social Media Affects Addictive Behavior
Pew Research Center shows that 4 out of 10 Americans say the amount of time their partners spend on social media disturbs them.
Social media addiction is as severe as taking drugs, says a study by Harvard University. When people scroll through different social media platforms, a section of their brains that lightens up when they abuse drugs is also stimulated.
When you visit a restaurant or check groups of students at school, you can bet a good number of them would be found seriously focused on their phones. This shows how far social media and cellphones have slowly found their way to become a necessity.
9. Unchecked Social Media Usage Causes Fight Amongst Couples
A 2013 study amongst couples on Facebook showed that many of their issues stem from Facebook-related events. This happens understandably because one’s daily life becomes less attractive as social media takes more of that person’s time and ultimately shapes life’s view.
In fact, one study shows that people who post excessively on Facebook tend to feel less satisfied in their relationships.
In conclusion, we have discussed a few of the effects of social media on relationships. Therefore, a proper check on social media usage is vital to encourage long-lasting relationships.
This is just a glimpse of very few possible scenarios that lead from a small argument to a big end of relationship fights.
Anything that is more than intended is a poison to you. Stay private on your private affairs. There is nothing wrong with sharing as long as it is the mutual consent of both partners and both are sensible enough about what should be personal and what can be not.
Key Takeaways On How Social Media Affects Relationships
- Social media usage has several adverse effects on real-life personal relationships.
- A recent survey states that 24% of people agree to miss out on real-life events in their interest to document the exact moment online.
- Social media causes romantic partners to waste their time online and creates a conflict between them.
- Since social media is a platform full of strangers, it’s effortless to befriend a possible stalker who can later make a couple’s life a living hell.
- Social media can negatively impact a couple’s ability to communicate with each other in the relationship openly. This is because spending the majority of time on social media takes away your attention from your partner.
- Furthermore, privacy is a big myth on social media as every time there’s a conflict, it straightway goes to social media instead of resolving the issue.
- Many couples also become victims of unrealistic expectations on social media, which can later harm their relationship.
Why social media causes relationship problems?
There are 210 million people worldwide suffering from social media addiction. A person suffering from any addiction can be a stress on family and partner.
Is it true that using social media results in infidelity?
Yes, as shocking as it seems, but it’s true. Even research published in 2017 found that compulsive use of Facebook may soon induce behaviors of cheating and betrayal in a romantic relationship.
Can social media affect real-life relationships?
Social media can affect real-life relationships. This is because everything you see or portray on the virtual platforms is nothing but a false image painted by you and other people.