How does social media affect your relationship?
Social media and relationships have a long lost connection. Social media, if used sparingly, is not necessarily bad for relationships. Research has shown social media use can both positively and negatively affect relationships, depending on how it’s used. For example, social media can contribute to unhealthy comparison and unrealistic expectations for what relationships are supposed to be like, and couples may spend more time curating an “image” of who they are rather than focusing on the relationship itself.
Social media use has also been linked to poor body image and depression, which can negatively affect relationships.
Here are some ways how social media affects relationships:
- Excessive social media use is linked to couples fighting more.
A 2013 study discovered that spending more time on Facebook was associated with increased “Facebook-related conflict” and worse relationship outcomes in couples who had been together for less than three years.
According to one study, those who dated persons who overshare on social media had worse relationship satisfaction (though positive posts about the relationship itself every now and then seemed to mediate that effect).
- Social media can create unrealistic expectations.
Although there are some beneficial materials provided on social media, the majority of messages are controlled and filtered, highlighting false notions of what a relationship is. Trying to measure up might cause you and your spouse to get distracted from your relationship. Real life will inevitably not look like the unending highlight reels we see on social media, which can lead to disappointment in yourself, your relationship, or both.
You may become envious of how much someone posts about their relationship and resentful of your partner for not doing the same. Because they appear to be better than what you have, the lives you are scrolling through may influence how satisfied you are in your relationship.
- Social media may make everyday living appear less engaging.
Envy might be triggered by a drool-worthy photograph of a couple on vacation, preventing you from appreciating where you are now.
“Social media tends to disregard the gritty and ordinary portions of a couple’s existence,” says psychotherapist Ken Page, LCSW. Struggles, chores, compromise, and connection in the face of challenges—these modest micro victories, he believes, are significant. Remember that while a trip might make you joyful, it is the everyday events that lead to ultimate fulfilment.
When relationships end, it is frequently the smallest, most insignificant details that elicit the most intense longing.
- Social media can lead to jealousy.
According to certain studies, social media use among college students is associated with higher envy and relationship unhappiness. According to studies, if you are prone to jealously as a result of an insecure attachment style, you may be more likely to become trapped in a loop of repetitive scrolling to keep tabs on your partner’s activities.
People may become agitated when they observe their spouse liking or commenting on other people’s postings, raising suspicions that their partner is interested in other people (or worse, is already cheating). The usage of social media sites, particularly Facebook, has been proven to raise sentiments of mistrust and envy in romantic relationships among college students.
- It might take your attention away from spending quality time with your partner.
Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses (DSM-V) does not include internet addiction and Facebook addiction as mental health disorders, experts identify both as dependent concerns that can impair quality of life.
The more we grow addicted to social media’s dopamine surge, the less engaged or enthusiastic we will be for life’s calmer, simpler moments. However, they are frequently the times when our loved one shares something personal and sensitive.
Bring this to your partner’s attention the next time you’re together and both of you are engrossed in your phones. Experiment with prioritising real-time connections above internet connections. This can aid in the development of emotional closeness.
- It can have an impact on our mental health.
Despite the fact that social media is designed to foster connection, several studies have connected it to loneliness, mental disorders, and low self-esteem. According to one study, those with underlying mental health disorders may be more vulnerable to social comparisons due to a negative cognitive bias. Reduced social media use, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to improve loneliness and depression symptoms.
Though they are more personal than relational difficulties, they can infiltrate romantic partnerships. When a spouse suffers from mental health concerns, they may become codependent or cut off to intimacy. When this is the case, seek help from an expert. A relationship counsellor would be the best fit to assist you in dealing with your situation and working through it, with you! This will eventually help you to evolve.
- It may result in body image difficulties.
The filtered and altered photographs you see on social media might induce anxieties about your own body to appear. Several studies have found a relationship between social media use and concerns with body image.
Body image concerns may have a big impact on a person’s relationships. According to one study, the way wives evaluate their own sexual attractiveness, which is based on poor body image, has a direct impact on the marital quality of both the wife and the husband.
In other words, social media fears can interfere with emotional and physical closeness, as well as the general quality of a relationship.
- It has the potential to make us more narcissistic.
In certain circumstances, excessive social media use is associated with narcissistic tendencies. According to research, compulsive social media use shows a need to feed the ego as well as an attempt to boost self-esteem, both of which are narcissistic qualities. And different sorts of social media contribute to certain characteristics of narcissism.
People who constantly tweet or post selfies, for example, may be demonstrating grandiosity, which is a prevalent attribute of narcissism. Because you may be narcissistic without having a personality disorder, these qualities can grow over time—and at least one tiny research revealed that excessive social media usage may be a trigger.
Of course, being in a relationship with a narcissist is unhealthy and might result in subsequent damage.
Unfortunately, scrolling through social media all day is not a difficult habit to develop. While these platforms can provide useful services, they can also cause envy, mental health difficulties, and unreasonable relationship expectations. Furthermore, being continuously on your phone might detract from intimacy with a spouse.
If you find yourself comparing your relationship to what you see on social media, it may be beneficial to unfollow accounts that make you feel horrible and focus more on accounts that make you feel powerful in your relationship.