Social media is great for a number of things: staying in touch with friends and family, sharing photos and videos, and keeping abreast of the goings on of local businesses. However, it can also be a real pain in the butt: gossip galore, drunken posted pictures, and loosely known acquaintances journaling in their status updates about their life problems, and detailing what recipes they made for dinner.
Sharing life achievements? Great. Shameless link-spamming in status updates? Ugh. All this connecting can really get tiresome.
So what does it do for relationships? Not a lot of good, frankly. You may think you have to be obsessed with your online persona to experience troubles from the Internet, but sometimes the trouble isn’t you at all, it’s other users.
Social media habits that are ruining relationships
There are actually a number of things that make Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites a bane to the modern relationship.
#1 Oversharing. While you may think it’s okay to tell the world via Twitter or Facebook that you’ve just had the most outrageous fight with your boyfriend, he may not think it’s so cool to be so connected. If you’re the type to overshare, you may be alienating your mate by being the one who shares every tiny detail of what’s going on in your lives.
In reality, oversharing fights through social media is not only both childish and disrespectful, it’s also rude. You both have your mates, friends and family on your friends list somewhere, and do they need to hear about how you think their loved one is being a major douchebag?
But what if you’re sharing good things? Believe it or not, a lot of people still value their privacy. For example, did you get engaged and now you want to tell the world? Think twice before shouting it out on Twitter, before he even got the chance to tell his own mother! Just remember whether it’s good or bad news, there is such a thing as sharing too much.
#2 You never stop networking. Are you obsessed with social networking? Are you consistently checking your Instagram, YouTube, Texts and Twitter via your cell phone? There’s nothing more annoying than trying to have a conversation with your romantic partner, while they’re checking their phone for the latest updates.
By consistently responding to texts and other forms of media, you’re essentially saying your partner’s company isn’t interesting enough to hold your attention. Not very loving, is it?
#3 Friends list drama. The friend lists can be one of the biggest stress factors in a relationship, whether it’s new or long-term. Imagine your girlfriend is friends with 200 guys, most of which leave sexual or flirtatious comments on her newest pictures. Not exactly the most secure feeling ever. Or what if your boyfriend is friends with a girl you absolutely hate or worse: his ex.
Not only do you have to worry about social connections, you also have to worry about incoming friends requests from random people who have ulterior motives.
#4 The jealousy factor. If you find your mate chatting with members of the opposite sex via social media on a regular basis, you may have reason to worry.
This worry can lead to paranoia, jealousy, snooping, and fights. Snooping into your mate’s social media account or their friends’ pages can be one of the most terrifying experiences for a couple. What if you find flirtatious messages, sexy photos, or incriminating evidence of their whereabouts on another friend’s wall?
What’s even worse is when you find nothing at all, and realize that you’re being suspicious over absolutely nothing.
#5 It makes you narcissistic. Facetime and Skype are just new ways we look at our own reflections, isn’t it? How many people choose for their chatting partner to have the bigger Skype window? Not to mention, those with huge followings over social media may start to let their “likes” go to their head. The attitude that you are all-important and ultra-popular can make your partner see just how self-involved you are.
#6 The invitation to flirt. Using social media is like having a formal invitation to flirt. It’s as simple as using too many emoticons or carrying on too long with someone commenting on your picture.
Maybe you view these interactions as innocent, but the random guy who was searching the hashtag #Blonde and happened to come upon your hot photo? Yeah, he doesn’t care how innocently you meant your winky-face to come off, nor does he limit himself to his interactions with you, just because you have a boyfriend or a husband.
People online don’t care what your relationship status is because they don’t have to. After all, they don’t know you.
Therefore they make that invitation to flirt seem all the more innocent. Always think about your spouse when you have these interactions online. If you reversed the situation and stumbled upon a chat between your boyfriend and a girl who was flirting with him via an Instagram photo, how would you feel?
#7 “The Ex Effect.” Yes, your ex existed and your new beau will just have to get over that fact. But does he or she need to see tagged pictures of your ex slammed all over his newsfeed?
The fact is that many people stay friends with their ex via social media, and it’s usually an invitation to disaster.
One night of reminiscing via Facebook may lead to video Skyping, which could lead to coffee and before you know it, you’ve completely reconnected with a person whom you were supposed to leave in the past.
Even if this hasn’t actively happened, the threat will always be there, no matter how long it has been. In most cases, you need to remember that this person is your ex for a reason. The past should stay in your past, especially if you are trying to move on with your future.
#8 Cheating. This is the big one, the full Monty of social media woes: Cheating, and its unfortunate ties to social media. Think about it: If you’re a man and you see a hot girl walking down the street, you see her once. No harm done.
But via social media? You can stalk her photos and keep her in your mind and your consciousness from the comfort of your tablet screen. Is that the image you want to have of your mate as they’re browsing through their feed over their phone? Sure, this may imply a complete lack of trust in your partner, but the sad truth is that expansion of the Internet has made it all too easy for people to cheat and get away with it.