The Impact Of Social Media On Relationships
I remember when we used to write letters and wait for people to call us on our home phone, I remember a time when people actually got excited when they received mail, when the idea of having a cell phone wasn’t as life changing as it’s become today, those were the good old days. I’ve been wanting to write an article on “Social Media Insecurities” for a long time now, I was always too scared because I knew once I dive into this topic I will not stop until I spill my guts out in the article. You guys have been reading my stuff for over two years now, this is going to be very different from what I do, because this has a lot of past connections for me, this is going to hurt me a lot while I spill this out, but it has to be done because I’m not alone here and I don’t want anyone else to go through what I once went through.
So the idea of this article came to me when I asked you people to tell me how social media and technology has affected your relationship, almost every single answer I got (out of the 2000 something messages) was very sad, everyone had one thing or the other to say about how social media and technology destroyed their relationship. That’s what reminded me of my own past and what I had to go through and how insecure I became because of technology and the amazing wonders we have in the palm of our hands today. I’m going to talk about what you guys told me, I’m going to talk about how I feel about this personally and I’m going to talk about both the negatives and the positives. For obvious reasons, I’m not going to use names of the people who wanted to stay anonymous, some were fine with it. Let’s begin.
One of you said:
“I think social media causes more insecurities between couples. For example seeing someone else in a picture with your significant other. Its easy for jealously to arise. Also too many distractions between couples. They pay more attention to what they don’t have instead of being grateful for what they do have. The most important thing we can give one another is our time. The one thing we can’t get back is time so be careful because life is short. Never be too proud because you will wind up losing something because of ego. People make relationships too hard now days, they worry about what others think or too many obstacles to overcome. I believe if you love someone nothing can come between”
Social media and technology combined are slowly becoming the number one cause of problems and arguments in relationships. It’s no coincidence that I received so many messages that were about the element of “jealousy”. Give bad people a lot of power and they will use it as they see fit, another one of you wrote:
“… I was with him for four years and all of a sudden his interest in me seemed to decrease, we met and spoke even less than before. I used to see his Facebook and it was filled with new checkins and pictures with everyone else but me, I asked him and he said “you’re just thinking too much”, am I? Is it normal that my boyfriend has all the time in the world for everyone else but he forgets to ask me if I’m back to health again after I was sick for four days?…”
I took part of the message to show you guys, when two people are having a fight or are arguing, their subconscious wants them to think and know that the other person still cares the same about them. However, some people use social media to intentionally hurt their partners. Some people intentionally use their public profiles to show their partners that they’re perfectly happy and normal even though they’ve had a fight, they show them that they have a lot of friends and people to be with and aren’t sad at all just to make them feel less about themselves. Some people intentionally use the power of social media to make others jealous, because they now have the resources that they didn’t before, now whatever they say gets seen by hundreds or thousands of people, now they feel more empowered.
On another note, I received another message:
“… but I thought I was the most important person in her life. I know it’s okay to feel a little jealous, but I’m actually hurt. She puts so many pictures with so many of her “guy friends” everyday and when I ask her about them, she says “they’re just friends, stop being insecure”. I mean okay I know, maybe I am being a little too insecure and jealous, but if she truly loves me can’t she see that I’m being hurt by this? I mean one or two guy friends is okay, but this is a little too much, please tell me I’m not crazy…”
This message really hit home for me because one of my exes used to do this a lot. We are all human, and when we love someone, we love them with everything we have. Jealousy is a very normal part of relationships and it’s okay to be jealous every now and then, and if your partner knows it’s affecting you they’ll put in an extra effort to make sure it stops hurting you, or they’re just not the right person for you. When my ex cheated on me, I felt it coming, I knew it was going to happen. Because she used to be exactly like the girl mentioned above. Dude, I know you’re reading this, you need to sit down with her and have a heart to heart, if it doesn’t work out, find someone who respects your emotions.
Return of the ex
This one is all me. With apps like “Whatsapp”, “Snapchat”, “Viber” and many more, it’s not too hard to get in touch with anyone if you really want to. This is when people are tempted, if they’re weak enough, to make certain mistakes that they regret later. People will only be tempted to do something if they knew they had the power to do it, this is what separates the good people from the bad. This happened with me personally with my ex. So one fine day, we were out having lunch and the battery ran out on my phone, so I asked if I could use hers. She hesitated a little and then gave it to me, I noticed the hesitation on her face and I just had to know why she did that. After the call, while the phone was still in my hands and her eyes on her phone, she received a message on “Whatsapp”. What do you know, it’s her ex who apparently “broke her into pieces” saying “How are you doing today, love?”.
Now obviously, my first reaction was to give her the benefit of the doubt, so I thought to myself that maybe he is disturbing her and she doesn’t want to talk to him. So I opened up the messages, apparently, she loved talking to him. That’s when I lost my mind. She told me “calm down, it’s only messages, it’s not like we meet or anything, he’s my ex and he just wanted to chat”, but I obviously wasn’t okay with “just a chat”. I forgave her though, and I told her not to do it again but that day gave birth to a very strong insecurity in my head. That’s when I became insecure and wanted to know what she was doing every second, and I simply hated being in that relationship because when you lose clarity with someone, it just isn’t the same. In the end, we eventually broke up when she finally cheated on me. But the insecurity stayed with me for a very long time, so much so that I was scared of being with someone else.
A doorway to lying and cheating
Like I said, power works both ways, bad people use it for bad purposes, good people use it to make others happy. I received another message and with her permission I’m posting it in its entirety:
Elizabeth went through something hundreds and thousands of people go through everyday, cheating. Social media and technology makes it easy for bad people to cheat on someone, because there’s always something they can do to hide their steps. Everyone eventually gets caught in the end, but the price to pay is months of heartache and a lot of developed insecurities that take a lot of time to go away.
Finding salvation elsewhere
One of you wrote:
“Social media and relationships: with the amount of social media and sex/dating hook up sites, so easy for people to cheat on their partners, whether online or more. My ex bf was in between 15-20 sites, he said it was just chat, but when you advertise your last std check its obvious it was more. So much more I could say, but yes, I think social media impacts relationships. Some people tend to turn to their online friends instead of reality.”
Some people get so involved in the online world, that they start feeling safe there more than they do with their loved ones in reality. And then, the people who care most about you start becoming less and less important in front of those who aren’t even there but pretend to be because they’re lonely in their own world too. This is exactly why I don’t have many friends on my personal Facebook profile, because I love my friends and I love my family and my girlfriend is the most important person in my life, I can’t let myself be trapped in a world that’s going to make me feel happy temporarily when I can find infinite happiness with the people I have in my life.
The spy element and paranoia
One of you wrote:
“… ever since then, I can never take my eyes off of his “status”. I wake up in the middle of the night to see when he’s been online, because he’s cheated on me once before, I don’t think I’ll ever get back to the carefree person I used to be because I’m just too afraid of getting hurt again. I’m going paranoid…”
This personally happened with me too, ever since I read that message in her phone, I used to see her “last seen” on Whatsapp, because that’s where it began. That’s actually how I caught her, finally. But I’ll write about that later. When our trust gets broken once, it leaves us very scared and vulnerable for another attack. In the efforts to save our hearts from another painful trauma, we become overprotective and in some cases we just get so involved that people start calling us “paranoid”.
To the person who wrote this, you aren’t going paranoid, you just need time to heal because your scar is still very fresh. Take some time out for yourself, try getting involved in outdoor activities, try diverting your mind from your phone, I can’t say if he’s going to repeat his mistake again but if he really has to do it, he’ll do it regardless of you checking up on him. Do you really think you need to be in a relationship where you have to constantly check up on someone? Talk about it with him, tell him your fears, you’ll know what to do after that.
Years of love, forgotten
This is by far the most hurtful message I’ve read and it hurts me even posting this here, but it’s very powerful:
Regarding your piece in social media, It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to my relationship.
I introduced my wife to the Internet, and later on I encouraged her participation in social media.
This opened doors for meeting new people, and eventually chatting with and meeting other men on several occasions through the course of our marriage.
Long story short after 20 years, she left me 8 months ago and moved to another state leaving the children behind with me.
At times I wish the Internet as a whole had never even existed regardless of its modern conveniences.
I can only use this man’s first name, Eric. Eric went through a terrible change, an insane level of pain and a lot of trauma simply because he introduced his wife to social media. I’m still very shocked to see that TWENTY long years of marriage was thrown out the window just because a door was opened where new people could meet. Hang in there, man. If you still support and love your children, you’re by far the strongest man I’ve come across.
The good, yes it’s not all bad
While almost every message I received was about how social media and technology destroys relationships, I also received a few happy messages regarding the topic. You guys know Krista Renee, she’s a long time fan and a personal friend of mine who wrote that incredible piece on long distance relationships, read it here, she had something to say about how social media affects her life in a good way.
Technology works wonders for long distance relationships because it helps people communicate better and tries to make them feel like the distance isn’t too much between them. Another one of you said:
“I always wake up smiling because of the messages she leaves me in the morning. It’s always so sweet. And I send her cute pictures of babies because she’s expecting in four months, I simply love the concept of social media in our lives because we love each other more than those things, we just use them for each other…”
The above message is a prime example of how the same power that hurts people, can also make others smile. It all depends on the person using that power. I, personally, am in a very happy relationship now and the insecurities are gone and we both use social media keeping each other in mind. If your relationship is strong and you are strong people individually, social media won’t be able to get in the way that much, it all depends on how much you love each other in the end.
Take the stage
I know this has been a very different article, most of it was very sad but also very true to what happens these days. If you guys have anything to add, any incident to share, please do in the comments below. As always, stay blessed and keep the love alive!