Social media is one of the mankind’s greatest innovations. It provides a platform for individuals to meet new people and be entertained. Nevertheless, nothing good comes without its set of challenges, and social media is not an exception.
Yes, social media can help build networks, but the adverse effects it has on interpersonal relationships are immense and can’t be overlooked.
Research has proven that a typical person spends about 35 minutes a day glued to different social media platforms. If this is true, then you will spend about five years of your life scrolling, posting, sharing, tweeting, liking, and commenting on social media.
Making social media a critical element in our lives has isolated us from others – both physically and emotionally. In some cases, it is the primary source of conflict and tension in a relationship.
In this article, I’ll point out exactly how social media can potentially ruin your relationships. Anyone who uses social media should take note of these adverse effects, and prioritize adjusting their social media use in order to enhance their relationships.
Social media can make your first date awkward
Today, people easily access social media through their mobile devices. Due to the addiction that comes with excessive use of social platforms, some people find themselves scrolling their phones during a date, and this, in turn, makes everything awkward. According to a study done by researchers from the University of Essex in 2013, the presence of a mobile phone during a date, let alone social media, can make the date stilted and boring.
Imagine being on a date with someone, and they keep looking at their phones and updating their status. How would you feel? Would you go on a second date with them? Most likely not.
Also, social media has changed the traditional meaning of dates. Most people don’t meet to learn about each other and develop a bond. Instead, they want to get selfies and update their status. This can go a long way in making people, especially millennials make terrible relationship choices that could change their lives forever.
In fact, research has shown that social media eliminates what could be first date conversions, and some people will get to know each other on the second or third date.
So how should we deal with social media and dates? Well, when you go on a first date, create a no-social media rule. Be 100 percent present. This will go a long way in enhancing your dating life.
Social media makes you an open book
If you post everything that goes on in your life on social media, then all your friends and followers know everything about you. Therefore, when you meet new people, or maybe meet up with old friends you won’t have much to reveal. You won’t get the benefit of introducing yourself. Also, you may miss out on the excitement of sharing new experiences. This can ruin your interactions because other people will be tempted to believe that they know all they need to know about you, making it hard for you to start a conversion.
If you can, keep most aspects of your life private, and only communicate them to people who matter during a face-to-face interaction. Don’t be afraid to hold some parts of your life back from social media. Sometimes it’s the mystery that makes people more appealing.
Social media can put you in an isolated environment
If you are a heavy user of social media, you probably take little or no time to interact physically with others. You are always looking at your phone, and trying to keep up with the new trends and gossip that your virtual followers are chit-chatting about. This keeps you in an environment where you are isolated from others. Even when you do talk to your friends in person, you may be distracted, as you are too engulfed in what happens in your social media world. This can give your loved ones a feeling of loneliness, something that can go a long way in negatively affecting your relationship with them.
Social media is linked to jealousy issues
In 2013, the University of South Missouri did a study and found out that a majority of people who use social media excessively have high chances of experiencing social media related conflict, which can be a catalyst of break-ups, cheating, and divorce in worst cases.
In this study that sampled 205 Facebook users, researchers found that a majority of the respondents had a tendency of monitoring their partner’s activities, which sparked jealousy.
It is imperative to cut back to healthy levels of social media usage, which will help you minimize social media jealousy issues, especially if you are in a young relationship. Try as much as possible to spend more time focused on your partner, rather than spending a huge chunk of your day connecting with virtual friends on social platforms.
Social media lead can lead to a lack of intimacy
Lack of intimacy begins when partners are too loyal to their social media such that they forget about their partners. Most people today, especially the younger generation use their mobile phones to access social sites for more extended periods than they spend with their partners. This can spur unwarranted miscommunication and conflict, which is capable of breaking a relationship.
Social media is excellent, but we should not let it be a stumbling block to our relationships. A follow or like might mean the world to you, but it is not as important as the people around you. For this reason, don’t prioritize social media over your partner. Commit yourself to physically and emotionally connecting with others, so that you can build healthy and beneficial relationships that will change your life for the better.
While these are the typical negative consequences of social media use, every relationship is different. The key is to take the time to pause and ask yourself, how is social media affecting my relationships lately?
Ever wonder what life would be like without technology? We did too!