Social media stopped being something most people could realistically imagine their lives without a long time ago. These days, it’s an important part of how people keep in touch with loved ones, keep up with the news, and even network with other professionals in their fields.
However, it’s still essential to evaluate the role social media plays in your life now and then, especially when it comes to your most important relationships, as it can hurt more than it helps.
In fact, many couples decide to keep their relationships off social media altogether. But is that the right choice for you and your partner?
Social media can exacerbate existing issues
If you and your partner already struggle with certain common issues – like jealousy, to name just one – posting too much about your relationship and personal life on social media isn’t going to help.
If either of you is prone to comparison, it’s hard not to look at your friends’ carefully curated feeds and wonder why what you have doesn’t measure up.
Social media also brings a wealth of other potential problems to the table. All kinds of personal drama can spring up out of nowhere, thirsty strangers attempt to slide into your DMs, exes can show up wanting to reconnect, and all sorts of other things. None of this is great for even the best relationship, let alone one that might have deeper issues.
Social media can distract you from real life
Granted, many people do things like take pictures and post on social media in the first place to document their lives. It’s a great way to not only share what’s going on with other people but to remember it better yourself. But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.
If you’re too focused on capturing Insta-worthy shots or crafting the perfect caption on the fly, you’re not fully participating in what’s happening at the moment. It’s also fully possible for couples to become more concerned with documenting their relationship online than they are with connecting to one another and building intimacy.
It’s easier to focus on having fun
Even the most passionate social media advocate has to admit that they’re just in a different mode when they’re documenting their day or evening for social media, even potentially. You’re more concerned with every detail of how you look and sound, knowing it could be captured and uploaded for the entire world to see.
It affects how you decide to interact with your partner in the first place, too. You worry too much about whether your evening looks and sounds awesome enough for Facebook or Instagram and not enough about whether or not you’re actually having a good time.
Social media can hurt intimacy
The best moments that build and strengthen bonds to the greatest degree don’t typically happen publicly with everyone watching. They happen between two people in private, just the two of them. One of the easiest ways to take the magic out of those moments is by reaching for your phone and making it all about a social media post instead.
If that’s not even an option, there’s really no reason to instinctively pull yourself out of the moment to hop onto your social media platform of choice and use what’s happening to score points with your followers. Instead, that moment can belong to you and your partner alone – something that can be very good for your relationship, especially over the long haul.
You don’t owe your followers information about your private life
When you religiously document your relationship on social media, your followers and friends eventually become invested in your story. And while that’s naturally part of the point of doing it in the first place, you may eventually reach a point where you’re tired of sharing.
Flaunting a new or happy relationship in front of other people can definitely be fun. But what about when you fight or find yourselves going through a rough patch? What if you break up? And what if you’re the type of person whose relationships are relatively short-lived, as a rule? Your followers will have their thoughts about all that and want to know the story, even if you’re not interested in telling it.
Should you or shouldn’t you?
Whether to share much about your relationship on social media is ultimately up to you and your partner. But it’s important that you come to an understanding, make sure you’re on the same page, and that you maintain a good attitude as you figure it out. If one partner loves to share while the other absolutely hates everything about social media, you’ll run into problems.
But it’s always possible to strike a balance between the two extremes and come to a compromise. Just talk things out, communicate on an ongoing basis, and put each other’s feelings first.