Have you ever sat in a room with your partner and both of you are on your phones? Perhaps this happens for a few hours each day, or every single night for hours on end. Are you checking your social media pages, instead of checking up on your partner? In this decade, people are interacting less face to face more than ever. Many couples have even become addicted to social media. If you are on your phone more often than you are with your partner in reality, then this article is for you. According to CompleteCase and Social Media Explorer, social media can have a really negative impact on your relationships. From losing friends to cheating on your spouse, and it can even create a negative body image.
- Social media is addictive
Yes, you have read this correctly. Social media is as addictive as taking drugs. The sad thing is, that this addiction is more prevalent among children. Have you ever stopped to think about how many hours or minutes you spend on social media each day? You might be surprised. You can only imagine how this kind of addiction can affect relationships. Have you ever been to a restaurant, and most people are sitting looking at their phones instead of talking to their partners or friends. If you go to schools, you can see groups of kids sitting on their phones, rather than interacting with each other face to face. Many psychologists reckon that 5 to 10% of Americans are addicted to social media. According to a study done at Harvard University, when people are going through social media platforms, it lights up the same part of the brain, that also ignites when taking things such as drugs. It is a dopamine inducing. So if you are addicted to social media, you could be checking your feeds, or notices compulsively throughout the day. It could be so bad, that you check your account, every few minutes. Imagine the impact of this on your work, your relationships and your social life. You could be sitting with friends, but not interacting with them, because you are too busy checking your social media pages. If you are in a marriage this could also really pose a problem. Instead of reconnecting at the end of each day, you could both, just be on your phones. You could be missing out on the valuable conversation, which strengthens your marriage; or even be missing out on sex; Which is a really important part of marriage to promote intimacy between couples.
Here are ways to tell if you have a social media addiction that could be affecting your relationships.
- Do you use social media so much, that it has a negative impact on your work and studies?
- Do you spend a lot of time thinking about social media? Or planning on using social media?
- Do you feel stressed out if you can’t use social media?
- Do you feel the urge to use social media more and more often?
- Do you try to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media, but don’t succeed?
- Do you use social media to forget about your problems?
- Is social media affecting your relationships with others?
If you answer yes to some of these questions, you could have an addiction to social media. If this is the case, a digital detox will do you good, as well as help you to reconnect with those around you in reality.
- Social media can be very fake
Have you ever looked at social media pages and all you see if happy people? Maybe moms saying how amazing there day has been with their kids when in reality they could be suffering from severe postnatal depression? Or you could see women posing with perfect bodies? Making you want to have that perfect body, or even wanting your spouse to look the same way. This “fake” sense of perfection could have a huge impact on your relationships. You might look at pictures of people, and wish that you had their lifestyle. When you look at all these seemingly “positive” pictures, you might feel dissatisfied with your own life. Social media does not portray reality, but merely what people want you to see. You could also become jealous of others and of what their lives seem to portray. This could cause unhappiness in your relationships.
- Social media can cause mental health issues
Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can cause problems in a relationship. Seeing your partner suffer from depression and anxiety can be really heartbreaking to see. Sometimes the lines between social media and reality can get blurry, causing mental health issues. This is mainly seen in teenagers, but it can also be a problem for adults. You might see people with seemingly perfect bodies, and this could cause depression.
- Social media can also cause infidelity
This is the worst of the worst. There are so many couples who have caught their partners cheating via means of social media. It is easy to start up a conversation with an old crush on social media, or a work colleague. Eventually, these conversations could end up leading to more things. It could be innocent at first, the more you talk, the closer you might become. This could then lead to flirting or confiding in someone else about serious problems besides your partner. Maybe you even end up going out for coffee or lunch, and next things next, you end up cheating on your spouse. Whether it’s emotionally or sexually. Studies have shown that Facebook plays a role in modern infidelity. The average person spends 50 minutes on Facebook a day. The problem is once again, people are posting what they want you to see. People aren’t posting photos of their struggles. You might be slightly unhappy in your relationship, and then when you see someone else on social media, you might think that they have their lives all perfect. But this is not reality. Social media distracts you from your own relationships, which makes it harder for you to be present. Therefore it makes it easier to start something with someone online.
Social media can be a great way of communication, but as you can see, it also has its pitfalls. It could lead to distance in a relationship, infidelity, or even addictions to social media. If used too much, social media could also lead to depression and anxiety, which will affect a person’s relationships with those around them.
Therefore before you spend hours on social media, rather try to have real-life conversations with your friends and loved ones.