4 Problems Social Media Causes in Relationships

man working on his computer

Social media can cause major problems in relationships | iStock.com

Issues we face due to social media use are what we like to call “first world problems,” but it turns out social media depression is a very real and scary thing. We are constantly seeing the inside of someone’s life which, in turn, causes us to feel like we’re left out or missing an event we would love to be a part of.

It causes stress in relationships, both romantic and platonic. It allows us to be glued to our phones because we constantly want to inhale new information. There is never a limit to what we want to see, and our hunger for new content on social media is never fully satiated.

Social media can really take a toll on our romantic relationships we hold so dearly. Our parents and our grandparents had it easy. They couldn’t log on to see what kind of shenanigans their girlfriend or boyfriend got into at the club last night. They couldn’t view the drunken Snapchats of your girlfriend’s friend who photographed her talking to some random guy. They couldn’t quickly shoot a text over to him or her, and they definitely couldn’t see recently added friends on Facebook. With each social media application that emerges, it seems our obsession to stalk our friends and loved ones is becoming more valuable than our actual friendships.

Because of social media, we jump to conclusions, make rash judgements, get distracted more easily, and never seem to be interested in one thing long enough.

Here are a few things that social media is doing to our relationships.

1. We need false reassurance on social media

Apple iPhone 6 screen with social media applications

Social media can harm your relationships | iStock.com/HStocks

Time and time again, we see couples enter relationships, change profile pictures, and write on their significant other’s walls on Facebook to show the world they are together and proud. Yet, if this doesn’t happen, the person who so desires it may feel like they are being played or cheated on. This is not OK. Despite what you do on social media, it is never good to feel less confident in a relationship based on what they “like” or “share.” If you are dating someone, learn to trust them without focusing on their social media presence. And don’t be so reassured of your self-worth based on who likes your pictures or posts, either. It creates a false sense of self.

2. We get competitive in unhealthy ways

man on his computer

Social media can create a sense of competition | iStock.com

Social media may as well be nicknamed the game of comparison because deep down, that is what it is. It’s hard to not be fazed by social media, no matter how removed you may seem. We view others’ Snapchats and Instagrams and see their lives. Our innate human reaction is to look at our own life and compare its worth to theirs. Cherish the good things in your life and don’t compete with others on social media. Set goals for yourself and learn to be happy with what you have.

3. Special moments are less genuine

young female worried by what she sees on smartphone

Put your phone away to make certain moments feel more special | iStock.com/nandyphotos

“Snap it [Instagram it, Facebook it] or it didn’t happen” is what many people live by. Taking pictures solely for memories like people used to is no longer the rule. We are obsessed with sharing our lives and adventures on social media, but when you spend special moments taking pictures for the sole purpose of your Facebook friends seeing them, it is pretty unhealthy. Live in the moment. Put your phone down.

4. We are becoming a culture of constant change

Girl looking over her boyfriend shoulder

Your social media obsession could lead to a lack of commitment | iStock.com/Sjale

Change is an amazing thing, but lack of commitment is not. Especially when it comes to modern dating, it seems that millennials are afraid of commitment. Social media causes us to see what is better out there, and unless you are 1,000% confident in what you have in front of you, it is a distraction. Change is good, but when we can no longer commit to our partners, our goals, or our dreams, change is bad.

Social media is easy to be addicted to, and oftentimes it can hurt our relationships without us even realizing it. It can cause us to become insecure, disloyal, distracted, not live in the moment, and create a false sense of who we are. This is especially true in the reality of online dating, where we are constantly putting ourselves out there to be the perfect version of ourselves.

Putting our self-esteem, self-worth, and everything we love into the power of social media is not healthy. Kim Stolz, author of Unfriending My Ex: And Other Things I’ll Never Do, said in an interview with Time magazine, “There’s been an emerging body of research that shows that when you stop having offscreen interaction, you lose empathy. You lose the ability to have genuine reactions to real problems and real things.”