We often come across news of a couple who seemed perfectly happy and completely in love but suddenly called it quits. The divorce is a complicating things for couples and their kids but lately, one of the main reasons for these marital constrictions have been found out to be social media posts that severed their matrimonial ties forever. This phenomenon is on the rise with increasing number of couples arguing every day over social media, and even prying over their partner’s online activity. In fact, Facebook has been cited in many divorce filings as long ago as 2011, and those numbers have only gone up in the near-decade since. Social media has changed the way we meet and interact with each other. It provides a platform to learn more about people you associate with. This can be a problem, however, when it comes to romantic relationships. Research shows that increased usage of social media may lead to marital problems, infidelity, and divorce. Here is a list of the few reasons why Facebook, Instagram, and other sites could be damaging your marriage.
FOMO, or the “fear of missing out,” is not a uniquely millennial problem. While this feeling has been studied for decades, the advent of social media has made it even more prevalent. Now, it’s not enough to vaguely worry about other people’s fun; thanks to our social media sites, we can see it happening in real time. This can be devastating to a marriage because it takes us away from the present moment. You might be on a date with your spouse, having a cozy night in, or even enjoying a weekend getaway, but that incessant, nagging FOMO will urge you to grab your phone and flip through Instagram. This behavior may seem harmless, but it actually sends your partner a harmful message that what you’re doing and who you’re with isn’t enough.
- Needless Comparisons
There are couples on Facebook whose interactions are just too cute and they’re constantly uploading #couplegoals selfies. They make your relationship look crappy by comparison. Social media is essentially a highlight reel of other people’s lives. Sure, we all understand this rationally, but when we see one #blessed post after another, it’s not easy to forget. As a result, we start comparing our own lives and our own relationships to the photos we see online and too often, we are found wanting. If you allow yourself to compare your marriage to the ones you see on social media, this can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction, which could ultimately be your downfall. Social media ruins relationships as couples may start to compare their bond with others. No two relationships are the same. Every couple has different bonding and equation. They’ve different ways of showing love to each other. When couples spend too much time on social media, they may not build confidence in their own relation and rather bond with that of others. This, eventually, puts them in unwanted pressure and they surrender to it.
- Chances for Disloyalty
Social media makes it incredibly easy to track down anyone, from your favorite middle school teacher to that person you were crushing on all through high school. Even worse, the online-only nature of these sites give people a feeling of distance. However, research suggests that online messaging can easily lead to strong romantic and even sexual attachments. If you’re chatting with an old flame, a childhood crush, or even a stranger whose pic you liked, you’re inadvertently putting your marriage at risk. So if you or your partner are spending a lot of time on these apps chatting with other people, you’re taking an unnecessary risk that can have real-life consequences. Unfortunately, suspicions about a partner’s social media interactions are often warranted. One in ten adults admits to hiding messages and posts from their significant other. With smartphones and social media apps, it’s never been easier for dissatisfied spouses to look for a new relationship, get in contact with an ex, or seek out a fling. Along with Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, there are other platforms like Tinder. You might not get tempted by these platforms, but you can’t guarantee your partner won’t. There is a chance that they might be using these platforms and are gradually being pulled towards them. Hence, the chances of infidelity increases and one can easily say that social networking is bad for relationships.
- Opening Your Marriage to Public
Even if your partner never messages a soul, he or she could still allow an outside force to influence your marriage simply by posting about it. Social media is a public forum. Anything you post is visible to your friends and followers and every last one of them has an opinion they’d love to share. If you or your partner are sharing intimate details about your relationship online, everyone who views your content will have an opportunity to sound off on it. That means your inside jokes, your arguments, your couple’s Halloween costumes i.e. everything is available for a stranger to pick apart. This can make some people feel incredibly insecure in their relationship, which can lead to real strife and plenty of arguments down the road.
5. Spending Too Much Time on Social Media
It’s not only what a person does on social media, but also how much time they spend doing it that can create conflict. Excessive time spent on social media has been shown to negatively impact romantic relationships. Studies have found a link between social media use and decreased marriage quality. It has also been predicted that people that do not use social media are much happier in their marriages than people that are regularly use social media.
6. Mistrustful Behavior and Jealousy
Social media provides easy access for a jealous or suspicious spouse to seek out information about the interactions of a significant other. Whether suspicions are founded or unfounded, people often feel uneasy about their relationship after discovering something on their partner’s account. This often leads to increased monitoring, jealousy, and conflict in a relationship. In fact, researchers have found that the more a person examines their partner’s social media activity, the more that person reports jealousy and mistrust.
- Limited Personal Interaction
How does social media affect relationships? Well, it limits personal interaction. All the digital gadgets may have brought us close to each other, but it has also deeply drawn us apart. There are times when you’re sitting next to your loved ones, but instead of having a one-on-one interaction with each other, you’re busy chatting with a person sitting miles away. Such constant actions then create a barrier between the two-loved ones and push them apart from each other. So, make sure when you’re with your loved one, keep yourmobile phones aside. The digital platforms can wait and is surely not as important as the person present with you at that moment.
- Reviving Old Chapters
When you’re in a relationship, you want to cherish it, make it special, and want to focus on it and nothing else. However, when suddenly you get a like or comment on an Instagram post from your ex, things change. This is how social media ruins a relationship. It reopens the closed chapters, the one you have long forgotten. We can’t simply say Instagram or Facebook ruins relationships; in fact, it’s the whole plethora of social media accounts that do it. In-person, when you’ve cut ties with your ex, you’ve closed the chapter, but when you post on social media and your ex comments on your photograph, things go out of hand. That’s why you should know when to stop and come out of the social media ecosystem.
- Information Sharing Obsession
Social media ruins relationships as many fail to draw the line between what and what not to share. When one spends excess time on social media, they usually flaunt their relationship information on social media. This, seldom, is fine, but excessive information sharing can just turn the table around in no minute.
10. Unnecessary PDA
Social media platforms like Facebook can destroy relationships. The one who spends a lot of time on these platforms often wants their partner to post pictures of their PDA moments and #maritalbliss. Some might adjust to this idea, while others might ridicule it. The online display of love and affection doesn’t always mean that the couple is happy in reality. The spark should exist in reality and not only on a social media platform.
11. Making Way for Insecurity
All the major problems start with just small confusion or insecurity. Social media ruins relationships as it gives birth to insecurities, which gradually take over. One small comment or like from someone else can lead to serious problems over the years. For instance, your partner is actively chatting or interacting with someone on a social media platform. Over time, you may get suspicious of their relationship, but the reality might be way too different. This is one of the ways social networking is ruining relationships.
12. Social Media Addiction
One of the other effects of social media on relationships is the addictive impact it has and how gradually millennial people start ignoring their spouses around them. There are a lot of couples who often complain that their partner doesn’t give them enough time as they’re busy on their social media platforms. If this continues for a longer period, it can even lead to divorce or separation.
- Igniting Fights
Studies have found that it is not just what a partner does on social media (liking every photo of their ex, maybe), but the amount of time they spend on it that ignites fights in couples. When it comes to the biggest arguments in couples about social media, the complaint is always how much time a partner wastes on it. Whether it’s because of social media usage or a partner’s behavior on it, for many couples this causes a fight at least once a week. People are fighting about it so often, that social media leads to confrontation in one in seven married couples, forcing the discussion of divorce to come up.
- Hiding Social Media Passwords from Partners
While marriage is supposed to be about everything, for a third of social media users, keeping their passwords private from the prying eyes of their partners is a must. Studies found that one in 10 of adults admit to hiding certain posts or message from their partners on social media.
- Secret Social Media Accounts
For those who are just tired of hiding their behavior on social media from their partner, getting really sneaky is the best way to go. It’s that group who just have a secret social media account all together. At least that way they can’t feel bad about hiding posts or changing their password every other day to really make sure their partner is clueless!
- Using Social Media as Evidence in Family Courts
In marital courts around the world, what a partner shares on online can also be shared in a courtroom during a divorce case. In fact lately, many matrimonial lawyers have used social media as evidence in cases, with the top three being state of mind while being on social media, communications on it, and the time and place of said events.
How to Avoid Negative Implications of Social Media Marriage
So far, I’ve sounded pretty gloom-and-doom about social media and its role in the modern millennial marriage. But I promise, there is hope: it’s not hard to protect your relationship from the social media pitfalls. Firstly, talk with your partner about what is and isn’t appropriate online. This will be different for every couple. If you work together, you’ll be able to find a balance that makes you both happy and comfortable. Secondly, don’t scroll through social media when you’re together. Although the FOMO is real, but seriously try to resist it. If you’re really mindful and in the moment, you won’t care what other people are doing anyway, because you’ll be with your loving partner.