According to numerous marriages, relationship counselors and sex therapists, sessions nowadays are filled with instances when social media hampers with the clients’ relationships. Examples of this interference with relationships: sharing social media passwords, checking personal messages from these accounts, searching past relationships through social media, being friends with exes in social media platform, etc. and obsessively thinking about suspicious but not incriminating activities of your partner. Experts share that the world’s social media market saturation is at its all-time high at any other era in the human history. It can be categorized as an uncharted territory which is bound to bring up new challenges for the people.
Based on the Pew Research Center 2014 survey, 45 percent of millennial respondents stated that social media accounts had a significant impact on their relationships. Many of us are uneasy about the discussion about social media and its implications to relationships because after all, isn’t it too frivolous and petty to argue over; however, it is essential to acknowledge that social media brings real emotions and those feelings are valid.
Spend Quality Time without the distractions of Social Media
The most frequent complaint related to social media is how much time their respective partners spend on Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram. There were instances where scheduled romantic dates turned into chatters about Snapchat views, Facebook likes and Twitter favorites. Even worst, some experts shared that a number of their clients have stories of the discreet middle-of-the-intercourse-phone-update. Both men and women are guilty of reaching for their phones after sex. According to a dating website executive, a cigarette and embrace after sex are replaced by a scroll through social media. Whenever you get the itch to reach for your phone, always remember to make your partner feel more important than your social media accounts. Allot at least 20 minutes a day spending time together screen-free. “Although social relationships are complex and may sometimes involve negative interactions, in general, research suggests that people who enjoy a lot of social support are better able to deal with mental and physical challenges.” says Joel Pava, PhD, director of psychotherapy services in the Depression Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Check before you post
“The worst side of people can sometimes show up online,” Ravi Chandra M.D., author of Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks, says. It is best to talk about social media preference early in the relationship since most of the time, one person is more private than the other. The difference between you two may lead to conflicts and arguments. It is recommended to talk to your partner before revealing any information and details in the social media. Ask him/her about her/his opinions, views and feelings about posting essential milestones such as in a relationship status, engagement proposals, pregnancy announcements and so on. Always be considerate of your partner more than anything else. If you find yourself in oversharing mode and still in need of the validation of your relationship from others, keep in mind that volume of posts and photographs is not in any way indicative of the success or failure of a relationship. Numerous happy couples choose not to bare themselves in social media.
Use Real-life Boundaries
Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D., an Atlanta-based licensed psychologist and curator of Therapy For Black Girls explains that “(Many people) operate the same way on social media that we do off of it, which is with a lack boundaries. It comes down to spending some time with yourself to figure out what things are and are not OK in your space.” Social media creates a venue with blurred boundaries and fewer filters. In reality, limits we should follow when we are in a relationship is quite overt, but in social media, it may seem harmless and somewhat acceptable to comment words like sexy, beautiful body to ex-girlfriends or random girls photo in which you wouldn’t imagine doing in her face in real life. Please use real-world boundaries as your digital rule book.