Social Media and Relationships – Amy
It’s pretty convenient that in a few swipes, I can see which of my friends are celebrating an anniversary, fighting with their partner or just so so SO loved up they have to share it with their 500+ network of ‘friends’. One of my guy friends celebrated his girlfriend’s birthday the other day. I haven’t met her yet but am amazed by how much I already know about her from his Facebook posts…like how she loves to wear white and how her curls always sit so perfectly when she puts her arm around him. And I’m not even a big Facebook user but I can’t avoid his posts, which pop up all the time with updates on his relationship.
Which brings me to my recent observation. I’ve noticed a *pattern lately. The couples who are most vocal and affectionate on social media are often the most unhappy. It’s a bit like Hollywood couples in the tabloids, as soon as rumours fly about a ‘split’, both are out showering each other with affectionate to prove the world wrong. That’s not to say all the sweet status updates signal a couple’s doom. In fact, research on social media and relationships suggests the total opposite.
We had some polarising opinions this week:
Tanya: What bewilders me are the people who wish their partners a happy birthday on their newsfeed: “Happy Birthday baby. You’re the best and I can’t wait to have a great night with you” which in my world translates to…’Oh hey baby, I’m going to wish you a happy birthday on social media so all of your friends can see what a great boyfriend I am and so you can brag about me later. Oh and happy birthday…even though I’ve already told you via text, email, courier pigeon. Doing so on social media just validates it.
Adam: It’s lazy communication but I don’t think PDA on social media means a couple is bound to break up. It’s like how some couples love PDA in person. It’s the same but now they’re on social media.
Tanya: But if they’re so into PDA, why not just do it in person? I just think it shows an insecurity in their relationship and the need to overcompensate for something lacking.
Adam: They have to do something with their free time…
Tanya: It’s like a constant competition to see who is happiest in their relationship, whose spouse is the best. And when your marriage doesn’t look like everyone else’s, it makes you doubt your relationship.
Adam: So…maybe you spend too much time on social media. With news like an engagement or a baby, it’s easier to tell everyone in one go. Instead of telling the same story 500 times, you can tell it once and let the crowd go wild with comments.
Tanya: There’s a time and place yes but some events are just met to be private.
Adam: I have no doubt that there are couples who spend more time showcasing their relationship than working on it…those couples may be in trouble but there are also people who just love sharing. To say social sharing will ruin your relationship is too big of a statement to make…
So…to post or not post? Where are the boundaries?
Signs You are an Oversharer
- You post a status update of your whereabouts…every weekend, even if it’s just a trip to the corner shop
- You communicate with your partner via Facebook status regularly
- You take more time taking Instagram pictures of you and your partner than talking about the day you just had
- You and your partner spend more time on the phone than you do with each other
Everyone has different deal breakers when it comes to social media. Have a chat about it if you’re not sure – not over social media.
*When 3 similar isolated events happen.