“I guess our parents stayed together simply because they didn’t have 7000 other people following them or liking their pictures at their disposal when their marriage or relationship got hard. Nowadays when our relationship hits the rocks we can just log in and get high off this false sense of security and appreciation. We value our worth based on comments and inbox messages filled with colorful words that have no depth. Meanwhile, the person who loves you when there is no filter on your face becomes an option and the rest of the world who just sees your representative becomes priority. Don’t lose what is real chasing behind what only appears to be.”
In today’s society, people live for their electronic devices and media outlets. Most people can’t go more than a few hours without picking up their smartphone and checking up on their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It’s a crazy sort of addiction when we put it into perspective, and it’s slowly becoming problematic when trying to foster relationships with other people. It’s becoming a lot harder to keep a relationship going and keep ourselves content with what we have.
1) We’re lacking social skills.
Being able to just “slide into the DMs” or type out a quick Facebook message makes people a lot more confident in having a conversation. Talking to someone when you don’t have to see them face to face and worry about how you look or the gestures you’re making takes no effort at all. And now, when we’re going out on dates with these people for the first time, we forget how to interact. It’s also easy to misconstrue how someone means something when they say it through a text. Adding a period to the end of a text suddenly means you’re angry, and using less syllables seems to mean you’re annoyed. Although communicating has become easier, texting has taken away so much of the feelings out of a conversation in getting to know someone.
2. Our expectations are becoming unrealistic.
With access to post and view photos of other people’s lives, we begin to get jealous of what others have. The “relationship goals” and “body goals” are misleading people to expect unrealistic things out of their relationship than what’s actually possible. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in wanting the guy who brings you a teddy bear and a cute note because you have your period, or the girl with an amazing body spotting her boyfriend at the gym. No relationship is ever perfect all of the time, but the accounts that always post pictures and videos of the cute things some people do for their significant other make us believe the opposite. We stop being thankful for the people we have in our lives and the things that they do for us, and instead want them to be even more than that.
3. It’s easy to “stalk.”
Whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve all gone and stalked the social media of people we are dating or talking to so we can find out who they’re talking to when we aren’t around. The easy access to “stalking” someone has caused a lot of insecurity and arguing among people in relationships. When a girl notices her boyfriend “liking” a pretty girl’s Instagram picture, or a guy sees his girlfriend posting a Snapchat of other guys, they start to question if they’re interested in other people or even cheating. Since when did a like or favorite mean we were cheating on someone? We begin to become obsessed with what our boyfriend or girlfriend is doing at all times that we take it to serious levels and start petty fights over such small things.
4. Nothing is private.
Social media is also a new way people vent. Whether it’s a simple status or tweet, our feelings are being let out and put on display for the world to see. When we get into a fight with our significant other, it’s not a shock to go straight for our phones and make a post about how upset or angry we are with them. Suddenly, our relationships and feelings are becoming less private, and everyone knows everyone’s business. And now, a simple argument about not putting the dishes away turns into a blowout or breakup with back and forth posts through media. We no longer take our fights face to face, and let it out in front of everyone else and make arguments into a bigger deal than they actually are. Then everyone else is getting involved and taking sides, and the fight that should have been handled by two people is fueled by an entire friend group.
5. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to take in a moment.
When was the last time you shut off your phone to spend time with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Whether sitting down and eating at a restaurant or just watching a movie, people are sitting on their phones and scrolling through their social media feeds rather than appreciating the time they’re spending with the person they love. Instead of enjoying each other in these small moments, we are more concerned with the current trending topic on Twitter or what Kylie Jenner just posted to Instagram. We’ve lost sight of how important it is to spend time with someone and just them, not the rest of the internet world.
Social media is nothing but a facade. Don’t get too caught up in it. Put the damn phone down and focus on more important things in life like building real relationships with the people around you because in the end, that’s what really matters . There will be days when your 100 retweets or 739 Facebook likes cannot make you feel better. Also, remember your 1.7Million Instagram followers won’t be there for you when the going gets tough. Be wise!
Originally posted on The Odyssey online.