Social media is unavoidable nowadays, and it is used for a variety of different reasons; from catching up on gossip with your friends to posting invites to social events and nights out with the girls to reconnecting with people you’d lost touch with. In fact, just last week I was sent a wedding invite over Facebook messenger from an old friend who lives on the other side of the country. This pal and I were inseparable in our teens, but going to university had caused us both to go our own separate ways, and it was only through the power of Facebook years later that we got back in touch.
Being the distant friend that I was, I used Social Media to catch up with her, but I admit that I hadn’t seen any postings on her Facebook page about her relationship with her partner. In fact, I didn’t even know she was in a relationship until I received the wedding invite. And this got me thinking about Social Media, and whether it was right to post nothing about your relationship online.
I recalled reading somewhere that those who don’t post about their relationship online are genuinely stronger and I thought about my own relationship. My partner and I very rarely post stuff on Social Media about each other, and even then, it is only to either congratulate each other on an achievement or complain that the other person is being unreasonable because they’ve not ‘insert chore here.’ My guy and I have been together for over 12 years. So maybe there is something in this not posting online lark.
Sharing TOO much
You wouldn’t stand in the street and shout out the fact that you and your partner have just had an argument about the washing up, so why would you do it online? Even more evidence in favor is an acquaintance of mine – we’ll call her Rosie – who posts every intimate detail of her relationships on Facebook. And in the short time I’ve known her, there have been a few. Whether bemoaning how selfish her fellas are to just dissing men in general, it’s normal to see at least one post a day where she is criticizing the current man in her life. And that can’t be a good thing. If my partner and I have something big that annoys us, we discuss it in person. Posting to social media removes that option and leads to a chance of the problem being repeated and ill-feelings festering.
It also gives you a lack of privacy in your relationship and opens you up to those nosy people who are likely to stick their nose into your relationship. This not only introduces someone else into your partnership with their own viewpoints and opinions but also opens you up to rumors and gossip once you’ve allowed people a public forum to discuss your issues. And bolstered by the relative safety of speaking online, there will always be those people who may publicly attack your partner because of your complaint, causing potentially huge issues in the long term.
For some people posting every little thing about your relationship can be a way of proving to yourself that everything is good in your relationship. And we can generally spot those types of posters a mile away. They’re your friends in your social feed that post a cute picture of their partner sleeping, or one with them and their other half grinning maniacally as they hug a teddy one bought for the other.
The efforts of these people are usually rewarded with likes and comments, and this gives them the validation they need and the cycle continues and the natural high from dopamine that courses through our bodies when we feel loved. We’re all guilty of doing this, so don’t feel bad if you have done it in the past, just know that communication is key and will improve the situation.
Research from the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark has shown that those who avoid using social media to prove they are happy are happier too, leading some to question the benefits of using social media at all. The institute conducted experiments with 1,095 people and found that 94% of them used Facebook, with 78% of them using it for more than 30 minutes a day. They stopped half of the group using Facebook, and the other half could use it as normal. After a week, the data revealed that the group that didn’t use Facebook reported a much higher level of satisfaction. Certainly food for thought.
When it comes to communication, you’ve probably been out somewhere eating a meal or sitting in a bar and have spotted a couple sitting on their mobile phones updating their Facebook status on what a great evening they’re having while not communicating with each other. What happens in this situation is similar to the photo situation above. Not living in the moment but feeling a need to show how great their relationship is to others not only stunts the communication between the couple but also seeks to gain validation from those outside of the relationship.
It’s nice to post pictures of the fun you and your partner are having on social media, but make sure it is exactly that. Keep the communication going and make sure to spend time with your significant other instead of updating your status online to nurture and grow a solid relationship full of mutual respect and security. Ensuring the balance between your social media life and real-life has a healthy balance can pave the way to a long-term relationship filled with many happy moments.