From swipes to ghosting, sexting to Snapchat, is social media changing how we date?
Social media has a biiiig impact on the lives of young adults today, with a huge variety of platforms available for people to now document every single bit of our lives. But what effect does this have on relationships?
In a study conducted by Pew Research Center, 45% of internet users aged 18-29 in serious relationships admitted to the internet having an impact on in their relationships. Here’s some of the big ways we’re seeing this happen, the good and the bad.
POTENTIAL POSITIVE IMPACT
1) For long distance couples especially, social media is a way to connect with the people you love when you can’t physically be with them every day.
By sharing your lives with your significant other, couples are able to grow closer and maintain a sense of emotional intimacy despite the physical difference.
2) The Pew Research Center conducted studies to show that 41% of 18-29 year olds in serious relationships have felt closer to their partner because of online or text message conversations.
3) In a way social media closes some of the physical boundaries allowing us to conduct a more open mode of communication.
Through the creation of ‘online profiles’ it is easier to gain acquaintances, and to find people with whom you share common interests in.
4) It becomes another way to show your affection for someone. A less intimating way to confess your feelings for someone else.
POTENTIAL NEGATIVE IMPACT
5) Does it detract from the romantic nature of love and romance?
Instead of spending time with the one we love, we choose to spend time documenting it: we post on Musical.ly, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook about it, we tweet about it. We show the whole world a façade of romance that we are ironically missing out on at the same time.
6) There is also a sense of failure when we see the ‘picture perfect’ relationships online. No, we can’t all be Zayn and Gigi. Thus we put our idea of relationships on a pedestal, yearning for an unrealistic ‘goal’.
7) The boundaries of unfaithfulness become blurred. Can we cheat in a comment? In a like? In a DM?
8) There becomes an influx of things to be wary about, an influx of different ways in which we find a way to be jealous. We take advantage of the amount of information our partner’s choose to publish. We stop focusing on the caring for the physicality and replace it with the virtual.
Social media is a fast growing but still all a bit new.
However we share online, we need to embrace that not everyone has the same social media patterns, and that while you may love to document every moment of your relationship, your partner may not.
How you or your partner, or your friend, or your brother chooses to portray their relationship on social media is their decision.
It’s important to not equate a disinterest in an online presence with insufficient love. It’s also important we avoid comparing our own bonds with those constructed versions we see our friends or celebs sharing online.
Use social media as a tool, an aid, but do not use it in place of the relationship itself.