Social networking is an everyday, mainstream way of using the internet. The popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. People rely on platforms to connect with friends and family.
Humans are social creatures by nature. Social connection with others reduces stress, depression, and anxiety. Others use social media platforms to learn about the latest happenings in the world.
While social media has its benefits, it also has several disadvantages. Too much use of social media causes relationship issues such as infidelity and divorce.
The article sheds more light on the issue by answering the question.
Why Is Social Networking Bad for Relationships?
Social networking contributes to unrealistic expectations and unhealthy comparisons of what relationships should be like.
Therefore most partners spend much time curating an “image” of them and forget to focus on building their relationship. Social media causes poor self-image and depression, which negatively affects relationships.
Ways Social Networking Is Affecting Relationships
1. It Creates Unrealistic Expectations
It’s possible to come across various helpful resources on social media. However, most of the stuff on social media is filtered and curated posts. They highlight unrealistic images and events.
Attempting to cope with social media lifestyles will surely affect your relationship. Real-life relationships aren’t similar to the highlight reels you see on Facebook.
Trying to live up to the social media wave will disappoint you and your partner. There’ll be feelings of jealousy when other couples post their pictures, videos, etc.
Social media lifestyle can influence how you feel about your relationship. It’s because others will always appear accomplished and happy from posts. That’s even if they aren’t.
2. Social Networking Can Lead To Infidelity
According to research, many partners cheat through social media. People find it easy to start conversations with workmates, ex-partners, and old friends on social platforms.
The innocent conversations end up transpiring into something bigger with time. It then leads to flirting and confiding in the other person more than your partner. It might end with you cheating on your spouse.
Cheating is not necessarily sexual but can also be emotional. According to studies, Facebook plays a huge part in modern infidelity. An average user spends at least 50 minutes on Facebook daily.
3. Decreased Time With a Partner
Platforms such as Instagram can reduce your partner’s attention and quality time. Major social media effects on relationships include; less quality time and distraction.
People who are too much into social media miss out on many key elements of the relationship. Others get angry with their partner if interrupted. Getting lost in social media is a common habit, and we’ve all had the experience.
You can decide to check out social media for just a minute. But find yourself scrolling for an hour or more. Social media is addictive; it sucks people in and distracts them from their reality.
Less quality time spent with your partner decreases the sense of connection and satisfaction.
4. Affects Mental Health
The primary role of social platforms like Instagram is to promote social connections. However, several studies link them to poor self-esteem, loneliness, and mood disorders.
Individuals with preexisting mental conditions are more prone to social comparisons. That’s because of negative cognitive bias. Lowering social media usage reduces depression and loneliness symptoms.
Experts say that mental conditions are individualistic and not relational. However, if not properly managed, they will extend to relationships. A partner with mental conditions can become codependent or lose intimacy.
5. It’s Addictive
The addiction to social media is similar to that to drugs. Sadly addiction is more prevalent in teens and youth.
It would be best to visit social places and see how social media addiction affects physical relations. You will see a group of teens deep into their phones in school. They do not value real conversation and thus cannot open up about their challenges.
You can also visit the restaurant, parks, etc. People are seriously on their phones.
The funny thing is that their friends and partners are usually around.
Individuals extend these behaviors to their homes and relationships. It ruins the connections between families, lovers, friends, etc.
According to studies, around 5-10% of Americans are social media addicts. As mentioned, social media addiction feels similar to drug addiction. It does light up the brain part that ignites when one takes drugs.
Addicts check their accounts after every few minutes. That’s a bad habit since it affects your productivity at work, relationships, and social life.
An addict can be around friends, family, and partners but not interact with them. Therefore it means they’ll miss valuable conversations that strengthen bonds.
6. Social Makes Life Seem Less Interesting
On social media platforms like Instagram, you’ll encounter drool-worthy images. It can be videos or pictures of couples on vacation somewhere beautiful and expensive. Such things trigger envy.
They make it hard for you to appreciate your present moment and situation. You need to know that most social media couples ignore the mundane parts of their lives.
Relationships aren’t always as beautiful and happy as depicted in social media. Many have struggles that are so valuable in real life.
Therefore don’t let social media define your relationship. It’s the struggles and tiny mundane moments that create the deepest nostalgia.
7. Body Image Issues
Most people edit pictures and images before posting them on social media for perfection. They can make you feel insecure about your body. According to studies, social media use has strong links to body image issues.
If your partner has body image issues, it will significantly affect the relationship. For example, heterosexual women with body issues find it hard to get sexually aroused.
Plus, many women perceive their sexual attractiveness depending on their body image. Overall if a woman or man has a negative body image, it’ll affect the overall relationship quality.
Detaching Yourself from Social Media
If a person interacts with social media, it triggers a dopamine response similar to that triggered by alcohol and drug.
The response will leave you feeling addicted or needing more social media. Here is how to detach from social media.
Turn Off Social Media Notification
Enable the do not disturb feature if you want to avoid your phone. With no notifications, you’ll be able to concentrate on your daily tasks without distractions.
Notifications offer a constant reminder that something is happening. It’ll make you feel like you’re missing out on something important. Turning off notifications will help you quell your fear of missing out.
On the brighter side, you’ll have more notification build-up. It makes your social media experience more exciting and rewarding.
Get a New Hobby
There’s something you used to do before you became a social media addict. It can be reading, roller skating, playing football, etc. It would be best to think of all things that gave you joy before social media and try them.
If they aren’t as interesting, you can acquire a new skill. Alternatively, do something you ever wished to do but never had the time.
You’ll be surprised by the amount of free time you have when you stop checking social media often.
A new hobby can include knitting, playing football, or writing. They’ll keep your mind preoccupied, and you won’t have that social media craving. Overall, something new and interesting will surely help you abstain from social media.
Limit Social Media Screen Time
You should set a timer to help keep you in check when using social media. A timer will limit the amount of time spent on social media platforms.
Plus, smartphones, i.e., iPhones, have screen time setting capability. It allows you to set a fast and hard limit. Screen time will remind you whether or not you want to be on social media.
Select a limit depending on the severity of your social media addiction. The best limit for an addict should be an hour daily, which equates to seven hours weekly.
Each time you check your account, start the timer. However, to experience change, you’ll need self-discipline. You must be strong and don’t add any extra time. It might be hard initially, but it’ll be worth it.
Delete Social Media Apps You Don’t Use
One best step toward fighting social media addiction is uninstalling unnecessary apps. If you haven’t checked Instagram in months, uninstall it from your smartphone.
It reduces notifications and the temptation to scroll through the application. If you need to check the platforms, access them from your computer.
Accessing your Twitter or Instagram account through a PC is quite a process. The extra steps to log into your account successfully will have you questioning whether it’s worth it.
Social networking helps humans to stay connected. Plus, you can learn about the latest happenings or events globally quickly. However, it also has some negative impacts on most significant relationships.
You can prevent this by restricting yourself, improving person-to-person interactions, etc. Overall social media can make you better or destroy you.