The negative effects of social media on relationships

Have you ever sat in a room with your partner
and both of you are on your phones? Perhaps this happens for a few hours each
day, or every single night for hours on end. Are you checking your social media
pages, instead of checking up on your partner? In this decade, people are
interacting less face to face more than ever. Many couples have even become
addicted to social media. If you are on your phone more often than you are with
your partner in reality, then this article is for you. According to CompleteCase
and Social Media Explorer, social media can have a
really negative impact on your relationships. From losing friends to cheating
on your spouse, and it can even create a negative body image.

  1. Social media is addictive

Yes, you have read
this correctly. Social media is as addictive as taking drugs. The sad thing is,
that this addiction is more prevalent among children. Have you ever stopped to
think about how many hours or minutes you spend on social media each day? You
might be surprised. You can only imagine how this kind of addiction can affect
relationships. Have you ever been to a restaurant, and most people are sitting
looking at their phones instead of talking to their partners or friends. If you
go to schools, you can see groups of kids sitting on their phones, rather than
interacting with each other face to face. Many psychologists reckon that  5 to 10% of Americans are addicted to social
media. According to a study done at Harvard University, when people are going
through social media platforms, it lights up the same part of the brain, that
also ignites when taking things such as drugs. It is a dopamine inducing. So if
you are addicted to social media, you could be checking your feeds, or notices
compulsively throughout the day. It could be so bad, that you check your
account, every few minutes. Imagine the impact of this on your work, your
relationships and your social life. You could be sitting with friends, but not
interacting with them, because you are too busy checking your social media
pages. If you are in a marriage this could also really pose a problem. Instead
of reconnecting at the end of each day, you could both, just be on your phones.
You could be missing out on the valuable conversation, which strengthens your
marriage; or even be missing out on sex; Which is a really important part of marriage
to promote intimacy between couples.

Here are ways to tell
if you have a social media addiction that could be affecting your
relationships.

  • Do you use
    social media so much, that it has a negative impact on your work and studies?
  • Do you spend
    a lot of time thinking about social media? Or planning on using social media?
  • Do you feel
    stressed out if you can’t use social media?
  • Do you feel
    the urge to use social media more and more often?
  • Do you try to
    reduce the amount of time you spend on social media, but don’t succeed?
  • Do you use
    social media to forget about your problems?
  • Is social
    media affecting your relationships with others?

If you answer yes to some of these questions,
you could have an addiction to social media. If this is the case, a digital detox
will do you good, as well as help you to reconnect with those around you in
reality.

  1. Social media can be very fake

Have you ever looked
at social media pages and all you see if happy people? Maybe moms saying how
amazing there day has been with their kids when in reality they could be
suffering from severe postnatal depression? Or you could see women posing with
perfect bodies? Making you want to have that perfect body, or even wanting your
spouse to look the same way. This “fake” sense of perfection could have a huge
impact on your relationships. You might look at pictures of people, and wish
that you had their lifestyle. When you look at all these seemingly “positive”
pictures, you might feel dissatisfied with your own life. Social media does not
portray reality, but merely what people want you to see. You could also become
jealous of others and of what their lives seem to portray. This could cause
unhappiness in your relationships.

  1. Social media can cause mental health issues

Mental health issues
such as depression and anxiety can cause problems in a relationship. Seeing
your partner suffer from depression and anxiety can be really heartbreaking to
see. Sometimes the lines between social media and reality can get blurry,
causing mental health issues. This is mainly seen in teenagers, but it can also
be a problem for adults. You might see people with seemingly perfect bodies,
and this could cause depression.

  1. Social media can also cause infidelity

This is the worst of
the worst. There are so many couples who have caught their partners cheating
via means of social media. It is easy to start up a conversation with an old
crush on social media, or a work colleague. Eventually, these conversations
could end up leading to more things. It could be innocent at first, the more
you talk, the closer you might become. This could then lead to flirting or
confiding in someone else about serious problems besides your partner. Maybe
you even end up going out for coffee or lunch, and next things next, you end up
cheating on your spouse. Whether it’s emotionally or sexually. Studies have
shown that Facebook plays a role in modern infidelity. The average person
spends 50 minutes on Facebook a day. The problem is once again, people are
posting what they want you to see. People aren’t posting photos of their
struggles. You might be slightly unhappy in your relationship, and then when
you see someone else on social media, you might think that they have their
lives all perfect. But this is not reality. Social media distracts you from
your own relationships, which makes it harder for you to be present. Therefore
it makes it easier to start something with someone online.

In conclusion

Social media can be a
great way of communication, but as you can see, it also has its pitfalls. It
could lead to distance in a relationship, infidelity, or even addictions to
social media. If used too much, social media could also lead to depression and
anxiety, which will affect a person’s relationships with those around them.

Therefore before you
spend hours on social media, rather try to have real-life conversations with
your friends and loved ones.

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