social media and relationships

Social media and relationships is a tricky subject to talk about. Whether you tweet, Instagram, or post on Facebook, showing the world what you’re doing via the Internet is most definitely the norm. But when it comes to your relationships, should you be as open with what you post? Is telling the world your love for someone via your profile a plus or a hindrance to your relationship? Should you be personal in what you are posting, or should you keep it to pictures of your lunch and your filter enhanced selfies?

To share or not to share?

If you are one of these people who share your life on social media, it’s hard to leave out a love interest. After all, it can only be a good thing to know that your new partner is fine for everyone on their friend’s list, and yours, that you are both happy together. If you were to share everything except your partner on social media, it would only cause problems of doubt. They wouldn’t be able to help but question why you don’t want the world to know you are together and why you are trying to hide it. It could come across as you not wanting people to know because you are either embarrassed by them or you are hiding something, like maybe another relationship. And that will only make your partner feel insecure.

My rule is to keep things light. Working away a lot from home, I use social media to communicate with people who I’m not around and to share with my family and friends what I get up to when I’m not at home. And if the time I’m spending and the things I’m doing is with a new boyfriend, then why not pop on a photo or two? After all, it’s always nice to share your happiness.

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Should you make it official

Social media is such a big part of our lives now, it judges the seriousness of our relationships. How many times have you been asked “ Are you with so and so now? But is it Facebook official?” It seems people only take your relationships seriously when you have declared you are together by changing your relationship status.

Some would go as far as saying you can go on living a single life. If it’s not official on social media, then you’re free and single, because relationships only count to them when their followers are made aware of who they are seeing.

Personally, as much as I will post pictures of us together and tag my boyfriend in funny things I see or articles he might like, I don’t feel the need to make it Facebook official. I don’t have to use the hashtag ‘boyfriend’ in every Instagram post of us. It doesn’t make it any more official to me. Real-life relationships are what is important to me, not how you are coming across to your followers.

How many times has your time-hop reminded you of how dumb you’ve been in the past. Yes, writing something on social media seems permanent at the time, but it doesn’t confirm your feelings anymore. It’s better just to tell your partner how you feel to their face. Because remember that old saying “Too many cooks can spoil the broth”; our modern-day equivalent should be “Too many followers can spoil the relationship.”

Personal is personal

Being in a relationship is an intimate thing. There are things you share with your partner that you wouldn’t share with anyone else, and that’s part of what is special about having a significant other. So if you post everything and anything all over your profile, it can cause problems. How can your boyfriend feel special if you are willing to share your deepest and darkest secrets with the world?

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In addition, having your relationship so widely broadcasted can invite outsiders to get involved; more involved than you necessarily want. So sharing a date picture is acceptable, but maybe keep an after-sex pic for the private photo collection.

Social media as a weapon

It’s so easy to have an argument, get rilled up, and take to social media to rant away your feelings. Whatever you do… don’t. As well as keeping the intimate details of your relationship private, it’s equally important to keep your fights between yourselves too.

Keep your ranting statuses the size of essays at bay and don’t use other peoples’ profiles as a weapon. Liking your ex-partner’s profile pictures or commenting with flirty connotations will only add to the argument you are having. So don’t drink and like. It never ends well.

How far is too far?

Every situation can get to extremes. I know of some couples who will filter through their partner’s posts and private messages and some that even share an account together. I think these things are unhealthy. Surely if you can’t trust your loved one on social media, how do you expect to be trusted in real life?

I think it’s very important to live your own life, even when you are in a relationship. I would not find it acceptable if my boyfriend looked through my phone or emails, so what makes him stifling through every post you like, or every status you comment on any different? Again, it boils down to a lack of trust. And no trust in relationships causes a whole lot of problems.

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As for joining forces completely, sharing a profile ties you together as such a close unit, you start to lose your own personality, and that is dangerous territory. One of the most important things in a relationship is to still have your own space, your own interests. Being with someone 24/7 will only make you go mad. And the people around you will feel like they can’t contact you and only you. Just because you’re taken, doesn’t mean you can’t be your own person anymore.

Every relationship is different, but if you’re finding that social media and relationships clash and you are arguing with your partner about posts and shares, it’s time to look at how much you are sharing with the Internet, what is important to you both and whether you can have a healthy balance of posts on social media and living your life in reality as opposed to Iiving it online.

Elle works as a freelance singer, travelling the world performing on cruise ships and in hotels. Find her on Facebook or check out more about her writing on her website.

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