Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Modern relationships distracted by social media

r grandparents first met as young adults in a much different time than today. Imagine the ways they stayed in contact or told friends about their blossoming relationships. In those days, almost everything was communicated through word of mouth, mail or home phone. There were little ways to stay in touch other than the phone or in person. Relationships were more quiet and personal.

That certainly isn’t the case in 2016.

When someone is in a relationship today, you know about it. Most people love to post things with or about their significant other on social media for the entire world to see.

Couples will document monthly anniversaries, share sweet details about one another and post photographs of each other after every romantic excursion they attend. As someone who has never been the type to look to social media for validation, these things seem like a waste of time and energy.

It certainly isn’t a waste of time to take pictures with the person you’re dating or go out and make memories. It’s a waste to feel the need to share every one of those memories with people you don’t know very well or even care about online.

It’s like that saying, “If a tree falls in the middle of the woods, and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound?” If you’re in a relationship, but aren’t sharing every detail of that relationship with random people online, are you really in a relationship?

Yes, you are.

I’m an old-fashioned person in many ways. When I’m with someone I like, I never get the urge to take a picture of them with a dumb filter and throw it on my Snapchat story for everyone to see. I’d rather giving that person my full attention than be on my phone wondering what funny caption to write.

I’m not saying to be ashamed of sharing memories with someone you like online. If that’s what makes you happy, do it. Post a million times a day if you feel like it, just don’t center the relationship around how many likes are received on a photograph. There are better ways to be spending your time together.

If it’s validation a person is looking for, there are plenty of better ways to show your partner how important they are to you rather than writing a sappy paragraph with an array of lovey emojis below an Instagram post. Take your partner somewhere new. Talk to each other about anything and everything. Learn things about each other.

For many people, social media makes life simpler. In my experience, social media is the root of many arguments between couples. Overuse of social media platforms such as Facebook can lead to jealousy because of the constant monitoring of your partner, according to Psychology Today. It’s usually a “he said, she said” situation and usually ends in a verbal argument.

These problems are all avoidable. All you have to do is disconnect.

Think back to your parents and grandparents again. Focus on what’s real and tangible. Your partner is real. You are real. Social media is like a fantasy world people get sucked into, but in reality, none of it matters.

Email Laura Schmidt at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com

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