Has Social Media Ruined Real Relationships?

Elle Scott

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Social media has ruined everything; standards, mindsets, goals, and society.

Has it though?

At first glance, you might think social media has ruined everything but I think it’s only exposed people for who they really are.

Prior to social media, how many rumors had the ability to ruin a person’s career. A rumor may have ruined you within your social circle, but a rumor now has the potential to end someone’s career; whether you are famous or not. Step out of line of what society has deemed appropriate and you might find yourself socially ruined.

I came across a discussion, on social media, about how social media ruins intimate relationships. The debate was pretty much halved. One side believed there’s nothing wrong with posting your relationship on social media for likes. The other half said it was stupid to put your relationship on blast like that. The extended argument was that women posted more on social media because we needed validation, while men didn’t care so much about that stuff.

Social Media Ruining Relationships

I’ve never been keen on posting my entire life story for social media. In my day-to-day life, I’m a private person. I could never understand people who posted every little thing about their lives on social platforms. It seemed odd to me that you would need to pronounce to the entire world that you’re happy and wait to receive likes or comments to validate your happiness.

My adventure with social media is purely to engage in discussion with strangers that I find funny, follow artists I like, and that's about it. My social media engagement is shallow and I get that.

But wasn't that the purpose of social media in the first place?

I’m not there to make insanely deep connections (I can do that in real life); just to keep up with what’s going on with celebrities I like and catch up on world news -- sometimes.

There was a time when I was on Instagram. Instagram was new and popping. I wasn't into selfies but Instagram was fun; until Instagram changed and started suggesting people I knew and my in-life friends and family started following me.

So, I shut down my Instagram.

For me, Instagram was a place where I didn’t need to be a “real person”, I could simply be on the platform without having other people’s perception of how I should be thrown upon me.

Instagram suddenly became what Facebook was -- a social tracking device and I didn’t like it.

For me, social media is not the real world and yet, people from my real life want to come on and have real life conversations in my comments. Uh, no thank you.

Social media is like virtual reality to me.

#1 Different Views

One way social media has ruined relationships is busy exposing people’s differing views. I’m perfectly okay being cool with someone who has different political views, for example. It makes for interesting conversations.

However, if you choose to display your grievances about a certain belief on social media, I might reconsider our friendship.

This happened to me years ago on Facebook when riots were happening in the DMV region. Someone I considered a close friend had said some nasty things on social media about her feelings towards the protesters.

I read and reread her messages multiple times before I decided she wasn’t the person I thought she was.

Her words were hateful.

That was an eye opening experience because I hadn’t experienced that type of encounter online before; not from a friend.

Years later and I’m witnessing similar actions from people and it's the norm.

Luckily these aren’t people I’m friends with but the actions are equally shocking.

While differing views expressed on social media shouldn't be enough to ruin a relationship between friends, the context of those views can definitely do the job.

And this is simply about having different political views; this includes any types of views that differ from the company you keep.

For instance, I’ve seen friendships end because of a posted food image.

Crazy times…

#2 Romantic Relationships Not Shown

Men and women were upset about these views on whether or not men should post about their romantic relationships. Most men said they like to lead private lives. Some women argued that men who claim they don’t post on social media are cheating.

I am all too familiar with the woes of dating. Though, if you have dated so many terrible guys that you feel like your relationship should be public, even to strangers, maybe you should step back from dating.

As I said before, I’m a private person and a woman. Anytime I’m dating someone, I do two things:

  • I don't follow him
  • I don't share my relationship status

It’s weird that in 2021, people find these two things weird, as opposed to keeping your relationship between you and your partner.

Sharing my relationship online would earn me what exactly? Brownie points?

Don’t need them.

I don’t need the world to enjoy what I share with my significant other, in private, publicly. However, by a lot of the comments I read, my views on this topic are in the minority. Mostly, women were upset their partners preferred living their lives offline or posting occasional images of the sky.

I had to laugh because I really do enjoy taking pictures of the sky in different moments and sometimes I do post them.

I think many people have lost the ability to separate their personal lives from social media personas.

I guess I miss the days when social media was more about being a random unknown instead of now, where it’s about being seen the MOST.

I dated a guy years ago and we were both on social media.

Neither of us followed each other; nor did we share our relationship with the world. I saw him enough in person that I didn't need to see him on my timeline too.

It wasn’t until he found my Instagram (darn Instagram, again) that our relationship sort of shifted. I noticed our conversations would include something I’d said on Instagram previously, but he couldn’t directly mention it because he knew we weren’t supposed to be following each other.

Basically, he was creeping on my social media. That signaled to me that he lacked confidence in me and our relationship.

Maybe if he’d approached it differently I'd be understanding. The fact he was being sneaky and “spying” on my social media activity signaled too many alarms. He could’ve simply asked for us to follow each other.

There’s something about being in a relationship and on social media that brings out weird insecurities in people. It seems like the need to be posted online is linked to a relationship’s stability and that is the saddest thing I can think of.

What do you think?

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