Social Media and Relationships

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What’s the correlation?

 I post to social media and I usually check correspondence from social media, but I’m not one of those people who get up in the morning, and scroll through my timeline all day, everyday. I am in some specific groups in regards to relationships so I can remain on the cutting edge of the latest trending topics and issues about relationships and what is going on today. I was speaking with my daughter and she brought this subject to my attention and I mention this briefly in my book.

In my book The Truth: Keeping it 100 in Chapter 9, The Round Table, I mention social media’s effect on relationships. I spoke briefly about it, but I don’t think I gave it its due diligence as far as millennials go. It also plays a significant role in not just millennials relationships, but all of today’s relationships. There are at least one billion people on Facebook as of this writing. It has become a way of life for everyone. Even older folks who said they would never join “the Facebook” have taken to it. So I’ll address that here.

People interact these days almost exclusively through social media. So in talking with my daughter about this subject, we discussed that Facebook can totally decimate a relationship. It has in several cases already. It was also depicted in the movie “The Social Network,” where the CFO of the company’s then girlfriend mentioned about him not changing his status. This was at the very fabric of its creation. My daughter also pointed out that social media is the primary way that today’s generation court, meet, hookup, and communicate. I’ll mention some things about it. Below is the question that was brought up which is the reason for this blogpost:

If you’re in a relationship, should you get rid of all of your social media?

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To help manage this I’ve come up with 6 tips to recognize about your partner, social media, and the role they play in your relationship.

1. “Don’t place ridiculous restrictions on other adults.”

“You’ll get rid of your social media if you want to be with me.” My opinion is that this should never be a requirement of ANY healthy, meaningful relationship. And I will tell you why. Adults don’t place those kinds of restrictions on other adults. Adults have choices and communicating about it should be a top priority with anything in a person’s relationship. As a side note, no one has to know what happens in your personal life. You should keep it off of social media.

2. “Keep your relationship private and off social media. But if you’re involved with someone or married, your status should reflect that.”

People like to post relationship statuses, and women will go off if you don’t change your relationship status to reflect that you two are an item. I’m one of those people who don’t pay that much attention to this type of thing, and I’m not an attention junkie like lots of others are for social media attention. It is very much a part of my campaign for my books, and for helping folks push for better relationships, be better leaders, and push for their dreams. I’m trying to help build the family, faith and culture and this is primarily what I post about. When I do look on social media it’s to see people’s response to my quotes, or give people guidance on life or other things, or to stay on the cutting edge of the most relevant topics within those relationship groups, and about relationships in general.

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There are a few posts that are really good and bring out new ideas and great points, but keep your relationship off of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. There are lots of men that have been “caught up” because they took pictures, and their woman found out. Or they wrote a post that suggested that they weren’t alone when they told their significant other that they would be. These are the types of things that ruin relationships in regards to social media. So yes, Social Media can totally screw up a relationship but only if the two people aren’t acting as adults, or haven’t communicated about this issue BEFORE it became a problem.

3. “Lay boundaries and communicate about where you stand with it.”

The two involved need to talk about it, and lay out boundaries at the onset. See where you both stand and come to an understanding about it. But I do not agree that any man or woman should be required to get rid of their social media just because they are now in a relationship. What’s the premise behind the request? There may be several pertinent business relationships or similar related relationships that were in existence before you came along, and they shouldn’t be terminated because either of you have a trust issue. That’s what it sometimes boils down to.

Relationships should be based on trust and if you don’t trust the person, then why did you decide to be with them? When you don’t trust someone, there is already a crack in the foundation of that relationship and the slightest pressure will reveal that crack and expose that insecurity in the relationship. And that’s not healthy over time. It will reveal itself in the form of arguments, accusations, becoming very guarded, and the last request will then become, “You’ve got to get rid of all your Facebook friends or your social media.” This is ridiculous. If two fully functioning adults communicate about this, it shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re married or in a relationship, sure you probably should put that as the status, but is this a direct correlation to your relationship? No. Is this some type of indication that you are or aren’t having a good relationship? No. Besides, most people are in “fake” good relationships anyway.

4. “Don’t burn bridges with former business relationships or long friends because one of you has trust issues.”

Anyone in a real solid relationship knows that it won’t always be sunny days. And people will take 3 or 4 pictures, view them, pick the best ones, and then post them. That’s fabricated if you ask me, but we all probably don’t look at it that way. We’re just trying to get the best picture right? Who needs to know that you got a new house or your significant other bought you a new car? No one needs to know those things. I could go on about why but we all know that most people aren’t really happy for you anyway. And they are just as broken and busted behind the scenes as you are. It just creates problems.

5. “Stop comparing your relationship to others. Lots of relationships are fabricated on social media anyway.”

This is the primary way that people communicate online through social media. They may be leery of you still having an open means of communication since you met them that way. This is something else that I hint around in the book. These things are the enemy. I don’t think social media breaks up relationships. I do think it can be a factor because people may not talk about it enough, and people believe whatever they see there instead of talking to their significant other about what they saw. I have seen a complete twist thrown on more than a few posts and pictures simply because the other party didn’t bother to ask about it. It had a totally simple and valid explanation.

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I don’t believe that social media was ever created for this type of interaction. It was to connect with friends, and stay connected to people similar to you, and to share valid content. I’ve seen some women get very upset just because a guy doesn’t change his relationship status. If you just meet with a girl and you two decide that you’re going to be an item, you had better change that status within about 30 minutes or there is going to be a call, or a discussion waiting if she doesn’t see that status change. You disagree with me? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue.

6. “Don’t create a facade and be honest from the beginning. Trust your spouse.”

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To recap, no one should be required to delete any social media because their significant other has a trust issue. Go fix yourself. Go look in the mirror, and if you have trust issues, you need to put that on the table at the very beginning. I talk about this in Chapter 2, The Prelude. If you don’t put it out there at the onset, then this is something that is bound to come up in the relationship and it will cause tension and problems in the future. It may possibly break up the relationship. It is toxic. It is toxic to a relationship. Social media doesn’t have to break up a relationship. Last time I checked two people were in a relationship. Social media had nothing to do with the actual relationship.

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