05 Mar 4 Ways to Stop Social Media Ruining Your Relationship
As our lives become more and more digitised, especially during this pandemic, social media has made it even harder for us to maintain our relationships. 50% of people have even reported that social media has had a significant negative impact on their relationship. From phubbing to jealousy and micro cheating, social media has opened up a whole new world of ways in which we are able to cause conflict and ruin our relationships. So, we have put together four of our top tips to help you avoid social media ruining your relationship.
#1 Agree the ground rules
The first, and perhaps most important tip we have to avoid social media ruining your relationship is to agree the ground rules. We are the first generation who are living through all the pitfalls that relationships in the age of social media can have, so it is no wonder that there are misunderstandings and confusion. So, sit your partner down and have a conversation with them about social media use. Ask questions like: “what do we agree qualifies as ‘unacceptable behaviour’? Is there anything that’s a no no for you? What sort of things have caused problems for you in the past?” From those answers you can then build a framework, together, of how you want to deal with those issues in your relationship.
#2 Treat social media like the public sphere
Though our phones feel like private spaces, and they are, once you are online or on social media, you are interacting in the public sphere. So, if you want to make sure your social media use doesn’t ruin your relationship you need to understand that, and treat those interactions as such. If you think that ‘liking’ posts by your ex would be a problem, then act accordingly. This metric is a good way to judge if what you are doing is harmful, and can help with secrecy.
#3 Allow each other privacy
Whilst it is important that as an individual you respect your partner through your social media use, you must also respect their privacy. Trust is a two-way street, so, once you have had discussions about your boundaries don’t snoop! Allow your partner their space and if you feel the need to query behaviour, do so openly, instead of through spying. 34% of Americans surveyed admitted that they have checked up on their partners phone, how would you feel if that was your partner? If the answer is not positive, don’t do it yourself.
#4 Have a social media detox
Of course, our final recommendation, as always, is to try a digital detox. In relationships, as in life, it can sometimes be hard to tell the woods from the trees so we advise taking a step back. Delete social media from your phone for a week or two. Instead spend that time with your partner, you could talk about the change, play some board games, or go for walks. Whatever you do, use that time to reconnect and from there work out what the foundations of your relationship with social media will be moving forward.