Impact of Social Media on Marriages
The introduction of social media has radically transformed not just the landscape of the dating world, but on a larger perspective, changed the core of human interaction itself.
A Harley Davidson biker in his 50s told me, “If I had to date in this era, I’d be too stressed out.” He’s probably right.
According to research by Global Web Index, more than half of the world’s population uses social media. That’s about 4.62 billion people. The average daily usage is 2 hours 27 minutes. The same research conducted in January 2022 reveals Facebook at the hot forerunner seat, followed by YouTube, then WhatsApp, then Instagram, leaving WeChat and TikTok trailing behind.
Generations before used to meet people the old-fashioned way, being introduced by friends, and taking it from there. Those were simpler days – You were either dating, or you weren’t. There were no shades of grey.
Now, we meet people predominantly via dating apps. There are more mind games, more casual terms, and more appearances of unreliable behavior such as “ghosting”.
We have to ask: Is social media a boon or bane to relationships?
‘Social Media Official’ Status
Platforms that used to connect old friends and classmates have now become the be-all-and-all to which people live their lives – Everything posted online, pictures of your outfits of the day displayed in the open.
Naturally, we’ve all come to (subconsciously or consciously) place such great value on being introduced to the world by our partners on social media. We see a ton of celebrities who have confirmed their relationships that way, going “official” on their accounts. That’s probably the equivalent of an announcement in the papers in the old days, or gossip that spreads like wildfire in a small town.
A potential problem that could arise could then be if one party is ready to post pictures of them as a couple together, but notices how unwilling the other is. Of course, social media just so happens to be the medium in this case. At the core of it, is the person’s saying: “I feel unseen, and invisible in your world, and that concerns me.”
Social Media Robs Us of Time
Ever glanced over at the next table at dinner, and noticed one party on his/ her phone constantly, and the other looking over with annoyance written all over?
That’s rather common these days too.
Statista’s social media addiction research revealed a whopping 40 percent of people aged between 18 to 22 years old feel ‘somewhat’ addicted to social media.
Have you asked yourself, is your addiction to catching up on the latest gossip robbing you of time with your loved ones?
Social Media Decreases Connectedness
Establishing connectedness is of paramount importance in any relationship.
If you’re spending more time on social media on a date, it effectively means your partner gets lesser quality time with you. It’s as simple as that – something always gives.
However many digital tools of today have bridged connectivity, and the fundamentals to creating emotional intimacy are pretty standard – Show appreciation towards your partner, be emotionally available for support and conversations, be an active listener and respond to your partners’ needs, allow for frank and open sharing of thoughts and feelings etc. The list can go on.
What remains glaringly central to the requirements is Quality time.
We simply cannot run from putting down our phones and communicating.
Social Media Keeps Some Couples In Touch
Some couples use social media as their main communication tool.
For example, if someone has a problem with something he or she did, they can reach out to their spouse directly. Others use social media to make sure they're still connected to their significant other during times when they aren't together.
If they're traveling, they'll check in regularly to see what their loved ones are up to. And sometimes, they just enjoy seeing photos of their family members.
The most important thing to remember about social media is that every couple is different. There are no hard-and-fast rules for how long you should spend apart. What works best for one couple won't work for another. So, try to find ways to make your relationship stronger without spending too much time apart.
Social Media Contributes to Marital Disputes
Whose photo did he/ she like? Which accounts are they following? Whose post(s) did they comment on?
Social media has allowed increased monitoring of one’s partner, and what started harmlessly could in a moment be misconstrued as something different, and fuel much distrust, and jealousy, and even lead to heated arguments.
None of us can say we’re really surprised to find out that Facebook addiction statistics revealed that the platform itself is the cause of a fair bit of marital disputes, of which 1 in 3 ends in divorce.
Alas, tools are tools, there for us to use as we deem fit.
All of us share only 24 hours a day. The question it comes down to is: What do you wish to accomplish with this time – Waste it on mindless scrolling and absorbing information that will not be vital come your deathbed, or spend time making the love of your life the happiest he/she can ever be, and nourishing your soul in the process?
The authors of the 1994 article “In the Name of Love” said it best: “We fall in love when a strong attachment bond is formed. We stay in love by maintaining the bond.”
Just as we water plants daily, we need to tend to our marriages with the same daily attention and love.
Perhaps we could all take a page out of one of actress Anne Hathaway’s marriage rulebooks, in which she and her husband agreed to a compulsory one-day digital detox per week, on which the couple will spend time connecting on their no-phones day.
Given that they’re now onto their 10th successful year of marriage, we shall gladly assume her strategy works!
Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Deborah Choo loves discussing relationships, platonic or not, as that remains at the heart of human existence. She draws upon learnings from couples’ counselling, and continues to celebrate an incredible journey of growth.