By: idk tonight
When it comes to relationships, social media is a blessing and a curse. We all want and deserve love in our partnerships, but what about likes, retweets, and faves? The five love languages are well established, but there’s definitely something to be said for adding a sixth love language called validation—aka liking and commenting the heart eyes emoji on every Instagram picture you post. Unless both you and your partner are off the grid types living in a woodsy cabin with no WiFi (which is honestly very hot), social media is going to play a role in your lives and your relationship. We’ve broken down the good, the bad, and the weird so you can navigate your clout scores together.
Social Media & Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and The Weird
Believe it or not, social media can be used for good! It’s super addicting because it is a way to communicate and connect with other humans, which we are hardwired to love. It’s a small and dumb way to show affection, but liking each other’s posts is a nice way to say “I like you and what you have to share” on a regular basis. Supporting your partner’s ~brand~ on social media can also be a way to professionally help them with their professional outreach (sexy, right?)
Social media also multiplies the ways you can communicate! With our partners and even most of our closest friends, we can have text threads, email communications, and Twitter and Instagram DM convos going on simultaneously. Seeing a funny tweet or rad meme on Instagram and tagging your partner is a great way to share joy with them. You can also invite each other to cool events on Facebook or send links to restaurants that pop up on your feed.
All of the practices above are great as a bonus to the relationship, but when they become expected and mandatory, the trouble starts. If your partner doesn’t like something you post, it can be tempting to feel upset—even though there’s a chance they didn’t see it, or hey, didn’t like it! Don’t get too hung up on likes in general, especially from a partner, and trust that what matters is that they show how much they like you in other, more valid ways.
The constant communication we mentioned? Another potential pitfall! Sometimes if you’ve been updating each other constantly over every platform on this Earth, you won’t have anything to share in person, when sharing can matter the most. Save some life updates and idle gossip for date night, and for goodness sake, if you’re chatting with your partner over LinkedIn, you know you’ve gone too far.
We all know that social media isn’t a fully accurate reflection of real life—and take a second now to remind yourself! (And remind yourself again. And again. And again.) Your partner may be sharing a cleaned up, glorified version of their life (which includes their relationship with you!) on social media, and that can feel weird if you know that things are not really like that behind the scenes. However, this can be a chance to treasure the intimacy you have, and trust that they’re sharing with you what really matters, and just showing the world a smiling beach picture. That being said, if your partner is being willfully deceitful on social media and photoshopping themselves into pictures with BTS, feel free to call them out.
Ultimately, the best way to handle social media in relationships is the same way you handle any relationship aspect—by talking about it. Make sure everyone’s on the same page about how much you want to share publicly about your life as a couple and what’s a reasonable expectation around mutually likes and online communication. Remember that what really matters is your love for each other, and Twitter can never replace a romantic night sharing a meal and laying under the stars exploring each other’s personalities (cough cough and bodies)—though one day VR technology may catch up, and that’s when we’re all screwed.
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