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Wait, Before You Log In. Is Social Media Secretly Destroying Your Relationship

Of all the reasons to break up, the last thing you want to end a relationship over is social media. The purpose of these apps is to connect with people and with those who surround them. While connecting with friends and acquaintances online has many benefits, some severe disadvantages also come along for the ride. These disadvantages are so detrimental that they have been known to result in the breakup of couples. What’s more concerning is they work in a slow death sort of way. You could be oblivious to how your use of social media is gradually killing your relationship, rather than nurturing it.

Social media is a double-edged sword that can potentially enhance your relationship, but when used in the wrong way, it can kill your relationship as well. Once you are aware of how it can hurt your relationship, you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to utilize it in a healthy way.

Social Media Can Ignite Anxiety

You might have noticed that you are more jealous and anxious. When you use a social app, do you “stalk” people in your boyfriend’s social network. Do you stalk his best buddies? If so, then you are probably building up anxiety and carry a lot of jealousy. For one, monitoring his interactions with others indicates a lack of trust. If you’re doing it to make sure that he’s not flirting with other girls, cheating on you behind your back, or lying to you. That shows a lack of trust in your boyfriend.

One of the ingredients in a healthy relationship is trust, so you can understand why these behaviors slowly deteriorate a relationship. Before you know it, that anxiety you feel while online stalking alters your behavior with your boyfriend. Perhaps, you start snapping at him over minor things. Maybe you subconsciously cause arguments out of your hidden insecurity. The anxiety you feel from spending time on online manifests itself in multifarious ways in your relationship.

Where’s the proof that social networking aggravates jealousy? Well, numerous studies have reported information showing a connection. To name one, a study from the University of Guelph in Ontario found that Facebook usage increased jealousy in romantic relationships. This study was published in CyberPsychology and Behavior and reported that the more time someone spent on Facebook, the more jealous emotions they experienced.

That initial spark of jealousy easily traps you in a downward spiral. As Emily Christofides, a student who worked on the study, explained, “It becomes a feedback loop. Jealousy leads to increased surveillance of a partner’s Facebook page, which results in further exposure to jealousy-provoking information.”

What can be done about the jealousy spiral? Limit your time on social media. People confess that while they know it makes them jealous, they can’t withstand the temptation. In that case, you really have to be strict about the time you allot yourself on social media. Schedule other activities to fill the free time that could be wasted on online.

Social Media Is Linked to Negative Relationships

You already know now that time spent on social media contributes to increased jealousy, but excessive time on it is also linked to negative relationship outcomes. Examples of negative relationship outcomes from becoming a Social App Zombie include cheating, breaking up, and divorcing. These undesirable outcomes are sometimes the result of contacting an ex, or monitoring a partner.

The more time you spend online, the less time you can dedicate to other important activities, such as seeing your boyfriend in person, hanging out with friends, and visiting family. In order to be a well-rounded individual, you must honor time for your hobbies and interacting with people face-to-face.

Where’s the proof that excessive time on online is linked to negative relationship outcomes? Although there are many studies that provide supporting evidence, one example is a study from the University of Missouri-Columbia: Cheating, Breakup, and Divorce: Is Facebook Use to Blame? This study reported that a high level of Facebook usage was connected to negative relationship outcomes, namely emotional cheating, physical cheating, and breaking up.

It was also specified in the study that these relationships were mediated by Facebook-related conflicts. In other words, your over use of Facebook can lead to fights with your significant other. The more often you check Facebook and spend time on it, the more likely you can experience tension and dissatisfaction in your relationship.

What can be done about social media increasing the chances your relationship will end sourly? Just as we advised you earlier, spend less time on online. Limit how much time spend on it. Checking hourly for updates is too much. It would also be helpful to limit how often you go into surveillance mode on your partner. Each time you find out something that you didn’t already know, your anxiety levels rise. Think of it this way: Do you really tell your partner every single detail of your life from the moment you were born until now? Of course not. Therefore, you can still be happy with your partner without having to know everything that happens to him.

The Good In Social Media

When used in moderation and for the right purposes social networking is a tool that can nurture your relationship. You can squeeze in some extra chat time when you are unable to meet up with your boyfriend in person and easily stay up-to-date with his friends.

In the beginning stages of a relationship, you can determine whether or not he is someone you would get along with long-term by his profile. Perhaps, religion is very important to you and you see him posting a lot of statuses insulting your religion. This may be an indicator that he’s not the right person for you based on what’s most important to you. In a way, social networking has saved time for you and prevented you from getting into an argument over religion.

Another great benefit of the social media integration is, you can easily interact with your boyfriend’s friends, family, and coworkers without having to leave the home or deplete the gas tank. Social media is very convenient. The key is to limit your usage to avoid going overboard and to not fall into a cycle of “stalking.” The value of spending quality time in person with your loved ones should never be forgotten.

Use Social Media To Nurture, Rather Than Destroy

The takeaway is to use social media in moderation and as a tool to nurture your relationships with others. It is not intended to monitor people. When you start using it to supervise your partner, you will cause yourself anxiety or add fuel to an already existing fire. If you are feeling anxiety, jealousy, or any other negative emotion in your relationship, cut back on your time spent online. You may be surprised to find out stepping away from it improved your relationship and state of mind.

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