I think it’s safe to say that the world of interpersonal relationships has changed. It’s not the world that our parents and grandparents remember. People can find out most information about you with a simple click of a button and get a general idea of who you are through a Google search. Whether that impression is accurate or not remains to be seen. In my case, what comes up on Google is not an accurate reflection of who I am as a person and what I stand for, but you can’t control the media so I had to make peace with that.
Now taking into account the Internet-run world we live in now, how are you ever supposed to date and to meet someone normal, not to mention not let social media ruin your existing relationship?
I’ve heard various stories from different groups of people, and I hope once you finish reading this post that you comment back with your thoughts on the matter.
I think from a dating perspective or even meeting new people, social media has made strides in making the world a smaller, more accessible place. Most people are or have been on an online dating site. It’s no longer taboo or for “the wierdos”. In my opinion, the sites probably match you with the right people, but what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate to love. I don’t think there’s a formula for chemistry and that will always remain a trial-and-error thing. Apps like Tinder have made meeting new people fun and convenient. Sometimes people luck out, and they really like each other and sometimes it’s a one-time encounter.
So let’s say you met someone you like organically or through social media and you start dating. Most people have some kind of social media these days and oftentimes I hear mixed reviews about the effects Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat can have on a relationship. People often look up someone they are starting to date and create a preconceived notion of who they are before they start getting to know them. Then, everything they tell you about themselves gets compared to bits of information you acquired form their various social media outlets and you naturally become suspicious when what they say and what they put out to the general public doesn’t match up. Now you have trust issues even before you begin. How sad. How do you have a healthy, mature, and successful relationship in a world where your dream girl or guy is literally at your fingertips? You can interact with them, you can be part of their daily lives and even reach out to them. How does that affect your existing relationship with a partner that you thought was a great match? Now, what you may find more alluring or sexy is just a click away. Does that make you less excited about your partner? Is it realistic for you to think you could have a chance with your new “flavor of the month?”
I see so many people start to lose interest in what is a good relationship for them because they are intrigued by someone new on a social media platform. People they would normally never have access to are now part of their daily lives. With social media bringing people closer and facilitating convenient interaction between strangers, people start to be more apprehensive about commitment because there MAY be bigger and better around the corner, or in this case, a click or swipe away.
I honestly dislike this kind of thinking because there’s a greater likelihood that that person “around the corner” is not who you thought they were and you forgo a great connection to someone you already know in hopes of what could be or should be. Remember, the media is alluring and oftentimes open to interpretation. People put their best face forward when it comes to their public persona so you can never truly know a person in their entirety just by their social media. Comedians are a great example. People often think comedians are outgoing and energetic and the life of the party. However, living in Los Angeles, I’ve met quite a few comedians and they are the most introverted, reserved, reclusive and oftentimes depressed individuals. You would never know based on the show they put on for the world and that’s exactly why it’s called entertainment. They know their job is to make you smile and they do it well, putting aside their real persona.
Another issue is the emotions your use of social media can create in your partner. Will it make them jealous, sad, upset that you are following other people you find alluring, attractive, or intriguing? Is the issue that you interact more with your social media circle than them? Do they maintain the same standards for themselves as they do for you? Do you find yourself commenting on a picture and not liking it so it doesn’t show up on your significant other’s radar?
The fact that people now break up because of social media illustrates the new technologically advanced world we live in and the ever growing effect it has on us. Think about how easy it is to find out anything about someone if they are on social media. Where they’ve been, who they were with, how long they were there and what activity they might have done. This makes any indiscretions much harder to hide. You guys may already know this, but girls are masters at uncovering information through social media. It almost becomes a challenge for them. That person may not even have social media and they will go through 27 people’s profiles just to finds a picture of “that girl” they thought you were with only to cross reference it with a Google search and voilà! In the course of 30 minutes, they know everything about that person and if you guys, ahem, mutual friends and if you ever hung out. You can actually cut that down to 10-15 minutes if she has her other girlfriends working on it. If there is drama in a girl’s life, her top three closest girlfriends will know about it, and your stuff will probably be put in a group text where they collectively came up with an answer to your latest text. SCARY right?! Well, that’s girls for you, and that’s why men think we are crazy. Crazy smart for being able to connect the dots you never thought we would remember until we present it to you in chronological order in the form of a leading question.
It’s so easy to spiral into a black hole if you don’t have a good grasp on what is important and who you are as a person. Social media is everywhere and while the platforms may change, its popularity will only increase. I guess the only way social media might not get in the way of a relationship is if you are both honest and set boundaries together. Honesty is always the best policy even if it will hurt a bit. Also, a great tool to a successful relationship is communication. Don’t keep your partner in the dark. That creates doubt and mistrust and people start assuming things and that’s how fights start.
I think a partnership is the best kind of relationship. Be involved in each other’s lives, enjoy the same things, have similar morals and at the end of the day, you always have that person to nestle into while you plan your strategy for attacking tomorrow. But that’s easier said than done, and when I find that myself, I’ll let you know.