The possibilities offered by technology are increasing day by day. This increase causes us to communicate less with each other. It is a fact that social media is taking over our lives at some point. Social media has become the main reason why all our jobs, our lives and what we expect from life have changed. What we see and hear in this medium has become one of the most important sources that shape our lives.
So, what effect does social media, which we take into our lives, have on our relationships?
Have you ever thought about how many hours or minutes you spend on social media each day? With phones, computers, tablets… in reality, we started to be in a tighter relationship than our lover, partner or spouse who is standing right next to us. Instead of communicating with the circle of friends we meet at schools, cafes and restaurants at the same table, we prefer to look at things like who did it on social media, where did it go, how many people watched my story, how many followers I have. Unfortunately, we are not aware that we are starting to miss many moments that we will spend with the people we are in a relationship with. Being someone who can express himself in social media areas or showing many things in his life has become more valuable than the few hours we will spend with our spouse and partner. Even when we thought we left social media aside, we started to have constant increases and decreases in our minds and difficulties in focusing.
In addition to these, people who use social media excessively start to have mental, mental and even physical health problems. Depression, anxiety, self-loathing, and dulling of reality perception are just a few of them. We put aside the problems and deadlocks in our relationships and fall into the perception of beauty imposed on us in social media, and we drag our relationship to dead ends because we can’t be like the people we see there, because we think we can’t live a life like the couples there. Many questions such as why we do not live in a house like them, why we could not buy these items, why we are not like couples who travel a lot or do sports a lot, began to circulate in our brains and occupy us. For these reasons, instead of focusing on our own relationship, we started to cool off from our own relationship through the relationships of others. Unfortunately, as soon as we start to be affected by the illusions of perfect life on social media, we are unfortunately unaware that we are putting ourselves, our lives and the person in our life in the background. Social media only portrays what people want you to see, not reality. That’s why letting social media get in the way of our own lives can be the worst thing we do to ourselves.
Excessive use of social media can lead to distance, deception and addiction in relationships. After these, we may find it difficult to distinguish between the real and the happy moments that are presented as real, and we may feel unhappiness for our own relationships and life. Let’s take a look at what can happen with the increasing use of social media:
In fact, we often use social media to get away from the stress of our daily lives. However, the ‘happily ever after, everything’s alright life’ that we see in a stressful moment causes us to experience more stress. The stress added on top of the stress causes us to get lost in the media where lives that have moved away from reality are exhibited, instead of trying to question our lives and find the wrong place this time.
The use of social media causes short-term changes in mental states. A photograph, video, text, story that we see in a medium that we are looking at, causes our mood to change. Seeing the better when it is good lowers our mood, while seeing the worse involuntarily causes us to be proud of our lives and make our cat feel happy. These sudden changes in mood can damage emotional bonds and destabilize our relationships. It is no wonder that we move away from our partner, whose mood we do not know when, and the distance between us increases.
The fact that our partner adds someone of the opposite sex on social media and likes that person’s post causes jealousy between couples to start or increase. People who are exposed to this situation often cause them to establish authority over their partners and follow them on social media platforms, which are a virtual environment. The person who thinks that he is following everything his partner does, can actually use it as a weapon in his relationship with the power of jealousy. When the self-confidence problem, the feeling of envy and the feeling of inadequacy created by jealousy are combined, the relationships can come to the point of separation.
Most of the time, couples give each other their passwords or open a joint account and decide on each post together in order to have more say in each other’s social media. In fact, in a medium where one should be free, restrictive attitudes suddenly appear.
Social media platforms have been the beginning or end of most of today’s relationships. Communications that start with a liking go on to messaging, phone number exchange, and meetings. Relationships that start very quickly can end in an instant because feelings are first formed according to the person seen on the social media and may not be the real person. Unfortunately, it is not difficult to see that the relationship evolves into an evasive one when one likes for hours, likes photos, videos, and posts until very old times, and visits that person’s profile at every emptiness.
While we are running for our lives that we always strive to do better, the lives that we see as living better without doing anything can involuntarily lead to depression. The lives exhibited by people who live in very good houses, look very happy, have lots of opportunities and have very good bodies start to question our relationships, ourselves and our lives. As soon as it turns into an addiction that cannot distinguish the difference between the real and the shown, mental breakdowns can occur and depression occurs.
We illuminate all our times with artificial light, day and night. When we need to go to bed and in the dark to sleep, we say, ‘Let me read the tweet for the last time before I sleep, let me see this story, watch one last video…’ and we do not realize that the blue light reflected from the screens affects the melatonin hormone that regulates sleep and disrupts our sleep pattern. In addition to the many differences that arise as the time spent on social media increases, one of the biggest problems is the disruption of sleep patterns. Having a stable sleep pattern and providing the necessary sleep hygiene are the main sources of starting and ending the day well. The time spent on social media as an obsession causes the sleep hours to decrease, waking up with a tired mind and body, and being busy with the last things the mind sees while sleeping.
The place where social media has the greatest damage on relationships is the deterioration of the self-esteem of the person and the person he or she is in a relationship with. Couples who are caught in the perception of beauty imposed on social media and who think that they cannot have the bodies, lives and lives there, allow to get away from each other and to cheat on social media that starts with flirting. Social media channels are full of posts that often make us feel inadequate. Because it is full of the happiest moments of others that make us feel bad when we see it.
So far, we have focused on the many effects of social media on our relationships. We know that we start to question our relationship, life, the appearance of our partner, what they can give us, it causes us to lose our self-esteem, it causes mental disorders such as depression/anxiety, it disrupts sleep patterns, and in addition to all these, many things distance us from our relationships and affect our separation from our partner.
When social media starts to take over our lives, it may be turning into an addiction. According to a study conducted at Harvard University, it has been determined that the brain region that is enlightened during drug use is the same as the brain region that is enlightened during social media use. This means that social media has begun to direct our lives and relationships.
Often times, social media becomes a distraction in our face-to-face conversations. Our sharing with our partner is either starting to take shape through other lives in social media, or we prefer to deal with social media in the same environment instead of focusing on each other when we are together. This leads to the deterioration of the healthy relationship we have established with our partner.
The things we need to do to prevent the use of social media from affecting our relationships are very simple. First of all, it is necessary to know that most of the things that are brought to the fore in these channels are not the complete truth of that person’s life. It should not be forgotten that everyone has moments when they are happy and unhappy, but on these platforms, the happiest of the best is tried to be shown. It may be necessary to be active at a level that does not affect our relationship with our partner or not to reflect on our partner. It is very important to avoid using social media as the control area of the relationship and to know that we cannot manage our relationship over it.
Finally; We should not forget that instead of seeking satisfaction through virtual relationships, environments and sharing, which are not the responsibility of the partners, we should proceed on the responsible ground of a face-to-face relationship.
DON’T LET SOCIAL MEDIA GRIND YOUR HAPPINESS.