No one can turn a corner without bumping into one reminder or another of how much social media has permeated our everyday lives. It’s not just personal accounts but business ones as well. It is everywhere! While it can be a good way to connect with customers, friends and family, it has its pitfalls, too. People often don’t realize that what they say or share online may adversely affect others, so one has to wonder: Is social media harmful to a relationship?
This is a question that reputed journals, such as American Educational Research Journal and Psychology Today, have asked and researched for themselves. It’s been universally agreed upon that social media has isolated individuals while alternatively connecting them. It’s quite the dichotomy, but the adverse effects aren’t a mystery.
There are many articles all over the internet from family and marriage counselors who are seeing a constant uptick in clients coming in with issues that relate to one or the other partner in a relationship getting into trouble on a social networking site. It has elevated the sense of distrust when one partner sees a private message that carries certain undertones, or an open flirt or joke between a partner and another person. It’s rampant, but can it be quelled?
Trust is huge, as we all know and understand, but it has to extend to social-media sites, too. If you are suspicious about something, be truthful and ask your partner about it. Don’t let it fester or allow yourself to concoct some backstory that may not even be in the same zip code as the truth. Simply sit down and talk about it.
If you are the one confronted with a social media interaction, the same advice above holds true. Be honest and truthful regarding the interaction. Explain the history between you and the other person, and even the story behind the comments. Perhaps it’s something that your partner doesn’t feel comfortable with, so it may be best to monitor your exchanges.
The main issue with anything in written form is the inability to hear a tone of voice or read full intentions behind the words. This is often seen in email exchanges and text messages, and social-media posts work just the same. In those instances, it’s best to explain further or ask for clarification in order to fill in the blanks. Above all else, evaluate your relationship and the importance of it above the need for a post that may be misunderstood or misconstrued.
Don’t let a Facebook or Twitter post come between you and your partner. Set down the smartphones and laptops and go back to old-school communication. Sometimes the tried and true ways are the best in order to keep the lines of communication open and clear so that your relationship isn’t another victim to the statistics.
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