Social Media Impact on Relationships

Many people blame social media; Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, Whatsapp, and online chat rooms for the demise of their relationships. Numerous couples come into my office with this very complaint: “If it wasn’t for Facebook, my wife wouldn’t have cheated!” If it wasn’t for my husband being able to look up an old flame online he wouldn’t have left me and the kids!” I empathize with their pain and it hurts like hell to lose someone you love. However, is the problem with social media resources, or is it a problem with your relationship or marriage that causes your loved one to reach out to others?

Is social media really the problem?

I speak often about this topic on my show (The Art of Relationships Show), and noted that often it is the relationship itself that leads partners to get engulfed in the social media frenzy.  People often feel unloved, not desired, appreciated, or important and then social media becomes an outlet to obtain those lost feelings. This doesn’t condone such behaviors, just an understanding!

Then an old flame, or perhaps a past desire comes to the rescue by offering a simple hello. As one can imagine emotions churn toward the fantasy realm with a series of “what ifs” surfacing. “What if I can have the love of my life after all?” “OMG, this is what I have been missing my whole life!” Thoughts and expectations begin to fulfill your feelings of feeling important and desired once again. Let’s face it; it feels great and becomes addicting!

Social media is an easy go-to with blame and anger towards your loved one paying more attention to another, or even surmising into a full-blown affair.  Should social media take the entire hit? I like to offer questions as to why your partner even broached this avenue in the first place. I suggest providing periodical check-ins to see what the status of the relationship is and how your partner is feeling. A moment or two of sharing to see if each one’s needs are being met can help.

Not only has social media been seen as the culprit in destroying relationships, but non-romantic aspects are also seen as avenues. Social media games, groups, and interests can help take us away from our relationship, especially if it is one of pain and loneliness. Again, what are you doing to look at yourself and explore what you are doing to change your relationship?  Using social media to escape is easier than working on yourself or your relationship. I get this! Though, if you keep taking the easy way out and avoiding self-reflection in your role regarding the deterioration, the relationship will end or an affair will raise its ugly head.

You see social media may be the path chosen for the relationship’s demise, though it is not the vehicle being driven. Explore actual reasons that you are lured to starting or continuing a fantasy role when you’re in a relationship or marriage.  What can you work on in remedying the current problems versus creating new ones?  Something to ponder: when the fantasy land of social media wears off; what are you going to do when you are faced with the same challenges in the new relationship that you had in your previous one?