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How Social Media Affects Relationships

With a desire to help and inspire people around the world—Ashley currently blogs about life, psychology, purpose, spirituality, and more!

What sort of effect does social media have on relationships?

What sort of effect does social media have on relationships?

Social Media and Relationships

From lack of trust to lack of communication, there are several reasons why relationships fail.

While the contributions may seem endless—social media seems to negatively affect relationships nowadays.

Why is this?

In today's society, many people are addicted to using various forms of technological devices. Having such convenient access to technology allows people to spend an unnecessary amount of time on social media.


The next time that you are out at dinner, observe the surrounding environment that you are in. I can guarantee that 60% of people around you, including couples, will be on their phones. Saddening, to say the least, right?

This leads me to the primary reason why social media harms relationships nowadays.


Before technology was designed, people communicated face-to-face with one another. In recent years, social media has become the most profound source of communication. We all know that with power comes great responsibility, but in some instances, there aren't always positives to power. Originally, social media was created as a networking tool, but it has been used for much more.

In my most recent article, "The Truth Behind Social Media "Likes," I discussed the psychological effects that social media has on humans. I explained that the reason people are so addicted to social media nowadays is that our brains produce an intense rush of dopamine when we use it. At times, it can be extremely difficult for us to realize how much of an impact social media has on us and those around us.

Although the general concept of social media is to have the ability to "connect" with others, it also allows very little physical interaction between people. Now, don't get me wrong; there are advantages to social media. However, there are also plenty of disadvantages as well.

One common complaint that couples have nowadays is how much time their partner spends using their phones rather than paying attention to their significant other. This could potentially cause serious damage to a relationship, as communication is one of the building blocks to a solid foundation. It is important that you consider each other's feelings, spend considerable time with one another, and limit the amount of time that you spend on social media. Making precious memories with your loved ones is far more valuable than living in a virtual reality.

Advantages of Social MediaDisadvantages of Social Media

Gives people the ability to "connect" with one another

Could have a very negative affect on relationships

Gives the ability to receive advice or help from others

Could have a negative affect on your overall health and well-being

Creates awareness and innovates the way that people live

Can be highly addictive

Constant updates on what is happening in the world

Could have an affect on your reputation



While social media can make us feel more "connected" to the people we love, it can also cause some relationships to unravel. When social media and social lives intertwine, it creates jealousy in relationships.

Imagine that you just got into a relationship with a person that you know little to nothing about. You find out the guy or girl that you’re involved with has 350 friends on Facebook of the opposite sex. How does this make you feel? Can I trust this person?

Social media can cause tension in relationships for many reasons. The most cited cause of stress was sharing too much personal information on your profile. Another cause of stress was getting a friend request from an ex or person of the opposite sex. Finding incriminating information on a partner’s walls or in their photos could also cause arguments between couples.

The most appropriate and mature approach to handling a situation that causes such tension in a relationship would be calmly communicating to your significant other about how certain things affect you. Never make assumptions or attack a person; healthily express your feelings. The chances are that they will empathize, understand, and make changes if needed.


Social media has a very strong impact on self-esteem. People tend to portray their lives to be "flawless" or "picture perfect" when, in reality, it's completely different when behind the scenes. When we only get the highlights of other people's lives, we end up comparing them to ourselves.

So, how exactly does this impact relationships, dating, or love in our lives?

Social media creates this illusion of having more social engagement and popularity but hides one’s true persona. Since some are interfacing digitally more than physically, it is much easier to manipulate other people emotionally because they are reliant on the concept of vanity. The life that you portray on your social media and the true you, for some, creates a double consciousness. Your lauded self on social media is constantly seeking more acceptance from people through "likes," not life. Many people will convey all the positive pictures, status updates, etc.—but then, their real lives speak differently.

When people see others doing "better" than them, they tend to want more, more, more. Their self-esteem lowers, they begin to question their own lives, and in a sense, feel the constant need to compete with the world. Some people that are in relationships, rather than being grateful for what they already have, get brainwashed by all of the "perfect" relationships portrayed online. This causes not only self-esteem issues but ties back into jealousy.


They say that the healthiest of relationships are of those who keep their relationship private and who communicate regularly with one another. Before you spend an unnecessary amount of time on social media again, put your focus and attention on things that actually matter in life. Your personal well-being, your friends, your family, and your relationships are worth more of your time. Don’t let social media brainwash you into the vortex of vanity; focus on where you are in the real world. That's what matters.

© 2018 Ashley Marie Riley


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 27, 2018:

Thanks for sharing your insights on this important matter. It just seems that people do not even think anymore about the significance of using time wisely. There's much to consider and act on in this article.