Relationships are complex.
That stand alone sentence is basically the answer to this blog post question, I could technically just stop typing now.
As much as all of us would love to pretend that the negativity of social media does not infiltrate our minds, we all know that is not true. Social media has the power to affect our mental health, our lifestyle, our thought-process and a lot more. I must also note how amazing it is and it's the reason I am even able to communicate these thoughts with you guys at all.
Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. Similar to Facebook or Twitter, everyone who creates an Instagram account has a profile and a news feed.
Unknown girls may comment lovestruck on your man's post and he will claim he doesn't know why, he does.
Guys will post one half of their dinner table and fail to mention they're with their wife of 4 years, ladies do this too.
Recorded romantic gestures may cause your girlfriend to complain about the lack of romance in your relationship.
Couples may begin to stop living their true lives and live a 'visually pleasing life' for the gram.
Your partner may ask you to unfollow someone of the opposite sex for no apparent reason, do it.
QUE THE COMPARISONS
Social Media's highlights reel can definitely have a girl or guy thinking their life is a lot less luxurious than they'd like it to be. Comparisons are sometimes inevitable, even if we aren't jealous per say, we might just make a little mental note of 'oh, he/she likes or has this. I do not.'. A mental note is just a mental note but too much analysing and comparing can end in social media envy.
Along with lifestyle comparisons comes relationship and romance comparisons. We are bombarded with romantic gestures, proposals, promosals, gender reveals, birth blogs, you name it. I would be lying if I said I didn't go to bed planning my future family after watching a few 'cute family' lifestyle vlogs on YouTube.
Sometimes these general comparisons can create high expectations for us in our relationships, high and unrealistic. Expecting an Instagram level of romance in your relationship is not practical, a post is just a post and on the other 6 nights of the week that couple are probably sleeping on other sides of the bed because it's just too hot to cuddle in summer.
We cannot judge a relationship or even compare it to our own based on social media posts. As I mentioned before it is nothing but a highlights reel and behind close doors every single person has their individual struggles, keep that in your mind. I'm not mad at the highlights reel though, it's like posting your wedding pics to Facebook but not posting that Pizza or Chinese argument you had on your honeymoon.
Instagram has tricked us into thinking that if a person does not post their other half on the internet then they A. have something to hide and/or B. want to present themselves as single.
I am sure we are all wise enough to know that social media does not represent the amount of love we have for someone, some of our most dearest loved ones do not even have a social media account. I didn't shout out my granny on her birthday, does that mean I don't love her? Obvs not, Maud is a babe.
This one is more complex because I totally understand that if you're posting everything else about your life and your happiness why wouldn't you post your partner. I think it's practical to hold back on social posting during the dating stage or the early stages though because I think you should work on learning each-other, loving each-other and understanding each-other before parading around on social media and allowing unwanted opinions out their in the universe.
If it's been 6 years and they're going as far as to untag tagged photos of you two together then I cannot help you here and that is another problem in itself.
My last notes on this would be
A. There is a difference between trying to be a little private on social media and hiding that your partner exists.
B. Just because a couple are posting pictures together does not mean they are happy in their relationship.
IT'S A SMALL WORLD
One thing I cannot deny I get a little stuck into online is the 'who knows who', apparently your childhood best friend already knows the guy you've had a crush on for the past month and it's all about watching who's connected to who online.
When Facebook was the must have social media network and not just a place for mum's to post awkwardly cute videos of their children and weird tiny cake baking videos one phrase we all started using more frequently is 'It's a small world'. It isn't, I mean it's still huge but it became apparent that a lot of the people we know, already know each other independently.
We can see who our partner follows, which usually comes with the following burning question of 'how do you know them?' which usually always is followed by some subtle drama. It seems like the biggest not a big deal, big deal ever but if anything makes you uncomfortable about how your partner is interacting with people online simply have a conversation with them.
Some points you should discuss is
DMs, meeting people of the opposite sex on the internet, commenting, liking pictures, etc. not that serous but it could definitely save you a future argument or five. The main thing is to just be respectful of your relationship at all times and liking a picture on Instagram is definitely not a deal-breaker in the grand scheme of things.
LET'S BREAK IT DOWN
Do not bring Instagrammey expectations into your relationship or your life at all. I can assure you that no one is in Bali, in a bath full of roses with an amazing view, eating pizza and drinking champagne 24/7.
Post pics if you want, don't post pics if you don't want. I understand both sides to the story but if your partner isn't posting pictures of you, hear there reasoning why first. If you have suspicions away from Social Media address them accordingly.
You will literally drive yourself insane if you sit and watch your partners every move on social media. Just remember social media is a digital highlight of how they conduct themselves in real life. You might want to think twice about arguing over picture liking when there's a lot more real life arguments to come, pick and choose your battles.
We will not be truly happy until we accept the things we cannot change. Social media can unsurprisingly ruin relationships, if you let it. While it can be seen as 'silly' and I don't think it should, it also highlights a persons real-life behaviours so if those picture likes are turning into to dms which are turning into flirting it isn't just 'social media', it's their character. At the same time do not sweat the small stuff and if social media is messing with your peace, delete it.