Even though there are no rules set for navigating social media – whether in a relationship or single, that matter, there are vital ways to stop social media from ruining relationships. In this age, several relationships were started through social media channels. Additionally, it is difficult to break the habits that will soon become more detrimental than useful (Glanville, 2014). Understanding how social media platforms have affected relationships will help minimize the negative impacts they bring to relationships. Social media platforms have become avenues for infidelity, linked to too much screen time, and foundation for jealousy and suspicious behaviors. What follows are is the discussion of ways to stop social media from ruining relationships.
Agree on the ground rules
The first step for the parties involved in a relationship is to always agree on the ground rules. Remember, the current generation comprises individuals living through all pitfalls that social media can bring to a relationship. Because of social media, many relationships are subjected to confusion and misunderstandings (Glanville, 2014). For that matter, the partners involved must sit down and have a conversation about using social media while keeping their relationship healthy. Partners are also encouraged to discuss issues concerning unacceptable and acceptable behaviors. This will avoid engaging in behaviors or activities that are considered to be a no to the other party involved. Parties involved are also expected to sort out things or issues that have caused problems in past relationships. The ground rules will help with building a framework that will ensure partners deal with issues or problems that social media can bring to relationships (Glanville, 2014).
Treating Social Media as a Public Sphere
Even though mobile phones are considered private spaces, once they are used in social media, people interact in the public sphere. Therefore, if a person wants to ensure that social media use does not ruin their relationship, interactions on social media platforms should be considered public (Ormerod, 2020). Activities such as post liking, and replying to comments on a social media platform should be considered public engagement, not private. The metric is always to have good judgment on the conversation or interactions done in public and the ones done privately. Treating social media as a public sphere will help with keeping the secrecy involved in a relationship.
Allow One Another Privacy
While it is important to respect one another through social media use, it is also essential to respect their privacy. Trust is always a two-way process. Therefore, once partners have had discussions about their boundaries, there is no need for snooping to each other’s privacy. Every person in a relationship is allowed some private space, and if there is a need for querying a certain behavior, then the conversation should be made openly (Ormerod, 2020). There is no need for spying because the answer should not be private – whether positive or negative.
Have Social Media Detox
Whichever the case, it is advisable that partners involved to try a digital detox. Furthermore, it is always difficult to tell the woods from the trees in many relationships. Therefore, it is good to take some steps back and detox. Social media detox means that the partners involved make a decision to delete social media platforms from their phones for about two or three weeks (Ormerod, 2020). Partners then spend the time together, talking about the sudden change, going for walks, and playing some board games. Whatever they want to do, the time should be used for reconnecting while working on the foundations of their relations and how they will be using social media moving forward.
Setting Communication Expectations
The communication expectations in a relationship should be positive so that each partner can meet them. For that reason, couples must have open conversations about what is appropriate and not appropriate (Ormerod, 2020). Trying to ignore some negative aspects of the communication might frustrate both partners. Expectations were not met always result in frustrations, which are not healthy for any relationship.
In conclusion, social media have its pros and cons regarding relationships. Therefore, when engaging in a social media platform for conversation, it is essential to remember that consequences will follow – whether positive or negative. Even though social media seems to be an alternate reality, actions on social media platforms are always linked to real-life consequences. As a result, partners are advised to look for ways of handling social media platforms while still maintaining healthy relationships. For that reason, partners involved in a relationship are advised to agree on ground rules, treat social media as a public sphere, encourage privacy, practice social media detox, and set communication expectations. The solutions mentioned are effective for building a healthy relationship if adopted.
Glanville, B. (2014). Drinking and dating: P.S. social media is ruining romance. New York: Harper Audio.
Ormerod, K. (2020). Why social media is ruining your life. London: Cassell.