According to the Pew Research Center’s latest survey, several new symbols of romantic devotion have taken hold among couples: the shared password, the joint email address and the fused social media profile.“But what does this mean” I hear you ask through the screen? Tyler Curry a writer for Gay Voices argues that, at least in reference to gay relationships, social media can have a particularly detrimental effect in the way it can be used to misrepresent an individual: “On their face, social media may seem like just another tool to get to know a person, but in reality, applications like Facebook and Instagram portray a distorted, disjointed and altogether imaginary version of the people we are.” Risqué profile pictures, new “friends” and unwanted digital “pokes” can also cause an onslaught of problems once a relationship is “official.” While there’s no doubt that social media profiles can provide “supplementary reading” when studying one’s compatibility as a plus-one, Curry concludes that “[w]hen it comes to dating and mating, sometimes it helps to unplug in order to connect.” At the messy end of the relationship trajectory Ashley Fern, from Elite Daily, notes that the social media age makes it impossible to break up with someone.In terms of courting, dating, or finding that life-partner you dine out with and argue over movie selections, more and more of us are ditching the traditional “pub ‘n’ club approach,” and going digital.Sure it’s convenient and can be done while wearing sweatpants, but what does this have on our relationships?Facebook provides great convenience for couples to interact with each other’s social networks, making the integration of friends easier than ever.
Facebook also makes it easier to brush off the rejection of a potential relationship than a direct, face-to-face interaction because of the minimal effort and emotional investment that Facebook requires.This indicates that we are changing the way we the “seriousness” of our relationships by using digital verbiage and newly recognized signposts. Rather than closing the door on an already finished relationship, we are constantly reminded of what our ex is up to – particularly if you live in the same city, share a collection of mutual friends, or have an unfortunate pre-disposition to online stalking.With all this in mind, perhaps it’s time to unplug the computer, turn off those phones and hit the dance floor (like in the good ol’ days) instead? Therefore, posting statuses and pictures promoting the relationship’s health may be beneficial to couples’ satisfaction.
But of course these findings should be interpreted with caution, as these expressions of affection on Facebook may not be making people happier with their relationships, but rather just serving as another venue for those who are already in satisfying relationships to express themselves.
Now let’s examine the downside to using Facebook in your relationship.