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Do likes determine the value of a relationship?


As I scroll down my Instagram timeline, I see posts from people I follow contributing to hashtags about their significant other almost every day of the week such as #MancrushMonday , #TastyTuesday, #ImMyOwnWomanCrushWednesday, and #SelfieSundaywithBae...Does that even count as a selfie anymore?

Normally, I look at the picture of the couple and think to myself,"Wasn't she just with _____?" But then I resume to sipping my tea because that's none of my business, like the photo, and keep scrolling.

However, something happened a few weeks ago. I've never been the type to post every move I make with my boyfriend. A number of likes can't validate a relationship, right?

I was with my boyfriend and some of our friends during Game 6 of the NBA finals. While the boys' eyes were glued to the screen as if they were waiting for the coach to put them in the game, my best friend and I were scrolling down our feeds and laughing at Instagram posts until we saw a certain challenge.

The challenge stated that you had to post your significant other on your page at 9 p.m. on the dot. If you didn't, you obviously must not be the only person your significant other was dating or "talking" to.

The challenge didn't faze me until my friend proposed the idea of participating during a commercial break, and the boys laughed and called it dumb.

"Why do I need to post you to prove that you're mine when the only person I have to prove my relationship to is you," asked my boyfriend. Sure, it was a sweet gesture,but it wasn't enough for me. I demanded that I get my post. If he didn't oblige, it meant that he didn't love me. This only caused him to retort that "Relationships broadcasted on social media don't last," and "they aren't in a real relationship anyway."

I was furious as my guy friends praised him for standing his ground, so I did what any angry girlfriend would do: I called for backup.

I texted my close friend and asked her how she felt about the situation, seeing how her boyfriend was with us and thought the idea of participating in the challenge was dumb too. She immediately texted him and screenshotted the response she received:

My friend was pleased with this answer and became the enemy. She could no longer be trusted.

The rest of the night, I was beyond mad because I didn't get posted. I saw a few posts from people saying, "Who needs to post what's theirs if they know it belongs to them?" Even though the more rational and non-biased I agreed, I dared not to like or comment on posts like those. Those people were being rushed by a wave of comments like: "You're just mad that no one loves you; the only reason you're saying this is because someone must have posted your boyfriend."

When my boyfriend took me home that night, he couldn't understand what was wrong with me, and I couldn't either. Had I fallen into the wormhole of social media, blinded by the glitz and glam of 200 likes and comments about how we were "#RelationshipGoals" and how it "mbn (must be nice)?"

When I got home, I came to the conclusion that you cannot determine the value of your relationship by a number of likes and retweets. I realized that I become one of many who devalued their relationships that night, pushing away my own values and views on relationships just to hop on the Instagram bandwagon. That night I had to remind myself that long, healthy relationships meant more than petty, childlike challenges. Eve didn't leave Adam just because he didn't upload them eating the forbidden fruit.

In the end, I not only came to my senses and apologized to my boyfriend but also to myself for becoming a #follower. We social media users often fall short of what's true to ourselves by trying to please others who don't even know our real name. By doing so, what is the real #goal that we reach?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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