How Social Media Is Killing Relationships.

How Social Media Is Killing Relationships.

Slowly but surely, it's becoming the new battleground for affection.
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I am the first to admit I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love the fact that I can connect to people all over the world but hate the fact that I feel glued to it. If you are anything like me then you also wake up every morning and spend at least 15 to 20 minutes scrolling through endless feeds of social media. What bothers me, even more, is not how much time people spend on it, which is an entirely different conversation, but how much people get their worth from it. I do not want to come off as if I am putting myself on a higher pedestal because I am just as addicted—the only difference is that I am starting to be aware of it.

Everyday videos and photos are being posted about what mountain Sarah climbed, or the fact that Andre just landed a career straight out of college.

“Envy our perfect life”
Between Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram it is nearly impossible to not see some amazing things that friends, family or complete strangers are doing. Every day, videos and photos are being posted about what mountain Sarah climbed, or the fact that Andre just landed a career straight out of college. The problem with this is not that they are wrong for sharing it, honestly great for them, but that we begin to feel the fear of missing out (FOMO). The fear that I may not be headed down the right path because I am not traveling the world. The fear that I may not be the right person because they don’t shower me with rose petals and gifts.

Researchers have found that envy may increase with time spent on Facebook. This is because of a well-known social psychology phenomenon called social comparison. What is interesting about this theory is that it was originated in 1954. This just shows that even before color TV there was a drive to gain accurate self-evaluations based the people around us. The problem now is that we have access to everyone around the world at all times.

Facebook and the “reward” our brain receives
One of the many things that stuck with me after reading “How to Make Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie is that people love to talk about themselves. This may seem obvious to most but Carnegie states that allowing people to talk about themselves actually increases their ‘approval’ of you. If the word of a businessman isn’t enough for you, researchers from Harvard have shown that the pleasure parts of our brain are just as active when talking about ourselves than when engaging in food, money, and sex!

Privacy Paradox
The internet has become such a strange paradox for privacy. While looking at someone’s Facebook page you can tell a lot about the person. You know how old they are, what town they grew up in, where they are working now, and what they’re interests are just from their posts. You take it a step further and watch their Snapchat feed and you can see what they are doing on a moment to moment basis.

Yet, at the same time allows for the privacy to talk to people in secrecy. This is especially stressful for those who have had destructive relationships in the past. Having to always worry if someone is sliding into someone’s DM, or liking their photos or receiving seductive Snapchats puts a huge strain on a relationship. When dating in the social media era, it is nearly impossible to avoid wondering about their social media habits.

Social Media Affection
This is probably what drives my hate for social media the most. In the past, one of the biggest struggles for relationships was providing reassurance through a public display of affection. Now that same struggle is being split into two battlefronts -- real life and social media.

Just because Steven posted a sweet post about how much he loves his girlfriend should not take value away from the fact that we just went out to eat the night before and I did not post about it

Social media has become a covert operation for who can be the cutest couple. This is where social-comparison plays a huge role. The more we see other couples being surprised with rose petals or tickets to Paris the more we feel that is what it means to be in a relationship. Ideally, we all want to be that perfect couple that can do anything and go anywhere because happiness is the drive. There is nothing wrong with that! What draws the line between wishing and wanting or healthy and unhealthy, is when not being that “perfect couple” becomes the inspiration for an argument.

What frustrates me most about displays of affection on social media is the fact that it is becoming the norm for showing reassurance. Just because Steven posted a sweet post about how much he loves his girlfriend, that should not take away value from the fact that we just went out to eat the night before and I did not post about it. The more images like this below are posted, the more pressure it will have on couples to prove their love to the world rather than each other.

Seeing before being told.
Access to social media in a moments notice can be both beneficial and problem causing. Sometimes information reaches the internet before it reaches your significant other, causing a fight. Finding out from social media that your partner who originally told you that they are meeting up with friends but somehow forgot to tell you that they were at a bar down the road can be a bit bothersome. Or realizing that they haven't responded to your text but can like photos or posts can be frustrating. Both of these could just simply be because they were distracted. Of course, it could mean something worse, but in most cases the real world just became more interesting than technology.

Different wavelengths
Not everyone is on the same wavelength when it comes to affection. Sometimes people are overly affectionate and sometimes affection isn’t even in their dictionary. It is important to find a middle ground especially when it comes to social media. Some people want to show the world how much they care about their lover and others want to show their lover that they are their world. Both are different outlets but still have the same meaning. It is important to meet somewhere in the middle and not let social-comparison ruin what is working already.

Cover Image Credit: Marccx

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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5 Best Quotes By Kate Chopin

"The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude."

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Rising to prominence during the Progressive Era—a time in America where women were often discouraged to read and write, or disengage with literature of any form due to the asinine, yet widely accepted sentiment that words on a page would drive the female conscience insane -- Kate Chopin is widely hailed by historians and scholars as one of the most iconic forerunners of the feminist movement that came to the dominate the early 20th century through her short stories and novels that have been on the receiving end of timeless praise.

Although she did not receive any accolades for her works, nor as much recognition in comparison to better known female authors during her time such as Edith Wharton -- who became the first female novelist to win The Pulitzer Prize -- Kate Chopin's legacy endured to serve as a rallying cry, and inspiration for several female contemporaries who to, have now ascended to their rightful places among the highest echelons of American Literature. Names that include Zelda Fitzgerald (wife to famed novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald), Gertrude Stein, and Willa Cather to name just a few.

Here are five of the best lines delivered through the words of one alone, which came to be the words of many:

1. "She wanted something to happen - something, anything: she did not know what."

We all dream of being something, of going somewhere. But often it lies beyond the reach of words, as an imagination uncapsulated by a camera or a picture frame. As a place we have not been, cannot go, and will never be.

2. "Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusion's all one's life."

To keep it real is to keep it painful. But through all the falls, the bruises, the scrapes, and the tears, there may linger at the end if for a moment, only for a moment, a painlessness many have conned themselves into believing it will last forever.

3. "The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamouring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude."

The sea, the water which covers crevices, valleys, and deeps yet unseen and unperceived is a place of much wonder and much fear that roars beneath the crash of its waves against one another, and the rocks that await upon the shore. But through the beat of its torrential drum, it remains a place for the solemn, and the alone. A place for those to wonder as they wander alone in their solemnity.

4. "She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world."

To grow up is to shed the cocoon woven from expectations others expect of us to confine us, and to emerge, and ascend towards expectations we have set for ourselves.

"... but whatever came, she had resolved never again to belong to another than herself."

As we embark on the travail that is life, there may come times where many will tell us we belong to something, or nothing. But as such despairing words calmer against our eardrums, seaking to breakthrough to invade, to infest our psyche, we will always belong to ourselves.

Forever a voice of empowerment as she was then, Kate Chopin reminds us -- through her novels and short stories that have been but a glimpse of her enduring resilience and courage -- that regardless of what or who we are, and where we come from and where we seek to go, we always belong somewhere.

A place that lies beyond many seas of many seductive whispers and whispers. A place where awaits to embrace us -- one none other than ourselves. Enveloping us in our arms like currents which surround us as we descend, and then arise in place where we may wander in solitude.

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