Social Media Can Be Toxic To Relationships, But Not For The Reasons You Think
Start writing a post
Student Life

Social Media Can Be Toxic To Relationships, But Not For The Reasons You Think

What happened to old fashioned communication?

1976
Social Media Can Be Toxic To Relationships, But Not For The Reasons You Think
YouTube

To start off with, I think we've all been beaten over the head with the notion that Facebook, Instagram, and many other social media platforms are harmful to relationships. I also know that if we just think for a second about it, the first thing that will come to mind is cheating. It's incredibly easy to cheat on your partner, even just emotionally (flirting, DMing, excessively "liking" another person's pictures, etc.), via social media.

Let's be honest, here. All of us at some point or another have looked at, or at least attempted to look at or have been tempted to look at, our partners' texts and DMs.

If you say you've never done it, you're probably lying to yourself.

If you say you would never because you completely trust your partner, you're living in dreamland.

I can honestly say I haven't been interested in looking at my partner's messages in a few years because I do trust him now. Early on in the relationship, however, and not necessarily because of anything he actually did to make me suspicious, I was regularly tempted to sneak a peek. And that went both ways.

That's incredibly normal. We all have been raised in a culture where cheating is shamefully common. A lot of us have been cheated on, and even if our partner gives us no reason to suspect a thing, we're going to be suspicious by nature.

That's not an excuse to become controlling over your partner. It's not an excuse to tell them they aren't allowed to talk to specific people. It's not an excuse for taking control of their phone. These are all signs of a completely different kind of toxic relationship.

The point I'm getting at is that social media has an impact of some sort on most modern relationships, but one of the more toxic things I've regularly seen on social media hasn't been related to partners cheating on one another. I'm referring to how many people talk about their partners in the online space in an unhealthy way.

You can call it subtweeting, or vaguebooking. Basically, it's when a person is being intentionally vague with a typically negative post, but anyone who reads it knows it has to be directed at a specific person, which usually leads to a lot of speculation.

I imagine we're all also guilty of this from time to time. I know I've probably posted something to the effect of, "Is it all worth it?"

Am I talking about my relationship? Am I talking about my job? Am I talking about working out a ton when I can't get my diet on track?

You don't know. I probably don't even remember for sure, but chances are it was that last one.

But the posts I'm really concerned about are ones directly related to relationships.

For example, here are a few slightly reworded (to make them less easily searchable, ensuring anonymity for the people involved) posts I've seen in recent weeks:

"The wisest men know it's better to be alone than to let someone into their lives who makes them feel alone."
(posted by a man who is engaged to a woman)

"Women are supposed to make a certain thing hard, but your life shouldn't be one of them."
(posted by a man who has a long-term girlfriend)

And some picture quotes:

First of all: they're*
(posted by a man who is married)


(posted by a woman with a long-term boyfriend)

I hope you can see what I see here. All of these might seem innocent enough, but when you consider the context of these people being in relationships and posting things that are almost like advice for single people or complaints of people in bad relationships, these kinds of posts are incredibly toxic.

For me, personally, if my partner were to post something about how women should treat their men like kings and I saw that, it would be a spectacular feat for me to not assume that post was about me, passive-aggressively nudging me to treat him better.

If my partner were to post about how being alone means a man is wise, what am I to make of that?

If I were to post something about how it's awful to feel ignored by a boyfriend, it wouldn't come as a shock to me if my boyfriend concluded the post was about him.

So that's something to consider. It's entirely possible some people share these kinds of posts because they simply agree with the statements, but it's hard to believe that the majority of people posting these things don't relate to the content they're sharing.

And if that's the case, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...these are all platforms that exist for people to say whatever they want. It's really all about free expression. And I'm certainly not trying to tell anyone what they can and can't post.

What I am saying is you should probably think about whether what you post is in any way helpful to your situation.

If you have a problem with your girlfriend talking down to you, you don't need to share a picture with a quote overlay about not being appreciated. You need to actually talk to her.

If your boyfriend doesn't care about your interests, you don't need to put on a front about feeling like what you like doesn't matter. You need to talk to him.

If you don't feel comfortable talking to your partner about issues you're having with them, confide in a friend and seek advice on how to approach the situation.

And if you ultimately don't feel like it's worth talking it over, or if you are in a relationship where addressing your problems leads to fights you don't feel like getting involved in, then maybe it's time to take a step back and evaluate whether you should be in that relationship in the first place.

Vaguebooking, subtweeting, or, hell, even directly calling out your partner on social media over something personal doesn't do your relationship any favors. At best, it makes your friends and family believe you're in a relationship with a garbage person. So don't be surprised if the people in your life ultimately end up being skeptical of your partner. If you don't have confidence in your relationship, the people who care about you won't either.

And as a last side note, to you guys out there: Did you know that when you "like" pictures on public profiles, people on your friend list can see your activity right in their newsfeed? If I can see you "liked" that picture of the half-naked girl from the Russian bot profile, you can bet your ass your girlfriend can see that, too. And hey, if she's fine with that, so am I. I just thought you should know.

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

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

7943
panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!

14771
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-writing-on-white-book-1043514/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-typing-on-type...

Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

23368
To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

23673
The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date
rawpixel

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Winter Break As Told By 'Friends'

Is a month at home too much to handle?

15100

If you're anything like me, winter break is a much-needed light at the end of the tunnel after a long, stressful semester. Working hard for 15 weeks can really take a toll on a person mentally, physically AND emotionally. It's a nice change of pace to be back at home with your family and friends, but after a couple weeks, it can get, well... boring.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments