There are things on a college campus that are basically unavoidable. Two of those are social media and relationships. Our generation has a habit of integrating its feelings and relationships with our social media accounts. To base self-worth and trust off of social media sites negatively distorts people’s relationships. “Relationship goal” pictures and making your significant other your “crush of the day” do not determine the success of a relationship — the individuals involved do.
The main issue with social media and relationships is that the two are starting to have a direct correlation to each other. Social media is now a breeding ground for distrust in relationships. If your significant other has hundreds of Twitter followers, and many of them are the opposite sex, getting jealous over something as trivial as having a social media account is suddenly not so far-fetched. So much weight is placed on favorites, retweets, likes and comments. For some people, a mere favorite on a tweet has the power to be interpreted as flirting. This can lead to worrisome thoughts by one partner and cause unnecessary strain on a relationship.
Insecurities brought forth by these apps stem from people comparing their own personal failures to others’ ultimate highs. Our generation has started to compare our backstage scenes to our peers’ highlight reels. Because of this, people may seem more appealing and attractive than the person you are currently romantic with. In a relationship, you’re aware of your significant other’s good and bad qualities. In contrast, the extent of your knowledge of a person who favorites your tweets and likes your Instagram pictures only goes as far as what they choose to share.
The answer to this problem does not lie within an iPhone. For example, people I follow on my personal accounts have expressed their frustration with how social media has tainted relationships and can cause trust issues. But, social media is not going away. After conducting a survey of 200 teenagers, 75 percent believed that social media negatively affects relationships, according to an article posted in connectsafely.org. This problem can only be fixed by realizing that these sites do not determine the success of a relationship. The outcome of a relationships depends on the the two people involved.
Social media sites, such as Twitter or Facebook, cannot single-handedly end a relationship or start an argument, but jealousy and insecurity can. The amount of meaning and importance placed on who follows, likes and comments on your significant other’s media accounts needs to end, while the amount of trust between couples need to increase.
Anissa Fritz is a sophomore from Dallas studying journalism and sociology
— Edited by Vicky Diaz-Camacho