I’ve been seeing articles around the net talking about how social media can ruin your relationship. Tales of long-lost loves reuniting on Facebook…behind their spouses backs, Twitter flirtations and more abound. Psych Central even has an article dedicated to helping you prevent social media from ruining your relationship. Honestly, I don’t believe that social media alone can ruin a relationship anymore than I believe that messing up potty training can create serial killers.
Romantic relationships aren’t the only type that can theoretically be ruined by social media. Your relationships with your friends and family may also be at stake. Let’s take a look at the potential ways you can totally destroy a relationship through social media.
How can social media ruin a relationship?
Reconnecting with Exes. Once upon a time, when we left high school and moved to another state, we lost track of our exes. With social media, we can find them in seconds and reconnect. Some feel that this makes it easier to get back together.
I think it’s silly to assume that if you happen to say hello to an ex, you’re planning on cheating on your current love with them. I remained friends with just about every guy I ever dated. That doesn’t mean I want any of them back! We broke up for a reason! If you have a strong and trusting relationship, social media can’t break you apart. If a relationship breaks up because you reconnected with an ex on Facebook, then it was doomed anyway.
Fighting with family and friends. Now this one I’ve seen way too often! It starts with one family member posting something that another disagrees with. Everyone fires back and forth until a simple disagreement over something as simple as who has the best blueberry pie recipes becomes a full-blown fight that leaves everyone angry for months. It’s crazy! My rule of thumb- don’t say anything on Facebook that I wouldn’t say in person. If you follow that rule and still end up fighting- well, you can’t blame social media!
Politics. If we’re friends on Facebook, you won’t see much of me during an election year! I find that nothing can ruin a friendship faster than having opposing political opinions. During an election year, people seem to post the nastiest, most vile things about the opposing party that they can find. Name calling becomes the norm. If you think it’s acceptable to poke fun at people or repost downright cruel things to make a political point, social media isn’t the problem! My rule: I can’t change someone over to my side any more than they can bring me over to theirs. Agree to disagree. If you love debating, do it respectfully. Otherwise, avoid political conversations if you want to keep social media from destroying your relationships.
Once everyone has seen it, you can’t take it back. When you get into a fight with your spouse in your living room, chances are it’s just between the two of you. You can make up and move on. When you put it on the internet, even if you delete it, it can come back to bite you. It takes one wrong person with a vendetta against one of you to file that fight away to bring up later. Always remember: once you put it out there on the internet, it’s pretty much impossible to take it back. Plus, when you air your dirty laundry online, everyone else loves to jump in with a totally half-informed opinion. This can make the fight last much longer.
Keeping social media from ruining your relationship doesn’t require any more common sense than keeping anything else from interfering. Social media alone can’t be blamed for the mistakes we make with our friends, family, children and significant others. Blaming social media for the downfall of relationships is like blaming music for the downfall of society. It’s a cop out, a scapegoat to hide behind. Instead, take responsibility for both your own actions and your mistakes. That’s the only way to maintain solid relationships!
What do you think? Can social media really ruin a relationship?