“She took your pictures off her ‘gram. Y’all must have broke up.” Everyone with a social media account understands that verse of Yo Gotti’s song “Down in the DM.” We’ve all felt the pressure to prove a relationship is going well through an outpouring of highly visible romantic messages, but how much of what we portray online is reflective of reality? And does our public performance of love hurt our real relationships?
In July my husband and I celebrated three years of marriage. Getting married at the tender age of 22 came with its own set of challenges; we’ve been discovering ourselves in the process of discovering each other. Over the last three years, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, but the best lessons have come from the downs. One of the most surprising pertains to how our relationship is portrayed online.
I’m fairly active on social media and used to post frequently about my daily experiences and my relationship. My husband, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. Sure, he has a Facebook profile, but he definitely has low levels of engagement. I knew his relationship with social media meant he was unlikely to post about me, but that didn’t stop it from irritating me when he didn’t.
I made the mistake many do: I equated my insufficient presence on his page to insufficient love for me. Surely, if he loved me, he would shout it from the rooftops of the interwebs. So we did what most couples do when they have different views: we argued.
I’m not alone. Research gathered by the Pew Research Center suggests at least 24 percent of individuals think technology has either a negative or less-than-positive impact on their relationships. So what about those people who incessantly post about how gorgeous and perfect their lives are? How real can those “perfect” Facebook couples really be?
Here comes digital relationship envy
We’ve all seen photos and statuses of friends and acquaintances who…