Saturday, February 11, 2017

Love AND Social Media 2017?

We have never been much closer to each other as we are today. Thanks to the Internet and social media we can easily update our loved ones on our recent endeavors and talk to them in a snap - with live videos and emojis to boot..

Yet despite of the virtual closeness we tend to feel distant to one another. Case in point: group of friends together for dinner; sitting at one table, faces buried on their mobile phones. It's called being "alone together," which happens when we're in the company of other people yet we distance our offline selves and instead focus on our relationship with them online.

And it is just as bad when it happens to two people in love; when two intimate souls choose to express their love on social media - for the world to see - rather than show it to each other when no one else is present to "like" or put a virtual "heart" on their actions.

These platforms are powerful. They may have allowed us to connect in a few clicks and taps, but they could also be the very thing that separates us.

Nicole (not her real name) is online almost 12 hours a day. She constantly posts photos of herself and her boyfriend, and promptly responds to comments of their friends. She communicates with her significant other mostly via chat since they live one 40-minute bus ride from each other, and when they meet, she said they would talk for a while and then drift off browsing on their respective phones. They broke up six months ago.

"I guess we no longer felt that connection we had during the early stage of our relationship. Suddenly we felt more comfortable talking online than we did offline," she related.

Despite the ubiquity of social media, some people think that communication through this platform is "not real" or "not intimate" compared with face-to-face conversation. But relationship coach Krista Haapala in her article on posited that social media is not to be blamed for couples' troubles. She said that, just like physical conversation, social media also offers human-to-human connection.

"We need to realize that feeling of distance from the emotional consequences of online communication is a figment of our imagination," she wrote, further saying "It will be as useful to our relationship as we make it. We just need to learn how."

The sex and relationship expert said that the key is to relate to the actual human behind those profile pictures and online posts. "That can take cognitive and emotional shift to behave in the digital world just as you would if you were in the physical presence of your partner or anyone else."

Meanwhile, "oversharing" on social media is another factor that is said to put a damper on relationships. According to a study, oversharing can often mean that the couple is masking their insecurities by seeking validation from their friends and followers. Website Bright Side revealed that happy couples don't need to broadcast anything because they don't have the need to do so.

Social media is here to stay, probably longer than most relationships there are now. While everyone is entitled to post and share anything they want on their accounts, it's best to determine first how would you really like to be perceived as a couple and a single entity. Talking about disagreements on each other's "walls"or making sweeping statements for other people to see may not be a great idea. Solving problems in the privacy of each other's company is better.

Guest Authored By Bernadette Lunas. If you've got the poison, Bernadette's got the remedy..Follow Bernadette on Twitter.

"As long as we know how to make social media an asset rather than a liability, it is possible to have a healthy relationship and active online social life, according to Haapala.."

    • Authored by:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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