3 Ways Instagram Affects Relationships
Remember back when your relationship issues were simple? Okay, maybe not simple, but they never happened on a user interface or on a screen. Yes, the memories are fuzzy at best. Because, alas, with advancements in technology and the rapid growth of social platforms like Instagram, there are a whole new host of problems! Yay! (crap).
It started slowly. First, it was claiming the first spot on MySpace in your SO’s Top 8. Then, it turned into becoming “Facebook Official,” and now Instagram is taking over in the realm of online relationship interference.
While we all love Instagram – it’s a great time waster and you can actually learn a lot from it depending on who you follow (*ahem* follow @sexwithemily if you aren’t already) –– there are also just as many cons as there are pros.
What seems to be a huge issue in Instagram-land in regards to relationships, is who each other is following, what each other is liking, and the dreaded DMs (direct messages, for those not privy to the language).
Although at a glance it seems trivial, it can cause real issues in a relationship. Honestly, it makes a lot of sense – it’s apart of our society and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere – only advancing. With that said, here are a few issues that may seem small, but can truly dig its way deep into a relationship.
Okay, this isn’t caused by just Instagram alone, but it still applies. Phubbing is the phrase given to the act of constantly being on one’s phone when spending time with a partner. Look, no one wants to be in a battle for attention with a cell phone – it feels shitty and makes you feel uninteresting and obviously not as important as whatever is on the screen.
A recent study said that on average, people spend 142 minutes a day on social media. For those that don’t like to math (I don’t either, but I did for you all), that’s almost 2 and a half hours. Considering that usually, we’re just scrolling for a few minutes at a time, this means we’re checking so many times a day, it’s just a habit.
When you’re on a date, out with your SO, or anyone really, try to keep your phone usage to a minimum. Talk, be in the moment, and enjoy what you’re actually doing instead of scrolling and looking at what other people are doing. Instagram will be there later, it’s not going anywhere.
What is a thirst trap, you may ask? Basically, it’s an insanely hot photo of someone posted on Instagram in order to get attention. It’s hard not to like them when they look so damn good, hell, I like them all the time! However, some partners aren’t too fond of their SOs constantly double-tapping these pics – because well, why are they so goddamn thirsty? Why would they need to look at so many gorgeous people online when their beloved rests but a mere 3 feet away? Do these people have something I don’t? Am I not good enough? These are just a few thoughts that can cloud the over-analytic mind. Social media can be empowering, but it can also bring on a myriad of insecurities, so it’s somewhat easy to see why this could become an issue.
If your partner has a problem with you following a multitude of IG models or hearting upwards of 20 thirst traps a day, the best thing to do is just stop. If you can’t stop, you’re sending a message that you care more about these pixels on a screen than your partner’s feelings. Plus, you can still look and not like – it’s a win win.
SLIDING IN THE DMs:
The dreaded DMs. Generally, they’re filled with harmless memes and videos being shared back and forth. But, it can also be a “private” grounds for flirting and hitting on one of the many followers that catch your eye. To be honest, Instagram has served to be a better dating app than Tinder or Bumble – which is probably why you can add your IG to your dating profile.
Sometimes though, people in relationships still take to DM diving. While it can be completely innocent if, depending on the situation, it can be seen as downright disrespectful. Cheating can mean different things to different people, so if you DM diving too deep, you may be breaking a boundary.
Don’t let an app come between you and your relationship – regardless of what side of the argument you’re on. Speak with each other about what you expect surrounding your social media usage. It may seem odd, but it might save you a major headache.