10 Tips to Reduce the Negative Impact Caused by Social Media on Marriage

Social media has the power to make or break a marriage. Eight and a half years ago, I met my husband online. Just last night he told me that he’d heard on NPR that one-third of all marriages in the United States today originated from an online meeting! How interesting is that?!

We’ve had our fair share of figuring out appropriate boundaries and complimentary actions when it comes to social media, just like most others navigating a world unfamiliar to all of us a decade or two ago. So, when relationship expert Sylvia Smith offered to write a guest post on the topic I excitedly accepted. I hope you enjoy Sylvia’s tips on social media and marriage!

Social media can be a great blessing and benefit, and it can also be a liability which causes negative effects. It all depends on how you use it. Undoubtedly, the impact that social media has on relationships has been life changing, especially for the marriage relationship. Consider the fact that your parent’s or grandparent’s generation had probably never even heard the word ‘Facebook’! Perhaps they would spend their evenings chatting face to face around a log fire, while couples nowadays may spend their evenings sitting side by side and scrolling through their individual news feeds.

In many ways social media can help you to connect with people, but at the same time it may be causing a serious ‘disconnect’ with the person closest to you – your spouse. Try these 10 helpful tips if you would like to reduce the negative impact caused by social media on your marriage.

  1. Set time limits…

As the wise old saying goes: “too much of a good thing is bad…” If you are constantly ‘on call’ on your phone, your spouse (or both of you) might begin to feel sidelined or ignored. If you decide to set some time limits as to when you will focus on apps, messaging services and social media devices, then you will both know when you can enjoy each other’s undivided attention. Some ideas of ‘off limit’ times might be during meals, after bedtime, and on date nights.

  1. Be open and transparent…

If you find yourself writing a message that you would not be happy for your spouse to see, then there is a problem. If you want to reduce the negative impact of social media on your marriage, then you need to be open and transparent. If you don’t already have a joint Facebook account with your spouse, then tell them who you are communicating with.

  1. Avoid sharing too much on social media…

Are you constantly posting pictures and updates about activities and events which you and your spouse are enjoying together? Be careful that you do not share things which he or she may not want others to know. It is always best to check first before posting something which includes someone else, especially when that person is your beloved.

  1. Don’t go online when you’ve had a fight…

It can be very easy to turn to social media for comfort and distraction when there is tension in your relationship. But try not to do this, as it can make things worse. In the heat of the moment you could post some snide remarks which you will surely regret later. Or you may be plunged into depression by all the posts and pictures of the ‘perfect couples’ out there. And worst of all, you may even be tempted to look for a ‘better’ relationship rather than putting in the effort to work things out with your spouse.

  1. Be careful about what and who you ‘like’…

Just a simple click on the ‘like’ button can cause untold ripples of jealousy and insecurity, particularly if you ‘like’ a selfie of a beautiful or handsome unmarried girl or guy. It could set your spouse off wondering what exactly you ‘like’ about them. So be careful not to press the ‘like’ button too indiscriminately, if you want to protect your marriage relationship from some of the pitfalls of social media.

  1. Don’t constantly compare yourself to others …

If you get sucked into the comparison vortex you will always feel either inferior or superior towards those to whom you are comparing yourself or your marriage. There will always be someone who seems to have a ‘better’ or ‘worse’ marriage relationship than you, so rather concentrate on making yours the best it can be. And when you share or read what others have shared, don’t see it as a matter of scoring points – just enjoy the content for what it is worth.

  1. Be aware of your emotions and reactions…

Sometimes social media can have an effect of arousing emotions that are negative, such as anger, jealousy, apathy or depression. Some of the disturbing things you see can make you feel distressed or aggravated and aggressive. Be aware of your emotions and reactions and rather take a break. Go for a walk in the fresh air with your spouse. Whatever you do, don’t take your negative social media induced reactions out on him or her.

  1. Help each other to be real…

Social media is a notorious platform for being ‘unreal’… it’s easy to post a magnificent smiling picture of the two of you having fun someplace exciting which looks like you have the perfect marriage. But maybe you were not having so much fun and you would rather have been at home enjoying each other’s company. As you keep one another accountable you can work towards having a relationship that is real and authentic, rather than fake and phony.

  1. Balance your online and offline world…

The online world of social media is where you connect with people via email, phone or social sites, without ever having to see them in person. It’s a virtual world which can become disconnected from reality. In your offline world you relate face to face with people, and it is important to maintain a healthy balance between these two worlds. As a married couple you need a network of real-life friends and contacts. It’s also great to spend time in nature, recharging your batteries as you drink in the beauty of creation around you.

  1. Be each other’s best fan…

One of the advantages of social media is that it is easy to send a note to each other at any time, and to post some ‘fan mail’ about your spouse. Don’t be shy to brag about your anniversary, or his promotion, or anything else that matters to you both. When you include your loved one on Facebook in a loving way it shows that you are using social media to have a positive impact on your marriage.


Author Bio:-

Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.

 

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