I don’t know about you, but I’m always taken aback when someone informs me they’re not on Facebook or any other form of social media for that matter. Who do they communicate with? How do they look at the newest memes? Do they even know what a meme is? When even your aunts, uncles, grandparents, and extended family are on social media, it’s hard to understand why someone would refuse to be part of the party. However, every now and then, they answer with a good point such as “I don’t need everyone up in my business.”
Each day our apps get new updates and features made for us to connect more with the people around us. But when does it get to be too much? When everyone seems to be a spectator to our life, how does that affect our most personal spaces? If someone posts a lot about their relationship with their significant other, they’re believed to be overselling it. If one party rarely puts up a picture or comment about the person they’re with, they’re also believed to be indifferent. In the end, the pressures and misunderstandings that social media creates can drive a stable relationship into troubled waters. It’s important to set boundaries and communicate to avoid these kinds of issues, but how do you know if you’re walking into quick sand?
Here are four ways to figure out if it’s time to take a break from social media or at least to put your notifications on silent so that your relationship isn’t affected.
Assuming we all have the same privacy settings
You might love to post several times a day about what you’re doing and who you’re with, but not everyone is like that. Your partner might want to keep things private, not because they’re hiding your relationship, but because they might not want others all up in their business. It’s important to respect that and not start thinking up reasons why they don’t like to like every single picture you post.
Getting angry before confirmation
Misunderstandings are the most likely casualty in relationships when social media is concerned. One party posts a picture with an acquaintance or friend, or receives too many likes from someone else, and a whole flurry of thoughts come into their partner’s mind. Even an emoji placed on someone’s timeline or a post that is later erased or edited can lead to wrongful assumptions.
Don’t fall into other people’s mind games
Then there’s everyone who resides outside of your relationship. While families and friends can’t help but get involved in your personal situation, social media seems to be as bad as living in a small town where everything will be observed and dissected by others who may or may not be privy to the context. Life is not a telenovela, so if someone tries to play games of jealousy or sow the seeds of discord, don’t take the bait.
Sometimes an emoji is just an emoji
I already mentioned it, but let’s dive in a little deeper. First of all, emojis are fun and cute, but they’re not a substitute for a healthy dialogue. If you’re unsure of what someone said, ask. If you’re unsure about something, say it. Don’t expect the other person to decipher the little drawing. On the other hand, if your partner answers or writes with emojis and you want actual confirmation of what they’re saying, tell them. Don’t expect them to read your mind or for you to do the same. Also, don’t make an entire novel out of an emoji. Sometimes people just send them for fun. Expecting to find a hidden message in all of them is to draw conclusions from thin air.
Yes, being on social media is like being back in high school. We’re all overly aware about everyone else’s lives, so we can’t help but gossip and stir up drama where there is none. But we don’t have to act like we’re still in third period waiting for the bell to ring. So take things with a grain of salt and know the risks of exposing too much about your life on social media come with having people trying to get overly involved in your personal space. Tread carefully, but don’t be afraid to express yourself, with or without emojis.
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