Is Social Media’s Glamorization of Relationships Redefining Love?
The surge of social media has glamorized relationships at unprecedented levels, but that’s not the problem per se. The trouble appears when we adopt the belief of incompleteness when we are not in relationships or when we begin to depend on them to make us feel validated.
Being single and a social media addict isn’t a suggested mix and for many reasons. Social media glamourizes relationships to no avail and neglects to display the entirety of them. Not to be mistaken, relationships can be beautiful. The thing about social media, though, it can serve as a hallmark of people bragging on their accomplishments, material belongings, and their relationships. More often than not, viewers of such content will never see the arguments or disagreements that naturally occur in relationships. Herein we begin to have a skewed idea of what a relationship entails, and even worse, we could start to question why we ourselves, aren’t in a glamorous relationship.
A Havas Media study reported by Forbes released statistics telling of the 1/3rd of participants in the survey exaggerated about their relationships on social media. The idea of perfectionism is always for sale on social media, and it is the underlying object users strive to obtain.
When we do not greet perfectionism, we experience feelings of inadequacy. We begin to question ourselves through the means of comparison. When we compare our lives to the lives of others, the things we do not have magnifies even greater. Another study done by Psychology of Popular Media Culture stated that negatively comparing oneself with others may place individuals … at risk for depressive symptoms.
Stringing both studies, we see that relationships on social media are in fact in part to their truths, they lead us to compare and question ourselves which then results in symptoms of depression and maybe even loneliness. Quite the domino effect, wouldn’t you say?
Let’s now meditate on the idea of feeling inadequate because we are not in relationships. What is it about a relationship that makes one feel whole? Moreover, where did the idea of being halved even come from? Taking a shot in the dark; Maybe the feeling of completion in a relationship is from someone voluntarily being in our presence and tolerating us and our craziness. Perhaps we are seeking attachment instead of love itself. Psychology today defines an attachment as, a need for someone to fill a void in your life or in your self-esteem and defines love as something that is not demanding.
Our desire to be in a relationship could be us wanting to be loved, adored, admired. All of which is not a problem until we do not have it enough on the inside for ourselves. It is then that we search for it outside of ourselves. Not that it has the responsibility, but social media neglects to help us differentiate between love and attachment.
Maybe our desire to be in a relationship could be us wanting to be a part of the hashtags like #relationshipgoals. These hashtags are filled to the brim of couples displaying all smiles and hiding anything that would negate that image of perfection. Also, maybe we just want to be apart of that hashtag to publicly announce, “Hey, I too am in a perfect relationship” while wearing a mask.
The amount of time spent on social media and the content we view has a direct effect on our emotional and mental health. As previously mentioned, depression was found to be a result of usage and comparison. Both reducing our time and reconstructing our timelines on social platforms could aid us in the age of social media, single or not. Re-examine what is about a relationship that you want. Move forward, knowing that many of the #relationshipgoals you see are exaggerated and leaves the story of the other side of the coin out of the public eye. Perfectionism is unobtainable and you are whole as one.