Social media is a great way to keep in contact with your long distance friends and family, but it can quickly take your attention away from your relationships closest to home. Here are some ways to uphold a healthy relationship while maintaining your social media presence:
- Checking in with your partner before checking in on social media- You may find it difficult to find a couple in a restaurant on a Friday evening engaging in conversation rather than looking down at their phones. Scrolling through your Facebook or SnapChat feed before going to bed and first thing in the morning can also be disruptive to your relationship. Consider putting your phone or tablet away and cuddling up with your partner to discuss plans for the next day or ask how you can help decrease your partner’s stress.
- Respect each other’s boundaries- Social media can ignite feelings of jealousy in partners when attention is focused on social media accounts. Fear of infidelity and insecurity can arise when partners maintain connections with old flames. Partners may also compare their posts to those of other couples and overshare personal information. In the age of social media, establishing and maintaining limits is essential. Be sure to ask your partner what they are comfortable with you sharing and respect each other’s boundaries to protect your relationship and your partner’s feelings.
- Notice each other- Posting photos or messages tagging your significant other on social media are quickly becoming the newest “Love Language” for some. However, some couples prefer spending time together and actually connecting on an emotional level. Consider thanking your partner for working hard to manage the house or providing for your family. Give your partner a compliment to let them know you appreciate their efforts or pitch in and take some of the load off. Ask your partner how their day went, and really listen and make eye contact when your partner shares information.
If social media is causing feelings of insecurity, jealousy, reducing the level of privacy within your relationship, or leading to an increase in verbal disagreements or physical altercations, please contact your local Community Counseling Program or Family Advocacy Program for information on how to reconnect with your partner in a healthy way.