Constantly Connected

Sam Neve sent you a relationship request. 

Social media is one of the greatest productions of modern society, it has literally helped billions of people connect all over the world in ways that a generation before could only dream about. But what effect does this connectivity have on the modern relationship?

These websites and apps have the power to improve a relationship to a whole new level, but they also provide the means to destroy everything that was built over time in just a fraction of a second.

Modern relationships go with social media like peas and carrots, it adds excitement, colour and flavour but occasionally, things can get messy.

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Some would argue that we live in a time where the boundaries between messing around, dating and a relationship are getting cloudier day by day. Constant communication has led to the detachment from tradition and old fashioned dating rituals. Surely turning up unannounced on her doorstep with some flowers is exponentially better than changing her name on your phone to have a little heart emoji next to it?

Does anybody really ask to be in a relationship anymore? Do we just move on day by day,  waiting for someone to message us back, hoping that something more may come from having a 22 day Snapchat streak?
Social media has hacked into our relationships and we couldn’t care less.
Many young people don’t even consider a relationship to be confirmed until it is ‘Facebook official‘.
Your Facebook status is effectively your online wedding ring, it lets other people know what position you’re in without them even having to ask and people are starting to take this sort of thing very seriously.

I think a simple digital status to show the world of your relationship really doesn’t give it the justice that as a couple, you deserve. Sure it may get a few likes, but in the grand scheme of things nobody really cares. Social media was developed to make others feel worse about their lives by showing off what you are doing in yours and the relationship status is really what drove Facebook to be what it has become today. It’s no longer a case of passing notes around a classroom or going off in your groups to talk about who you all fancy, you can simply log-on to your phone, learn everything about a person, see if they are single and then decide where you want to go from there.

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Because these relationships are so digitalised, many people get lost in a false sense of reality. They start to believe things they see and read online, then without talking to their partner, they tend to make assumptions based on something that could be taken completely out of context.

So let’s say you’ve moved past the Facebook stalking and sub-Tweeting and you’re finally in a (Facebook approved, 147 likes) relationship. Your significant other is never more than a text away and people now get paranoid when they don’t get a reply.
Don’t get me wrong young couples do trust each other, but when your significant other doesn’t reply to you, what is the first thing that runs through your mind? They are obviously cheating on you. Crazy.
Not only that but people assume that you are mad at them when you don’t text in ‘your regular style’ or if you use no kisses or emojis.

(If you’re over the age of 30 and reading this I am terribly sorry, but I’m also so envious of you… although I’m not jealous of how you probably had to communicate by carrier pigeon or telegram)

To top all of this off, as soon as you’re as tagged in something or checked in somewhere online, your significant other will find out. You won’t know how nor will you know why, but they will be mad, especially if they didn’t have a preplanned itinerary of your day.

Think about it, what’s the most superficial thing that you’ve argued about? You’re in tagged in a picture with a girl or guy who hugged you a little too closely? You had someone new in your top friends on Snapchat? Or maybe you simply liked the wrong Instagram picture. At the time they may seem like earth shattering, relationship destroying arguments, but when you look back you have to realise how petty these online arguments actually are.

The Internet is an iPhone without a case. It is a thing of beauty that when treated with respect, becomes something that many people couldn’t live without. The beauty however is shrouded by the fact that one mistake could leave things shattered in pieces across the ground, just waiting for you to cut yourself as you try to fix it.

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