10 Reasons Why Facebook Ruins Relationships
By: Lindsay Hamilton
Updated December 22, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Robin Brock
Social media has become commonplace over the last ten or so years. Whether you are a Facebook type of person, or maybe Instagram or Twitter, you understand how easy it is to get sucked into a social media feed for hours at a time. Facebook, like all the other social media sites, isn't the culprit for ruining relationships, but it is a tool that will ruin relationships if used in the wrong way. Having the ability to connect with people all over the world is still a relatively new technology, and we're still trying to figure out, as a society, how to use it well. There's nothing inherently "wrong" with Facebook, but it can lead to big fights in relationships and has even been known to cause divorce.
The next time you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, think about your intentions for using the social media site. Are your intentions good and kind, or do you use Facebook for a sneakier type of game? Here are ten reasons why Facebook can ruin relationships.
1. Seeing Other Couple's Posts Can Lead To Jealousy
More and more people lately have been talking about how social media doesn't show the real, whole person through their posts. Someone can post a loving photo with their partner onto their Facebook page, but their friends have no way of knowing if the couple is in a good place or if they were fighting right before the photo was taken. It's easy to put your best foot forward on Facebook, to only share flattering photos and exciting announcements. And when you're going through a rough time, it's even easier to feel like your life is terrible compared to your friends and what they post online. Even though you know its only part of the story, you get jealous over the trips other couples are taking or how sweet one partner is while your partner has been too busy to do something nice lately. Comparison then leads to under-appreciating what you already have.
2. It's Easy To Overshare On Personal Matters
We all know at least one person who shares everything on Facebook. From what they ate this morning to the fight they had with their partner - nothing is off-limits. Facebook makes it easy to rant when you're angry, complain when you're upset, and seek sympathy from others. But when you overshare on personal matters between you and your partner, your partner might not appreciate it very much. Or maybe it's your partner that overshares, and you are the uncomfortable one. This can lead to fighting and loss of trust if one partner is afraid of sharing something with the other for fear of it ending up online.
3. Couples May Spend Too Much Time Scrolling Instead Of With Each Other
Facebook can be a major time-waster. There is nothing easier than passively scrolling through a feed looking at text posts, memes, pictures, and life events. Before you know it, you could have spent hours just scrolling on Facebook. And those hours could be better spent through quality time with your partner, talking or sharing a meal or even going on a date. If you feel a little distant from your partner, check your social media habits. Maybe you can cut back how many times you check Facebook during the day.
4. Facebook Can Lead To Temptations For Affairs
Cheaters will always find a way to cheat, but Facebook does make it easier to find and chat with people outside of your marriage or partnership. Maybe it's an old flame that sent a friend request or an acquaintance who happens to be a little flirty over Facebook messenger and if you aren't careful, innocent messaging or friend requests can turn into full-blown affairs. It's always a good idea to be selective about who your friends are, no matter how innocent you might think you are being.
5. Facebook Can Cause Relationship Anxiety
Partner 'A' loves to post pictures on Facebook. They take many photos with their partner during their travels and everyday life. But partner 'B' isn't much of a Facebook person. They have it and will sometimes comment or like on friends' posts, but they rarely interact with partner 'A''s posts. Partner 'A' is getting anxious. Does my partner love me anymore? Why won't they like my posts? They comment on everyone else's photos, why not mine? Do they care Partner 'A' loves to post pictures on Facebook. They take many photos with their partner during their travels and everyday life. But partner 'B' isn't much of a Facebook person. They have it and will sometimes comment or like on friends' posts, but they rarely interact with partner 'A''s posts. Partner 'A' is getting anxious. Does my partner love me anymore? Why won't they like my posts? They comment on everyone else's photos, why not mine? Do they care at all about me anymore? This is just an example of how Facebook can lead to relationship anxiety. Facebook also allows you to update your relationship status on your profile. If one partner wants to make it "Facebook official," but the other doesn't, that can lead to concern as well.
6. People Sometimes Think Facebook Can Replace Real Intimacy
Speaking of posting cute photos, couples can easily use social media to replace real intimacy in the relationship. They'll post photos all the time or tag each other in posts on their birthday with a sweet message on how much they love their partner. They may even message back and forth through messenger - flirty messages and sweet compliments. But outside of the internet, the relationship has fallen stagnant. Real intimacy happens face to face. Just because you can post nice things online doesn't mean you're off the hook for saying them in person as well. The internet is not a replacement for real conversation and quality time.
7. One Partner May Use Facebook More Than The Other
How often a person uses Facebook can be a point of contention in relationships. One partner spending a lot of time on Facebook can leave the other partner feeling ignored or left out. It's common for couples to fight about how much time they spend on their phones. When it's so easy to open an app and scroll through a Facebook feed, it's that much easier to ignore your partner who is sitting right next to you.
8. Partners Read Too Far Into Each Other's Facebook Posts
When a partner is feeling insecure about the relationship, that partner might choose to look at Facebook to try to read into how their partner is feeling. They might see a few likes on an attractive friend's photos, or maybe read into a text post that makes them seem unhappy, and then jump to the conclusion that their partner wants out of the relationship. It's so easy to spiral into assumptions based on a few interactions that someone had on social media. And because they've jumped to a bad conclusion, this partner doesn't want to come right out and ask if it's true for fear of the relationship being over. So, they keep stalking their partner's Facebook and hope things somehow turn around. This is no way to live and leads to unnecessary amounts of anxiety.
9. Some Couples Use Facebook To Show Off Their Relationship
Facebook can also be a place to brag when things are going well. FOMO - fear of missing out - was coined precisely because social media makes it so easy to share photos and videos of great trips and exciting events. And the bigger the event, the more likes and comments the posts will get. This can be a major ego boost that couples might keep striving for. They'll start doing things precisely for the attention it brings them on social media. But "doing it for the like" can only bring you so much happiness. Eventually, you will want more, and only real interaction can give that to you.
10. Some Partners Either Keep Their Passwords Secret Or Have Secret Profiles
Trust is a major part of any relationship. So, if one partner doesn't want the other to have the password to their Facebook account, it concerns to think that lack of trust could follow. In a marriage, sharing is an inevitable part of the process. You'll share keys, homes, bank accounts, and even passwords. If partner A is used to sharing everything with partner B, but partner B refuses to give partner A their Facebook account password, partner A will rightly assume that partner B is doing something they don't want them to see. The flip side to this has a secret account altogether. Whether it's under a fake name or is hidden well, using social media out from the watch of a partner is very suspect. Hiding passwords or profiles is usually a sign of cheating.
Facebook isn't the real enemy to relationships; bad decisions are. You can choose whether to use Facebook for its original intention - to connect family and friends - or you can choose to use it to cheat or hide things from your partner. Your choices don't make the site "good" or "bad." The site is. What you decide to use it for will determine the fate of your relationship.
If you are experiencing anxiety or fear because of your partner's Facebook use, or you and your partner are fighting a lot because of Facebook or any social media, consider asking a counselor for help. ReGain is an online platform that will connect couples with a counselor online through a secure chatroom where you can get counseling in your own time. To get started with ReGain, please visit ReGain.us/start.
Ask Your Partner For Consent to Post
A healthy relationship is based on communication. If you consider child development, how children learn to resolve conflict is through talking with each other. Little kids don't have Facebook profiles like adults do. Let's remember child development when we talk about adult relationships. If you read articles about relationships on Psychology Today, one of the current themes is communication. Remember, in relationships being open and honest is crucial. It's better to talk face to face then it would be online with your partner. Whether you're an associate professor of psychology or a layman to the field, you know that it's crucial to talk to your partner. Communication can demystify any uncertainty you have in your connection with your significant other. When it comes to Facebook or any social networking site, it's important to ask your partner for consent on what to post if it involves them. There are a lot of articles on Psychology Today that talk about the importance of consent, and one of these areas is in sharing information. Anything from your relationship status to what you're doing in your life with your partner is something you need to discuss before sharing it online.
You don't need to read an article on Psychology Today to know that respecting your partner's voice is essential. Your partner's Facebook is their profile, and they have a right to share their voice, just as you have the autonomy to speak about what you think and feel. Facebook is harmless fun if you use it in a way that promotes that virtual environment. You don't want social networking to put a damper on your relationship. Make sure your partner feels considered before you post something. There are different levels of Facebook usage. Some would say that others are addicted to social networking. When you post something online, your friends on Facebook are reading what you write. Some people turn to social networking to learn about style beauty, food drink, or celebrity gossip. Many different networking sites can give you this information. What you do in bed can put a damper on your relationship if you reveal these intimate details online. If your partner is okay with what you're saying, that's one thing. But if you don't ask them, that's another story.
When it comes to what you post on Facebook, it involves your significant other, and your partner needs to be considered. With regard to relationship status, people can argue about when to make their love Facebook official. That's something that you and the person you're daring need to decide. That could be one of your goal setting markers in your relationship. If someone doesn't want to be Facebook official, it doesn't mean they don't love you. Maybe they're a private person, or perhaps they don't take Facebook seriously as a marker of how deep your connection is. This could be an issue if both partners aren't on the same page. It's important to ask your partner if it's okay to post that you're "in a relationship" on Facebook.
Don't Fight Online
In a healthy relationship, people talk in person about major issues. People who work in academia don't want their students to see a squabble with their partner online. Imagine an associate professor fighting with their spouse and college students seeing it. That's not a good thing. It's crucial to avoid talking about serious problems with your partner on social networking. If you choose to engage in that behavior, it can come across in a way you didn't mean it. There are articles on Psychology Today that talk about the usage of social media in relationships, and how it can make fights escalate. You can read about these concerns. Be mindful of what you post, and when you feel angry walk away from the screen, Whether your partner is reading it, or Facebook friends see it, there is no tone in the text. It's better to discuss emotional matters in person. Social networking is a place to connect with family, friends, and new acquaintances. There are people who will diagnose people because of the way they behave online. Don't share information about your relationship. If you're struggling with a particular issue such as infidelity, you don't need people on Facebook to see what you're struggling with, and instead, you can read articles on psych central or Psychology Today regarding cheating.
Treat Your Partner How You Want to Be Treated
On social networking sites, everyone in your friend circle can see what you're posting. If you're fostering a healthy relationship, you want to maintain a good connection. Work on goal setting with your partner in terms of how you want to be treated. There are many articles online about relationship issues and how social media can impact you and your partner. You can search Psychology Today and find a plethora of articles about these issues. Maybe you're struggling with your partner keeping their Facebook messages private. You're not sure if you can trust them. On Psychology Today, there are tips about how to develop trust in your relationship. It's crucial to work on trusting your partner if you want them to believe you. You want to treat your partner how you would like to be cared for in the relationship.
Be respectful of them, and ask if they feel comfortable with you posting something that affects them. Some college students have posted things about their relationships, or other people's partnerships, that has put a damper on relationships. Some people feel inadequate, and that's why they take to Facebook to share personal information. Their online behavior affects their relationship with their partner. Facebook friends don't need to see everything you're going through with your significant other. Some people live a screen free existence, and that benefits their relationship. You may have trust issues with your partner. You're worried that if you don't check out what they're doing, it could lead to detrimental outcomes like cheating. It's not healthy for people to see personal information about you and your partner, such as one person being unfaithful on your Facebook posts. These are matters you can talk about with a family therapist. It can put a damper on intimacy if you're talking about personal matters on social networking sites.
High levels of Facebook usage can lead to depression. If you look to social networking sites for emotional validation, it's a recipe for disaster. One reason is that you compare yourself to other couples. Some clients have told therapists intimate secrets about obsessively checking Facebook to see if their partner is cheating. You can work on learning positive psychology to make sure that you are engaging in healthy online behavior. You can read about positive psychology in Psychology Today. Facebook can cause major relationship issues.
Know When to Delete a Post
Facebook affects relationships. Sometimes it's for good, and other moments it can be detrimental to these connections. If you hurt someone with something you post, it's important to acknowledge. Maybe you don't see how Facebook affects relationships, because it hasn't happened to you. Sometimes there are posts that come across offensive to your partner, your relationship, or others online. There are cases when you need to delete what you wrote out of respect for your partner and how others see you two. Facebook has affected too many relationships because of hurtful posts. There are some instances where you can't control how others see you. For example, some individuals will diagnose people with disorders personality related, when the internet isn't an appropriate place for that. Only a licensed mental health professional should diagnose and treat a person. Even if you're a therapist, you shouldn't be diagnosing someone who isn't your client, and certainly not based on their social networking posts! A social network isn't a place to treat mental health issues. Nevertheless, you have control over what you say or don't say. Remember that your online footprint can not only impact your current relationships, but further romantic interests to come.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Facebook ruin relationships?
If the 10 ways Facebook can ruin relationships in the article above are something that you relate to, you know that Facebook can highlight relationship problems for facebook users. It's not generally Facebook itself that leads to the demise of a relationship. Usually, the platform just highlights something or gives way to a possibility that's already there. When people make a Facebook account initially, it's with good intentions most of the time. We often make and keep social media accounts because we want to stay in touch with others, such as those we went to college with, friends and family, and even acquaintances that we've known for most of our lives. Social media is beneficial when it comes to this. However, things can turn sour in some cases.
Why is Facebook bad for relationships?
Facebook can spark jealousy. You may see your spouse or partner liking pictures posted by mutual friends, or you may find yourself comparing yourself to the other people on your feed. Social media can also affect relationships sex and family life in the sense that it is a distraction. One way to make sure that your relationships sex and family life don't suffer due to social media is to limit the amount of time you spend on Facebook and other platforms. Keep track of the amount of time that you're logged on and be sure to prioritize real-life connections.
Additionally, it's imperative to notice when social media is impacting your mental health in any way. If you struggle with eating disorders, bipolar disorder, or another mental health condition, you may find that triggering or unhelpful content shows up on platforms like Facebook. Although this is not the case for everyone, if it's useful for you to do so, it's important to acknowledge when triggers show up and log off. If you are struggling with a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder, eating disorders, or depression, it's important to reach out to a mental health provider.
Why does social media ruin relationships?
Jealousy, comparison, and lack of trust can ruin relationships. Social media just happens to run the risk of amplifying those things. It gives us a greater chance to compare ourselves to others. Even if those people are friends and family members, social media can make it look like someone's life is perfect. in the case of relationships, you may find yourself comparing yourself to someone who looks like they have the "perfect relationship." This can be damaging. You may start to project the idea of a perfect relationship onto your partner, making your partner feel bad about themselves or making your partner feel like they aren't good enough in your love connection. If social media impacts the way you view yourself or your relationship, it might be time to take a social media break.
It can be challenging to initiate a social media break if you've never done it before and struggle with social media addiction. The best idea is to deactivate your account so that you're not tempted to log on. Make sure to get people's phone numbers if there's anyone you want to stay connected to in other ways such as friends or family members so that you won't be tempted to get back on the platform and will still have access to the social relationships you need outside of Facebook. You may find that you get closer to the people in your life when you deactivate social media. It forces you to talk to them directly instead of checking their page to see how they're doing, which will give you a more accurate perception of their life and a heightened sense of closeness.
How is social media affecting relationships?
As stated above, social media can breed jealousy and comparison, both of which can affect mental health and relationships. Social media obsession is another thing that can impact relationships. If you're obsessed with social media, you may find yourself distracted from areas of life that you'd like to be more engaged in, including romantic partnerships. Social media addiction is a very real thing. What social media addiction is, is excessive use of social media that feels compulsive. You may feel dependent on it and even start to feel emptiness or withdrawals when you don't use it.
Both in a new relationship and committed relationships, issues can arise if every detail of your relationship becomes public domain. If you vent about you and your partner's arguments through Facebook statuses instead of working through things with them, not only will it take an opportunity away from you and your partner to work through an issue, but it will also give all of your friends and family members the ability to form opinions and comment on your personal life publicly. This pattern can get messy and interfere with a relationship fast, so it's important to stop it before it starts to meddle.
How do I stop Facebook from ruining my relationship?
First, limit your use of the platform. Think about why you're on Facebook and why you made your account in the first place. Is there a reason to keep your profile? Do you have old friends or classmates you'd like to stay in contact with, for example? Are you on Facebook for fun groups related to hobbies you enjoy? If so, use it strictly for those things. Don't compare yourself or your relationship to others, and stop scrolling when the behavior starts. Take concerns about your relationship to your partner directly instead of asking for opinions online, and consult a couples counselor for help if you need to. Additionally, don't be afraid to deactivate your account if it's something that could benefit you. Sometimes, disengaging entirely is best, especially if you're frequently tempted to use social media in an unhealthy way.
Can social media break up a relationship?
Generally, it won't be social media itself that tears up a relationship. If you catch your partner being unfaithful on social media, the issue is not social media. Instead, it's the fact that your partner is cheating. There are various ways that social media can impact a relationship or influence a breakup. These include arguments over the amount of time spent on social media, arguments over who you talk on social media, arguments over posts that you make, the tendency to vent about your relationship on Facebook rather than talking about it with your partner, jealousy, comparison to others, and more. Take a look at the roles social media plays not only in your life but in your romantic relationships. Do you a lot of your fights revolve around social media? Do you struggle with excessive social media use or feeling like you're addicted to social media? If you answered yes to either of those questions, it's probably time to take a break from social media platforms like Facebook and potentially seek help from a professional such as a therapist or counselor.
What is the disadvantage of Facebook?
Sometimes, people say things online that they wouldn't say in person just to get a rise out of others. For example, a troll might make sexist comments about not understanding women or sexualize a woman in a way that's unwanted by the woman. People might do things for shock factor or start arguments just to start them. That's only one potential disadvantage of Facebook and other social media platforms, however. Other potential disadvantages of Facebook are comparison, envy, feeling like you aren't good enough or attractive enough, and having a place to keep virtual tabs on your exes and their lives, which can make it hard to get over a past relationship. In romantic partnerships, social media can start fights. For example, if your partner struggles with jealousy or not feeling like they measure up to others, and they see you liking someone else's picture, they may get jealous or angry. Additionally, someone could cheat using social media. These are examples of ways that social media can bring underlying issues to the surface.
Does social media create unrealistic expectations of relationships?
On social media, you will find an abundance of unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations aren't just perpetuated by celebrities or influencers, but also by people you know in real life. For example, you might notice people posting pictures where they look perfect when, in reality, they are photoshopped. Relationships are comparable to this phenomenon. Although you can't necessarily Photoshop a relationship, you can post only the best parts of it; the "highlight reel," if you will. People don't post about the mundane nights spent in front of the TV, and most of the time, they don't post about disagreements. Instead, they post vacation photos and work or life accomplishments. Publicizing innocent arguments instead of talking about it with your partner can be an issue in and of itself, but regardless, they are part of the whole picture in real life. It's easy to forget that we might not be seeing the whole picture of someone else's life, especially if they work to portray the image of a "perfect" life or relationship. When you look at social media, just know that there's so much that can be going on behind closed doors and that it's not an accurate representation of anyone's life.
How many relationships fail because of social media?
It's hard to say how many relationships fail because of social media specifically be because if they fail and social media is the catalyst, there's usually something else going on, such as cheating. It just happens to be found out on social media. However, some professionals say that Facebook has become a dominant cause of separation in marriages. You don't need to get off of social media entirely if you know that you have the potential to use it healthily and want to keep your account. Just be aware of how you're using it and how it's affecting your mental health and relationships. Remember to spend time off-line with your loved ones and stay aligned with your real-life values. If you're concerned about your personal social media use or the effect it is having on your relationships, whether those are friendships, familial relationships, or romantic relationships, it's important to seek the help of a mental health professional. Search for a provider online or in your local area to find the best fit for you.
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