10 Reasons Why Facebook Ruins Relationships

Updated December 15, 2023by Regain Editorial Team
”Having a conversation with a partner about your online lives and expectations for communication can help address any current concerns and avoid future conflict." - Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC

Social media has become an important aspect of many people’s lives over the past decade. Whether you are a Facebook type of person, or maybe prefer 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 can contribute to destroying 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 relationship issues and has even been known to contribute to 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 10 reasons why Facebook can ruin relationships.

1. Seeing Other Couple’s Posts Can Lead To Jealousy

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Is Social Media Causing Issues In Your Relationship?

Social media posts often don’t show the whole picture. Just because someone only posts happy, loving pictures with their spouse doesn’t mean they don’t have problems off-camera.  When you’re going through a rough time, though, it’s easy to feel like your life is terrible compared to your friends based on what they post online. Even though you know it’s only part of the story, you may get jealous over the trips other couples are taking or how sweet their partner seems. The comparison then leads to under-appreciating what you already have.

2. Partners Discuss Too Much Online

From what they ate for breakfast to the fight they had with their partner – for some Facebook users, 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 your partner may not appreciate it when you overshare personal matters. Or maybe it’s your partner who overshares, and you are the uncomfortable one. 

3. Couples May Spend Too Much Time Scrolling 

Facebook can be a major timewaster. It’s easy to passively scroll through a feed looking at text posts, memes, pictures, and life events. Before you know it, you’ve spent hours just scrolling. If you feel a little distant from your partner, check your social media habits. Maybe you can cut back on how many times you check Facebook during the day.

4. Facebook Can Lead To Temptation

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Facebook makex 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 is a little flirty over Facebook Messenger. 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.

5. Facebook Can Cause Relationship Anxiety

Perhaps your partner likes and comments on other people’s Facebook page, but not yours. Or maybe you are dating someone and you update your relationship status, but your partner’s still shows single. These are just two of many ways that Facebook can cause relationship anxiety. 

6. Facebook Replaces Real Intimacy

Speaking of posting cute photos, couples can easily use social media to replace real intimacy in the relationship. They’ll post photos or tag each other in posts 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. 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 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, all which leading to unnecessary amounts of anxiety.

9. Some Couples Use Facebook To Show Off Their Relationship

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Is Social Media Causing Issues In Your Relationship?

Facebook can also be a place to brag when things are going well. 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 likes” can only bring you so much happiness. Eventually, you will want more, and only real interaction can give that to you.

10. Some Partners Keep Social Media Secrets

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 can lead to a lack of trust. Another possibility is that one partner 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 can be suspect and may be a sign of cheating.

Do’s and Don’ts For Facebook Use

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 itself “good” or “bad” – but it can be used in ways that can hard a relationship.  

Ask Your Partner For Consent to Post

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.  You don’t want social networking to put a damper on your relationship. Make sure your partner feels considered before you post something. When you post something online, your friends on Facebook are reading what you write. Revealing online what you do in alone with your partner can put a damper on your relationship. 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.

If you’re dating someone, it’s best to ask if it’s ok to change your relationship status online. If someone doesn’t want to be Facebook official, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. They may just not want to world to know yet for personal reasons.

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. 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. If you’re dealing with a particular issue, such as infidelity, you don’t need people on Facebook to know.

Seeking Help

High levels of Facebook usage can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and trouble sleeping. In fact, multiple studies have found that taking a break from Facebook improved mental health – which in turn can help relationships.

Whether you are experiencing relationship issues or mental health concerns – including social media addiction – due to your use of Facebook or other social media networks, a professional Regain relationship counselor can help. One study on social media addiction found that the addiction can be mitigated by cognitive restructuring, such as through cognitive-behavior therapy, which help patients identify false beliefs and reframe their thoughts and actions in a healthier manner – such as recognizing how social media usage is impacting their relationships. 

Online therapy has been found to be as effective as in-person therapy and can make it easier to get help as you can do it from the comfort of your home at a time that’s convenient for you. For many, it’s also a more affordable option. 

Takeaway

Social media in and of itself is not inherently bad. It can, however, cause problems both for personal mental health and in relational health. A Regain therapist can help. To get started with Regain, please visit Regain.us/start.

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