Life in the Age of the Selfie: The Impact of Social Media on Relationships | Rice Psychology
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Life in the Age of the Selfie: The Impact of Social Media on Relationships

social-mediaWe were having dinner a couple of nights ago and I could honestly tell that something was wrong right off the bat. We sat down, ordered a couple of drinks and I thought it’d be nice to post a quick picture of our wine glasses on Instagram. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Except…I kind of kept posting through the night. We got our food and I took a picture for Facebook, then the band started to play and I really wanted to share it on Instagram. Of course, I really wanted to keep up with the likes and comments my friends were posting. He confronted me about it as we were leaving. He said he felt like he was on a date with the back of my phone, but I honestly wasn’t trying to be rude. In fact, I had a great time! Either way, I don’t think we’ll be seeing each other anymore. Was I wrong?

The social media behemoths that are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and everything in between continue to surprise us. After all, how crazy is it that we’re able to share anything we want and connect with friends and loved ones with just a quick snap and a click of a button? It’s honestly amazing! Social media has really brought a great deal of benefits into our lives, but we can’t turn our backs on the problems that it often brings.

Perhaps you’ve spent the last half hour browsing through endless Instagram posts only to look up to find your significant other looking at you with annoyed eyes. Maybe you were so busy posting one day that you ignored the fact that your two kids were about to start fighting! The truth is social media is having a big impact in our lives, which is why the psychologists at Rice Psychology Group believe it’s important to find the right balance.

Social media can potentially have negative effects in our lives, but by working through this issue, you can find a healthy and positive balance.

Substituting the Real with the Virtual

It has long been known that social support can have a positive impact on our mental health. In fact, we tend to naturally long for connections and a sense of belonging. However, as social media continues to grow, many individuals are substituting real-life social relationships with virtual connections. This can lead to misconceptions about who we really are, as we tend to put our best self out into the social media world, avoiding displays of emotional weakness, insecurity or even conflict. That is to say, we hide those qualities that define a deep and emotional relationship.

Social media gives us plenty of connections, but we must focus on our real-life interactions. Click To Tweet

The truth is social media friends can provide us with plenty of connections, but it’s important to focus on our real-life interactions with others. As with many things, balance is key. This means we have to work hard to develop the real-life social and emotional support that enables positive mental health in our lives.

Parenting Slip-Ups

In 2013, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida revealed that for her 10th birthday, her daughter asked her to put away her “multiple” phones and iPads for 24 hours. The little one even wanted to take away the devices so her mother would not be tempted to use them.

“It made me realize how often I’m not present, even when I’m present, if unplugging completely was something she wanted from me for her birthday,” Wasserman Schultz said.

According to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul, you must ask yourself if the technology you use is getting in the way of being a parent. Perhaps you’re that parent that is constantly sharing pictures of your little one to show them off to the world, or maybe you feel as if your phone is the one tool that helps you through your busy schedule. Whatever the case, you can’t let your knack for Instagram and Facebook get in the way of a healthy family life.

One Like Too Many

In today’s age, too much social media usage can come with one too many arguments with your loved ones, breakups or even divorce. Maybe there was a time when that “like” your loved one left on someone else’s post made you feel uncomfortable. Or perhaps he/she raised an eye when you became increasingly more private about your social media activity.

Too much social media usage may come with one too many arguments with your loved ones. Click To Tweet

While these actions may have been innocent, it’s still important to find a way to keep your relationship safe and away from the troubles that can potentially arise as a result of social media. It may be difficult to do, but there’s a chance the following tips can have a positive impact in your relationship:

  • Communicate – Have a real, emotional and open talk with your partner on a daily basis away from the cellphones and laptops.
  • Avoid Snooping – If you suspect that your loved one is being dishonest, don’t snoop. It can lead to increased paranoia. Instead, communicate with him/her.
  • Share – If you or your spouse receives messages from exes or from people trying to be flirtatious, share it with one another. Honesty is one of the most important things that will keep your relationship going.
  • Keep Your Privacy – Don’t give your passwords to one another. It may be hard to believe but privacy is a very healthy thing to have in your relationship.
It may be hard to believe but privacy is a very healthy thing to have in your relationship. Click To Tweet

Our Team is Ready to Help

The truth is social media can have a huge impact in your life and the lives of those around you even when you try your best to avoid it. Making a change can be difficult, especially when you can’t seem to understand exactly what you’re dealing with. At Rice Psychology Group, we believe that finding the right balance in your life is one of the most important steps towards a healthier tomorrow, which is why our Tampa team is ready to help.

We’ll help you evaluate and assess your situation in a relaxing environment designed to help you and your loved ones feel at ease. If you need more information about our services or have questions about what our psychologists can offer, don’t hesitate to contact us in Tampa today.

About Rice Psychology

Rice Psychology Group is home to a team of psychologists who work tirelessly to help adults, adolescents and children deal with their issues. Whether you’re currently dealing with depression, going through a divorce or fighting an issue you just can’t understand, know that our Tampa psychologists are here to help.

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