By Amy Elizabeth
A girlfriend of mine recently asked me to write about my feelings on social media and relationships. Coincidentally, social media had been a factor with someone I was seeing not too long ago who became upset after creeping on my Twitter page and saw me writing XOXO’s and red lip emoticons to my guy friends. He thought I was too flirty, where I thought XOXO’s and emojis were simply cute and not meant to be taken literally. However, as ridiculous as I thought his complaint was, since my behavior was upsetting to the guy, I did stop the XOXO’s to try and put his overactive imagination at ease.
While the jealous boyfriends and girlfriends of the world might not like it, in this day and age, most men and women have platonic friends of the opposite sex. I can see how Facebook can create jealousy in an already insecure person. It’s funny, there are men who write on my Facebook wall and “like” every picture I post, yet I don’t actually know them that well and they most likely don’t even have my phone number. From the outside looking in, it would appear that these men are my best friends or maybe something more. So when my girlfriend asked if a comment her guy made to his lady friend was out of line, I totally understood her suspicion but couldn’t say with any certainty whether he was flirting or just being nice to a Facebook friend.
As embarrassing as it is to admit you were cyberstalking, the best thing to do in this type of situation is always put your pride aside and communicate openly and honestly. You don’t want to make your significant other feel like he or she did anything wrong, which will always put a person on the defensive. Instead, I would sweetly say something like, “who is that pretty girl who always writes on your wall?” Having this conversation will most likely put your suspicions at ease instead of saying nothing and having stories run like wild through your head.
However (not to make you worry) but I did recently read a statistic that Facebook is responsible for one third of divorces today. Not only can social media make a jealous person become even more crazy with jealousy, but there is so much temptation right at our fingertips. I know that everytime I post a picture, there are a handful of men asking me out, which I’m sure is true for most single ladies. While I personally don’t do online dating sites, I did go out on a date with a guy I met on Facebook (whom one of my girlfriends vouched for) and another guy I met on Twitter. People are definitely connecting on social media.
Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends, but if it weren’t for sites like this, these former classmates and old flames wouldn’t be much more than a fleeting thought. Whatever happened to the one that got away? Now you can probably find out within a matter of minutes- that is, if you don’t already know.
While it’s clear social media makes it easier for us to connect and, yes, to cheat, (and to get busted) I believe that true love is stronger than a Facebook poke. I think it’s important for all of us to be less suspicious, not only for our own peace of mind, but also because we don’t want to bring that fearful, negative energy into our relationships. If you are in a relationship and want it to last, I suggest spending less time creeping the Internet and much more time gazing into your significant other’s eyes.