When used minimally social media can have a few positive impacts on romantic relationships. A 2021 study found that 59% of participants who defined themselves as infrequent users felt that social media made them feel more connected to their partner. This connection was derived through post tagging, shared photos, and celebrating relationship milestones publically. These users said that they were on social media applications three to five times per week and for less than one hour per day.
The fact is, the more time a person spends on social media the more negatively it impacts their relationships with their partners. Additional studies have found that different applications affect relationships in different ways or by varying amounts.
There were two areas of concern for study participants when it came to Facebook. The first and most prevalent concern involved constant access to the lives of other, happier couples. Over time, the female participants said that they would wonder, “Why can’t we do that?” or “Why doesn’t my partner treat me that way?” Common sense tells us that people want to present their lives as fairytales in public and keep the dirty laundry at home but yet, but seeing other couples that appear happier and more loving does have an impact.
The second most concerning part of Facebook was Instant Messenger. Participants stated that it was too easy for strangers to message their partners and that they all knew of someone whose innocent messages evolved into an online or in-person affair.
Instagram is notorious for serving up an unlimited feast of partially clad girls shaking their parts for likes and product endorsements. Instagram is also the number one place for women to post links to sites like Onlyfans to garner a paid following.
The women who were studied were almost unanimously opposed to their male partners using Instagram but men in the study also had concerns. For the men, it was more about how Instagram made their partners feel about their own bodies that concerned them. These men expressed a desire to be with sexually confident women and said that Instagram harmed their partner’s confidence and self-esteem.
Participants of both sexes had one primary complaint when it came to TikTok. They stated that their partners would get caught up in the excitement of the quick, short video platform and scroll for long periods. They indicated that the application made their partners less attentive and depleted the quality of their time together.
Seriously, just delete it. The appeal of Snapchat has always been that messages and posts aren’t permanent. That’s why it’s so often referred to as SnapCheat. A whopping 86% of study participants said that wouldn’t even date a person who used Snapchat as a form of communication and, frankly, they’re not wrong.
Twitter was considered the most benign of the social media applications reviewed in the study but another, smaller study in 2021 showed that conflicts related to Twitter use were just as prevalent as with other social platforms as compared to a 2013 study done on Facebook.
In this study, the main relationship concern around Twitter was aggressive tweeting and arguing in the comments. Participants said that this negative behavior too frequently bled into real life and left their partners moody and difficult to be around.