You’re scrolling through your endless Instagram feed – and it is filled with pictures of perfect people and their seemingly perfect relationships and lives. From friends from high school enjoying date nights with #couplegoals, or, influencers and celebrities, people, seem to have great jobs, beautiful houses and enviable bodies. It can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when you compare it to your own life. The last time you and your partner had a lovely meal together was ages ago and with current hectic schedules – it isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. Nothing seems as good as it should be, and you’re left wondering whether your relationship as a couple is as good as you previously thought it was.

Social media has become an integral part of our lives, with millions of users actively using and posting on multiple platforms every day. Right from receiving news, to staying in touch with friends and family, social media has become the one medium to keep us entertained, informed and connected. While it has been a positive space – allowing people to create content from the comfort of their homes for millions or boosting sales for small businesses, it has also had an ugly side. Excessive use of social media starts affecting our lives – emotionally, mentally and even physically.

Social media builds unrealistic expectations for people, painting a perfect picture of how they should look, live and love.

With social media so integrated into our lives, and the way we share and communicate with the world, there is an urge to capture and post every single thing on social media instead of just enjoying the moment. We have forgotten how to enjoy the present, and are more concerned with how we are perceived online, thereby painting a carefully curated, unrealistic picture for the world. Most couples may also fail to respect each other’s boundaries, causing friction and disagreement.

Over the years, the way we interact with the internet, and social media platforms, in particular, has changed drastically. It is common for people to spend hours scrolling through social media, absorbing all of its energies, which may do more harm than good. There is a fear that many of us have started thinking about the world in terms of how post-worthy it is. While there is nothing wrong with social media platforms themselves, such behaviour might rob us of the joy of truly experiencing the moment. Social media fosters an environment where people are tempted to show that their lives are perfect – the better the images, the more the likes, which are the currency of Social Media platforms. In this run, people often forget to live their own lives or live in the moment. Constant fights, especially if passions fly between the two people, become frequent a cause of stress in the relationship.

Insecurity creeps into the relationship, along with jealousy and the need to put up a farce.

In our attempt to match up to another’s #couplegoals, we often forget to be present in our relationship. This can cause a wedge between you and your partner – isolating both of you in your own fears and doubts.

In situations like this, it is important to understand how social media functions and why it makes you feel this way. People always put up the best moments of their lives on social media. But the truth is that nobody puts up the real image or the efforts behind those images. The tendency is to share just a tiny portion of the big picture; this small portion can go on to become a cause of jealousy, embarrassment, insecurity and shame for another individual.

Now that social media has brought us real people’s stories, and lives, comparing ourselves with our peers is all the more relevant to us. These are people we know, grew up with, work with, and can relate to. It plants seeds of doubt, insecurity, disappointment and jealousy in our minds – making us re-evaluate our self-worth.

It is essential to understand that social media isn’t reality. It is only the best, happiest moments of people’s lives. Every couple fights, but nobody puts up stories of these imperfections. In the pursuit to seem perfect, we have begun to lose the things that matter to us.

Here are some ways you can cope with social media:

1. Take a Break from the Digital World

Taking a break off social media or logging off during the day can do you more good than you imagine. We need to realise what is being put up is not true, and even if it is true, it needn’t bother you. Learn to prioritise your feelings, needs and wants and focus on your story.

We should be aware of the time we spend on the phone. Are we scrolling without an end?

On a day to day basis, keep some gadget rules which both of you can follow. For eg., no phone during dinner time or no social media checks when out with family, spending quality time with each other.

Just as we set screen time for our kids, it is good to set screen time for ourselves.

Keep an alarm or timer to be aware of the ticking of time. If you are too addicted, disable the app from your phone and use a laptop to log in. You can also use tools like Self-Control which block certain websites or apps for a set time.

2. Show Your True Self on Social Media

Recently, several celebrities have recognised how perfect social media can seem, and the pressure it creates. Several actors, influencers and social media stars have started a #breaktheunreal campaign, showcasing their daily struggles, real bodies and flaws on social media.

Try posting about how your life is not perfect – the weight gain, sleepless nights, or even lazy Sunday mornings. Celebrate the small moments – a home-cooked meal, or a drive with a loved one. Instead of being a part of the problem, use the pressure you feel on social media to break the perception that life is perfect. Use social media to make fun videos or take part in online challenges with your partner.

3. Talk to a Therapist

Social media addiction is a real thing, and should not be disregarded for it can hamper your growth and well-being.

You might find yourself unable to stay away from your phone for even short periods or feel a need to be continuously updated. In that case, you might be suffering from social media addiction.

Talking to an expert will help you battle your addiction and reach a healthy balance between the digital and the real world. You can also consult a professional regarding how it is affecting your relationship and can attend sessions with your partner to strengthen your relationship.

To Sum It Up:

Our lives have begun to revolve around our screens, and the need to seem perfect on social media is ruining many relationships. It is essential to understand that what people post for the world is not a reflection of their lives. It is vital to maintain a healthy balance and talk to a mental health professional if you feel the need to do so. Talk to experts from the comfort of your home on DocVita.