Social media have played a big part in our life. Is it positive or negative? We have heard a lot about romantic rendezvous through social media which many of them end in marriage. It is a pleasant fact indeed.
Too much anything is good for nothing. As the proverb said, an excessiveness can lead to something bad. Just like the social media, the excessive usage can be badly affected marriage. A research done by three researchers at St. Mary's University at San Antonio published a fact that supports such thing. Involving Facebook users aged 18 - 24 years old, the research found out that spending on Facebook for too many times triggered social-media-related conflicts which possibly ended up in unfaithfulness, separation and divorce.
Here are four negative effects commonly found on marriage as a result of the excessiveness usage of social media.
Losing the "Us Time"
A difficulty to avoid social media can make you fail to notice your surroundings, including your partner. A moment that should have been spent together is replaced by each of you scrolling down the social media's pages. No wonder it often triggers a conflict.
In 2014, Paw Research Center found out that 25% of their study respondents confessed about realizing how their partners often get distracted by cellphones when they are spending time together. 8% of them also have conflicts regarding time spent on social media, and 4% had felt angry because of his/her partner's behavior on social media.
Did you know that Instagram was the social medium that has the worst effect on mental health in 2017? A Britain-based survey, which asked 1,500 respondents aged 18-24 years old, published that Instagram contributed the most on self-negative effects, such as anxiety, depression, FOMO (fear of missing out) and bullying.
The self-negative effect undeniably relates to relationship happiness. A team from Department of Social and Organization Psychology at VU University Amsterdam gathered couples who have been married for a month as respondents. For the next four years, the team had interviewed them five times about topics on happiness levels and their internet usage. They confessed that they found it difficult to stop when browsing the internet, and even chose to continue browsing rather than spending time with their partners. As a result, they did not feel happy in their marriage life.
Sadly, according to a survey from Austin's Center of Population Research at University of Texas which observed couples aged 18 - 39 years old, a high usage of social media did not only trigger unhappy marriage, but also troubled relationship to thoughts of having a divorce.
Marlyn Wei, a psychiatric and The Huffington Post' s contributor, agreed to early studies that related social media usage with marriage, one of them said that high usage of Facebook can trigger jealousy. It is no surprise since Facebook lets anyone to see friends of friends, such as who was in the picture with your partner.
Have you ever felt exaggerate with a high stream of information from social media? You should be careful, especially if the content relates to your partner. "The more uncertain the relationship and the more fragile the emotional attachment between partners, the more someone stressed out for having various social media information about his/her spouse," warned Wei about an excessive stalking behavior on romantic partners.
Social media's allurement is undoubtedly big. From shopping temptation to stalking on someone, each of them is difficult to be ignored if we have addicted to that instant information we receive just in seconds. E-meeting with someone new or catching up with an old fellow can possibly happen. Getting drowned in the virtual life with a new friend, or probably an ex-partner, in the social media is probably the scariest scandal in marriage life.
Journal of Computers in Human Behavior did not deny that information received from the social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, opened up adultery possibilities which can lead to a divorce with current partner. Wei also added that Twitter contributes to marriage conflict which can provoke separation.
Those facts probably make you anxious. However, if we look back to the research from St. Mary's University, the biggest challenge actually lies on couples who have been married for less than three years. "Participants who have been married for more than three years, apparently, browse less, so it can be concluded that the social media have more risks to immature relationships," said one of the researchers.
Wei confessed that it is actually difficult to identify the core cause of a failed marriage: is it because of the social media or a weak marriage foundation. Therefore, a good communication and an openness are the main keys to a strong relationship fundamental in order to not being badly influenced by the social media.