Social media plays many roles. It can increase target audiences’ awareness of your brand, improve your Instagram following in order to reach celebrity status, and improve your ability to find others who share your political concerns. But social media has also shown an ever-growing role in the development of romantic relationships. Not only are social media channels being used to meet new people and connect with those we may find lasting happiness with, but social media is also changing the ways in which we engage with others and navigate those relationships over time. 

Active Accessibility

Without a doubt, social media platforms make relationships more accessible and attainable. While many may lament that social media has killed romance, others have found that leading busy lives precludes them from engaging in activities where face-to-face encounters might lead to long-term relationships. Instead, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat may help those actively seeking a partner to find those who share a common interest or goal without getting dressed up, spending time and money in a social scene, or waiting for love to come to them in places like the gym or church.  

Online dating allows single Americans to utilize a few minutes of downtime here and there to connect with others. Finding a romantic partner in the digital age means exploring the many opportunities to meet new people in online communities, connect with old flames or friends, or get matched up by some experts using a compatibility algorithm. This increases the chances of finding that special someone, rather than simply waiting for it to occur by chance.

Critical Connections

Social media platforms make those connections easier to find and maintain. Using social media and other online technology means that you and someone you’re interested in can communicate more quickly and easily. You can share your thoughts, your interests, and your activities on social media across time and distance, allowing you to reach out to your loved one regardless of how often you can meet face-to-face. 

It’s important to remember that, like any relationship, online love connections occur and flourish where there is true honesty that leads to intimacy. There are many reasons people use online dating apps. These may range from an interest in casual sex to a desire for personal validating to a need for a monogamous, loving relationship. Still others will use social media for the thrill that comes from meeting new people to the trendiness of engaging online with no desire for long-term commitment.

Commitment Caveats

Keep in mind that, while the internet makes relationships more accessible and connecting to others easier, social media also presents a wide range of possibilities for cheating and misrepresentation. Statistics indicate that a startling number of people will lie on their dating profiles- almost half report stating at least one untruth. More than 68 percent of people surveyed indicated that they believe the internet interferes with relationships, introducing an element of distrust in ongoing relationships. What is more, 25 percent of individuals report that their relationships ended because of online flirtations or full-fledged cheating, while 17 percent of couples married in the last year indicate that their relationships started online. So be aware and beware! The very thing that brings two people together can be the source of conflict, anxiety, and jealousy, if not approached with complete transparency and the utmost integrity. 

Social Networking Times Two

Social media allows you to integrate your social network with your partner’s, which can present both positives and negatives. Using social media regularly allows you to know a great deal more about your partner. From colleagues at their job to friends from high school, it only takes a little time and a couple of clicks to know a great deal about the people with whom our beloved associates. Seeing things on our partner’s profile, along with the profiles of others they are associated, can influence our emotions toward them and affect the way in which we navigate our relationship with them. 

An upside, of course, is that social media allows us to connect with those who matter most to our partner. From his mother to her best friend, we can learn a great deal about the people they value the most. Keep in mind that sharing your relationship with the world and expanding your inner circle by including people from your partner’s network of friends and relatives is not necessarily harmful. But keeping respectful online boundaries and monitoring the ways you integrate yourself into his/her life is important for maintaining a balance between “I” and “we” and “us” and “me.”

What are your thoughts on the social media/online dating game? Let us know in the comments.

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