Social media may allow us to stay in touch with family and friends worldwide, but its downsides are legend when used recklessly. In particular, many married couples only realize the harmful effect these platforms can have on marriage once it’s too late. Research has shown a correlation between social media and unhappiness in marriage, including one Boston study showing that married couples who are not on social media are 11.4 percent happier than those who are. Are you making any of the following three social media mistakes? If so, it’s time to rethink your behavior to save your marriage.
Mistake #1: You’re spending too much time on social media
Research shows that the average person spends about 2.5 hours daily on social media. It’s become second nature to “check in” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other sites throughout the day, even if we’re not posting or interacting with others. Unfortunately, this habit can disrupt relationships. If you’re always staring at your phone, your spouse may feel ignored and lonely, and you’re not giving them enough attention. There’s even a term for it–phubbing, a portmanteau of “phone” and “snubbing.” If this sounds like you or your spouse has complained of your behavior, it’s time to commit to healthier habits, such as designating phone-free time with your spouse.
Mistake #2: Snooping in Your Spouse’s Social Media Accounts
You might wonder what your spouse has to say to their old prom date on Facebook, but nosing through their accounts is not the way to go. Snooping is a breach of your spouse’s trust and privacy unless you have agreed as a couple otherwise. It’s better that you speak with your spouse directly about your concerns in a non-threatening way. If they learn you’ve been snooping, they might feel they can’t trust you–an essential element in every marriage.
Mistake # 3: Using Social Media to Air Your Grievances with Your Spouse
Bad-mouthing your spouse in public is never a good idea. But airing your dirty laundry about your spouse on a blog post, Facebook, or other social media sites can have far-reaching repercussions. Your spouse may feel embarrassed and betrayed by your indiscretion, which can cause more problems at home or an ugly public feud.
In addition, one also never knows which posts could go viral. All it takes is someone with a broader reach to screenshot your post and send it to their followers. Before you know it, the world might be commenting and reflecting upon the troubles in your marriage. If you need to let off steam about your spouse, chat privately with a friend, or see a marriage counselor–don’t turn to social media.
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