If Social Media is Affecting Your Life it Has to Go

Social Media: It serves a variety of purposes. For me and my profession, it serves as a business tool. It has allowed me to accomplish professional goals during my workday. It has become the 24 hour news cycle that you cannot escape.

For many though, it serves simply as a social tool. A place to connect with friends and family near and far. The fastest way for your voice to be heard and your opinions to be recognized.

However, what happens if this once friendly, safe place turns into something darker? Something bringing you trouble, trouble to your personal life and your marriage? For many, social media has added an extra layer of stress and pressure.

I don’t care how small the issues are, if there is an issue in my life and my marriage that is causing trouble…it’s gone. I don’t care if its the color of our bathroom walls causing problems, if it is affecting my marriage, I’m painting the walls.

The way millennial couples handle problems is weird: they take to social media to air their grievances in hopes that the other person will see it and question what they are talking about.

If you are noticing a pattern of these 7 things happening in your life, it is time to say good-bye to social media.

You’re constantly and without realizing it, comparing your life and your journey to that of someone else – if your doing this, get rid of social media.

So when this year kicked off I told myself I was going to stop doing something that I have been doing for a long time. I was going to stop comparing my marriage and my personal journey to that of someone else. Now, while I have tried and tried to do this in the past, I could not help but compare my circumstances to those of the people I was following on Instagram and Facebook. Some of them were “friends” aka people I just know about via other friends. 

I was getting jealous of couples (that I did not know!) who just bought a new house or went on an expensive looking vacation. That’s right, I was getting straight up jealous of people that are basically strangers to me! Why was I comparing my journey with my husband to everyone else? I don’t know their struggles and they surely don’t know mine! And besides that you should be PROUD of the struggles that you have overcome as a couple, not looking at someone else’s “perfect” marriage and feeling like a failure as a couple because your marriage and life doesn’t look like theirs.

So you know what I did? I cleaned house! If they were not someone in my life that inspires me as a wife and woman, lifts up my marriage, supports me, and genuinely cares about our successes as individuals and as a couple, then buh-bye.

How could I tell the difference of friends and “friends”? When my friends buy new homes, go on vacations, and have babies they text me pictures, they call me with the details. They don’t wait for me to stumble upon it on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. If you can’t decide who those people are, then it’s time to just get rid of social media. Do it for yourself.

On social media everyone shows the good stuff, the surface level, the pretty wrapping paper covering up the average. You’ll see the picture of a dozen red roses with a caption that reads “I have the best hubby in the world!” and that makes you feel like your husband doesn’t love you like theirs does. What your not seeing is the horrific, unforgettable fight that the couple had the night before, the roses just a peace offering. Like I said, surface level.

Your journey with your husband, the good, the bad and the ugly, is y’alls. Be proud of that, and remember that realistically, the good, the bad, and the ugly is no one else’s business.

It may not be THE problem – but it’s definitely one of them

I don’t know your personal life, or what happens behind closed doors. You know what, you might be reading this and thinking this has nothing to do with you. However, you may be one of those couples that, right now, has some tension or added stress disrupting the once “marital bliss”. So, you have some issues going on in your marriage, like, what couple doesn’t? We all do! However, if you begin to notice a pattern of arguing over unprovoked friend requests, unsolicited messages from the opposite sex showing up in yours or your spouses inbox, or a variety of other questionable, yet small issues, then the social media has got to go! Just get rid of what is causing you to fight, no matter how small! There goes ONE THING off your list of things having a negative impact on your marriage. Now you can cross that one off and focus on resolving the next issue. Would you do it though? Would you delete the apps, deactivate your accounts, and never look back? I challenge you.

It is inviting trust issues – or making the current ones (that you are trying to resolve) even worse

Why won’t you give me your social media passwords, what are you hiding?“. Buh. That. If you are having THAT conversation turning to that argument then the social media has GOT to go. Look, if it is a matter of you, as a spouse, still have a right to privacy, then fine I get it. But if the issue is your spouse is having major issues trusting your reasoning for not giving you the password, but you know you have nothing to hide, just delete social media! Get rid of it entirely! Show them, I can delete this right now and I’m not worried about it. If it is a matter of building the trust back in your relationship, then I challenge you to commit to getting rid of your social media presence.

Is it bothering you to keep seeing that your spouse gets a ton of unsolicited friend requests from members of the opposite sex? If you know it is upsetting them, just get rid of it! Don’t even invite that into your marriage!

You cannot go one, single hour without checking Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc

If you cannot sit on the couch and watch TV with your spouse or go to a restaurant, or go on a road trip without being glued to social media long enough to hold a conversation then it’s time for it to go. If you notice when your sitting down at dinner and your both spending more time on your phone than having a conversation, it’s time to say good-bye to social media.

If all you find you have to talk about with your spouse is about something you read about on Facebook, or if all the two of you do is speculate about someone else’s situation, let it go! Take yourself OUT of the situation. Give you and your spouse something else to talk about, something else to do. Take a minute and stop caring about what everyone else in the world is doing and focus on what you are doing with your spouse in that moment! If you cannot stop caring about what everyone else is doing with their life for a single hour – hold down ’til it starts to shake, click the small ‘x’ in the corner, and delete the apps.

You’re using social media to seek comfort – your “friends” don’t really care, they just need to know what’s wrong

Stuff happens. And when you are arguing with your spouse the first thing you want to do is talk to someone about it, clear your head a little. You try to seek validation from someone that you are correct in your feelings and your position within the argument. If your wife is driving you nuts and you feel like you have no one to relate to, call someone, even if you can only think of one person that you know can relate to you. Call them and TALK to them.

When you are looking to Facebook and Instagram to find that validation all you are doing is giving everyone that follows you a reason to gossip about you and your situation. Your inviting them to speculate about your Instagram photos and Facebook status. More than likely, the people that comment with the oh so common, “Oh no! I hope you’re okay! What happened!?“, are not people that actually give a crap about what’s actually going on with you. They are trying to get more details.

Think about it, why does Suzie Q, who you haven’t talked to in 6 1/2 months, care whats going on with you? When was the last time y’all talked?  Yeah. They want to know what’s going on so they can call their friends, your friends, and gossip.

Notice how they ask what’s wrong and then once you answer them that’s the last you hear from them. No follow up to your response about what happened, nothing. It’s almost comical. The people that truly care about you, they will call or text you to make sure you’re okay. They won’t leave a comment on a picture or status and just wait to see what you have to say.  And those should be the only people you care about. Your not going to find the comfort you seek. Your not going to find what your looking for in a sea of people that, in reality, you only currently speak with 20% of that sea. So I say, delete your social media, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and head back to some good ‘ol fashion communication with phones.

You’re using it as an emotional outlet – what you don’t realize is your outlet, is someone else’s gossip column

Again stuff happens. But again, social media should not be your diary. You know what you mean by your words because you wrote them but someone else is reading it entirely differently. Why would you ever want people who haven’t talked to you in years to look at your social media, your life, and think “man, they sure turned out all wrong!

What?! Who are they to judge or say anything at all about you, they don’t know you! Venting and getting things off your chest is key to dealing with issues you may have within your marriage. Posting all your life issues online is not going to make you feel better, in fact it is going to make things worse. You’re quickly skewing the way people look at you and your spouse. You’re quickly causing tons of people to assume the worst about you and your spouse. To be perfectly honest, it’s disrespectful to the vows you made on your wedding day, the vows that say to put each other first, meaning, if you are having issues you take those issues them first especially if it is about your marriage. Not your Facebook following. Don’t play status tag with your husband or wife it is not fair to either of you.

Your going to have people gossiping about you, speculating about what is really going on. You’re having financial issues, you’re having problems with your home, whatever it may be, there is no reason everyone on your friends list needs to know what’s going on because realistically they don’t care and why do you care what they think anyway?

You will never catch me on social media posting about my struggles in and out of marriage. You just won’t. Why? Because I will NOT invite that speculation. I will NOT allow someone I don’t speak to, to read into my words and then go gossip and spread rumors about my life. I will not defend myself behind a computer screen to someone that I don’t care for anyway. I just won’t allow it. Yes, I post the happy times on my social media pages and that is NOT saying that there have not been struggles in and out of marriage. But again, it is no one’s business but ours and those who I think are trustworthy enough to be respectful about what I tell them, they can listen too. 

If you can’t help but vent your frustrations to social media then you need to just delete it all! Don’t even tempt yourself to look for that validation on the internet because I promise you it will not come.

It is setting you up to fail – if you don’t have the will power to say no to unwanted friends then you are setting yourself up to fail

The internet is a PLAYGROUND a mean, nasty playground. There are so many parts of social media that are simply rated-R. There are groups on Facebook and hashtags on Instagram that make it so easy for a spouse to go and look at things that they should not be looking at. Now, I am not saying that all husbands and wives have these issues. But if you know you and your spouse are going through a rough time in the trust department, why are you setting yourself up to fail? Why are you even putting yourself in the position to say “I’m just gonna look once and check out the latest posts” or “I just want to see what this message from this person says, it’s probably nothing.Just get rid of it! You don’t need it! If it is a matter of the trust in your relationship, delete it! Get rid of Snapchat. Get rid of Facebook. Get rid of Instagram. Just let it all go.

If even one of these points applies to you I highly suggest you take a look at the impact that social media is having on you and your marriage. Remember, if there is an emergency, you will get a phone call. You won’t find out that someone has been taken to the hospital on Facebook. Don’t use that as an excuse to keep it. You won’t lose touch with people if you don’t have Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. If they mean a lot to you and vice versa you will stay in touch, trust me. That is no excuse either. There is NOTHING on social media more important than your life and your marriage especially if social media is affecting you.

So just say good-bye! Push that negativity out the door. If you don’t think this is something you can do, and honestly do, no cheating and downloading the apps at work or re-activating your account, or checking what’s going on, then there are bigger issues and I have no advice for you.

Focus on your marriage and your life, not everything else. Everything else is so unimportant. Delete the apps, deactivate your account, and focus on what is important in YOUR life. Not what everyone else is doing.

casey

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