Social Media Jealousy: How Instagram Ruins Relationships
We can all agree that Instagram is a double-edged sword. Yes, it helps us stay connected with friends and family, (and stalk those we wish were our friends and family); but for some people, if they’re not careful, it can become an obsession that starts taking over their lives and destroying their relationships.
Instagram Jealousy is a real thing, and can be like a stick of dynamite in a relationship. From liking pictures of attractive people to comparing your relationship to the seemingly picture perfect ones you see on The Gram, there are plenty of ways that Instagram causes jealousy and can be the death knell in a relationship.
Here are 6 ways Instagram kills relationships, and how you can avoid the pitfalls:
1) Following accounts you probably shouldn’t
No one can resist the sight of a glistening beach body that reminds you that there’s a lot of good in the world. Instagram is full of them. They’re there to be ogled and admired.
We’ve all got our favorite accounts we regularly visit or follow for …ahem… research purposes. But this can be problematic if your other half discovers that your latest obsession looks like a god or goddess incarnate, while they themselves look like something people go as for Halloween! It’s no wonder that when you’re scrolling through the #bikini hashtag, your partner might not be too thrilled.
Solution: Don’t follow attractive people of the opposite sex unless they’re celebrities or people you and your partner know you don’t stand a chance with.
Sneaky Tip: Don’t “officially” follow anyone, but regularly visit their page whenever you need your fix, then delete your search history.
2) Liking other people’s pictures
This is an offshoot of number 1, and something only the clinically insane would do. A perilous endeavor that has been known to destroy even the strongest of relationships.
Ever heard of the saying “Look but don’t touch?” Well, a reasonable partner might be fine with your occasional perusal of someone’s Instagram page, but liking their pictures, especially when said pictures leave nothing to the imagination, is a step too far for many.
You can’t, for example, explain your way out of liking a half-naked picture of some busty Internet model whose bra size reads like a measurement of flour!
Solution: Stop liking other people’s pictures. You don’t need them to know you like what you see, they already know they’re hot stuff, it’s nothing new. So keep your likes to yourself, and keep your relationship intact.
Sneaky Tip: Create a secret account your partner doesn’t know about, and like all the pictures you want.
3) Receiving random messages from sexy strangers
It’s flattering, but it can also be a major threat to your relationship. It doesn’t matter if you have no intention of replying, or if you only reply to be nice – it’s a risky business.
I get it, it’s not exactly your fault if some random sends you a flirty dm. What is in your control, however, is how you respond.
Solution: Block said sexy strangers immediately, then be open with your significant other about the messages. If they find out another way, it’s not going to go down well.
Sneaky Tip: Keep all messages as a reminder to your girlfriend/boyfriend that you have other options, in case they get any funny ideas about taking you for granted.
4) Comparing your relationship to other people’s
We’ve all seen the happy Instagram couples flaunting their happiness in everyone’s faces. And despite how much we despise them, we just can’t seem to drag ourselves away from their pages.
This is about as destructive as it gets, because comparing inevitably leads to feelings of self doubt and inadequacy in relationships that may otherwise be healthy.
And, nine times out of ten, what you see isn’t their lived reality. The Instagram timeline doesn’t show you that Laura can’t go a day without downing a bottle of wine. Or that Kevin has an addiction to… the naughty stuff that he doesn’t want showing up on his credit card statement.
Solution: Either stop looking at pictures of seemingly happy people, or realize that no relationship is perfect. In other words – don’t compare your relationship to other people’s on Instagram, and appreciate what you have.
Sneaky Tip: Show your partner how “the other half live” and drop subtle hints to let them know how happy you would be if they were just a teeny bit more like Kevin or Laura (minus the bad habits).
5) Spending too much time on Instagram instead of in the real world
It’s one thing if you’re using Instagram to document your life or find inspiration. It’s another when it starts feeling like the entirety of your life is happening on a social media platform.
And unless you’re in some warped, Black Mirror type relationship where it all takes place online and you never physically meet, at some point you’ll have to step away from the Internet and actually be present. Otherwise you run the risk of creating distance between you and your person.
Solution: Limit the amount of time you spend on Instagram, and online in general. Do things together that will enrich your lives and strengthen your bond. Instagram, I’m afraid to tell you, won’t do any of that.
Sneaky Tip: If you simply can’t leave Instagram alone for five minutes, make sure you have something to show for it. Find pages that will teach you something new that you can use to improve your relationship or make you money.
6) Taking relationship advice from the wrong influencers
Just because they have a blue check mark and a bunch of followers, doesn’t mean they’re wise or intelligent.
Instagram is replete with people who know nothing and have made it their life’s work to make sure you become as ignorant as they are. Don’t fall into that trap, because you could end up sabotaging your relationship.
Solution: Take all Internet advice with a grain of salt (mine included).
Sneaky Tip: You can always use Instagram as a scapegoat if you wreck your relationship and need to grovel later. Words to the tune of, “I didn’t know what I was doing. X, an Instagram influencer, said it was a good idea.” It might just work.
Social media in general can be a plague on any relationship, if you allow yourself to be sucked in by it. Don’t. Whenever you feel the slightest hint of a negative impact from it, it might be time to start deleting your accounts and distancing yourself from it altogether.