It's no secret that social media has affected the way we perceive our careers, our bodies, and our relationships.
While I have to make a conscious effort not to look to social media for guidance on how to live my life, many of us have fallen deep into that trap already, and we’ve fallen hard.
I’ve been with my boyfriend for five years, but when we first got together, I questioned certain things about our relationship because of what social media told me was normal.
Watch: How social media affects the self esteem of young women. Post continues below.
"If you don’t want this in a relationship, you’re not normal," — according to social media.
- If you don’t share photos of your partner on social media, your love is not real.
- If you don’t tag your partner often on Instagram, you’re hiding something.
- If you don’t post a photo of your partner on their birthday with a long caption, your relationship is not healthy.
- If you don’t travel with your partner, your relationship is not normal.
- If you don’t have sex X times a week, your relationship is not healthy.
- If you and your partner live in an apartment instead of a house or have roommates, your relationship is not healthy.
These things are bullsh*t. You are the only person who can decide what is normal or not. You are the only person who can decide what works and doesn’t work in your relationship. You are the only person familiar with the nuts and bolts (and loose screws) that make up your relationship — it’s no one else’s business and you shouldn’t use your energy trying to prove your relationship to the internet.
Besides, we should all know by now that social media is a horrible indicator of genuine happiness.
How many of us know couples who fight constantly in front of friends and family, yet they frequently post photos of themselves on Instagram lovingly gazing into each other’s eyes with a 1,000 word caption about how lucky they are?
Social media should have nothing to do with our evaluation of our personal relationships, romantic or not. Yet, many of us are reporting dissatisfaction with our bodies, our jobs, our relationships because of the content we consume online.
I’m here to tell you that it’s up to us to break that cycle of harm.
Who am I? I’m someone who has barely posted any photos of her boyfriend on social media in the whole five years we’ve been together.
My boyfriend and I met through mutual friends, and we clicked instantly. He wasn’t the first older man I’d ever been with, but he was the standout and absolute best of the bunch and I’m incredibly lucky to have met him.