It’s not official until it’s Facebook official. This is a common thought by many social media users. I believe that it is mostly young adolescents who find this statement to be true. All social media sites affect relationships and whether the effects are positive or negative depends on how and why social media is used. I believe that people use social media to either find someone to be in a relationship with, find a casual hook up or to validate their current relationship. Social media, today, is mainly used as a form of validation. Today, partners only feel confident and secure in a relationship if it’s “Facebook official” meaning they are “in a relationship” on Facebook. The posting of pictures together as a couple as well as posting messages on each other’s walls is essential to the success of a relationship. Relationships rely of this validation as a way of feeling secure in their relationship in addition to letting others people know exclusive details about their relationship. Facebook is one of the most commonly used social media sites; many people use to it to keep in touch with old friends; however, it is also used to connect with new people. Facebook connects users with people who have mutual friends as them. When first creating a Facebook you are asked a series of questions about your relationship status and what gender you are interested in. I believe that these questions are asked in order to help users to find companions over Facebook. In addition, people can meet through mutual friends; I personally met a previous boyfriend on Facebook through several mutual friends. I found it easier to meet this ex-boyfriend of mine over Facebook because I didn’t have to involve my parents which would’ve made it more difficult as well as gotten me a huge lecture on how I was too young to date at that time, 14 years old.
Facebook also facilitated several arguments when it came to changing one’s relationship status on a profile. When I was 14 I believed that I needed to validate my relationship by changing my relationship status from single to in a relationship; not only did I want to change it to in a relationship but I also insisted on putting the person’s name too so it would show up on my profile and everyone can see who my boyfriend was. My boyfriend was two years older and didn’t see the importance of changing one’s relationship status. This lead me to believe that my immaturity is what caused me to feel like I needed to post my relationship on Facebook; I wanted all my Facebook friends to not only know I was in a relationship but who I was in that relationship with. As I became older and entered other relationships I did not find the need to post my relationships to social media. I believe the need to validate one’s relationship over social media is a sign of insecurities and immaturity.
People can meet on Instagram and Twitter and update each other on their lives. However, it is easier to meet on Instagram because according to Brandy Zadronzy people find profiles more attractive if they have photos therefore profiles on Instagram are more attractive because Instagram is solely for posting pictures. Although, Instagram is not an actual online dating site it can be used to form new relationships. Further, profiles seem more attractive if people post photos with friends and seem to be the center of their group of friends. Zadronzy also states that states that headlines and usernames are also important when trying to make a profile attractive. Men and women look for different things for example men want women to seem playful and women want men to seem intelligent. Although Zadronzy is referencing online dating profiles, sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be seen as online dating sites because it is a place where people can meet and set up dates just as they would on actual online dating sites. Another, more recent dating application similar to that of social media is Tinder. Tinder allows the user to view other users in their local vicinity and chose them based on their picture.
Instagram can affect relationships not by the writing but by the photos posted by users. In today’s society people post photos of their friends, significant others and updates about their daily lives. Around the holidays, many girls post photos of gifts they receive from their families and boyfriends. I believe that girls post such photos to show their followers and others what gifts they receive as a way to prove to others that they are loved and also as a way to make others jealous. Although this may sound a little extreme, I believe that people post to Instagram to show others what they have in an effort to make them jealous or simply to be a show off. Personally, I dislike when people post such photos on Instagram because I feel as if they are forcing themselves to be someone they are not or they are just showing off. On the other hand, people can also post photos to validate their relationships the same way people feel as if they have to post their relationship to Facebook. Although I also post photos of my boyfriend and I, I believe that people who overly post photos of their significant other is on the verge of needing to validate their relationship and prove to others that they are in a happy relationship. This is also related to posting photos in an effort to make and ex jealous or to prove to an ex that they are happy without them. Twitter posts can also affect relationships the same way as Instagram photos because people sometimes use Twitter as a diary. Tweets can be made to make others jealous or to simply update others about one’s life. It is unfortunate though that a vast amount of the youth today base their confidence of their relationship solely on social media application and the amount of likes their picture receives.