Sunday Edition #20: My Column in Yellow
This feels like a silly question but I felt the need to ask it. What are your thoughts on Social Media and relationships? I always see couples posting about each other all the time and I’m a little jealous. The guy I’m seeing never posts things with me in it and it makes me wonder why. I’m too embarrassed to ask him about it because it seems like a dumb thing to be concerned with. What do you think?
One of my greatest revelations in Therapy was when I sat on the couch talking about how much I hated myself for feeling the way I did. I judged myself and called myself crazy. My therapist looked me square in the eyes and told me that my feelings are not wrong. She said what I feel is valid and the work we had to do was not to stop them but to understand them.
So to you I say, these feelings of jealousy and concern aren’t wrong or bad but let’s dig in and see what is causing them.
I love Social Media but I hate it too. I love it because it has given us all an amazing platform for expression. We can more easily reach audiences that may have never known about us prior. I’ve made friends all over the world because of it! But on the negative side, we have become obsessed and addicted to it. We use it for validation. We use it to create a false reality because we are ashamed of our truth. We look at quantities of followers and “likes” and use them to calculate self-worth. We compare who we are and our lives to the square images of others we scroll past.
When it comes to relationships the downfalls of Social Media can get even messier. I follow a few people who are in “perfect” Instagram relationships. As a single person, I do catch myself lamenting about the lack of love in my life when I see their perfectly lit and staged photos with their huge smiles doing things together… constantly.
We start to think that is what we are supposed to do once a commitment between two people is established…. Make it Facebook official and post as many pictures as possible about it on Instagram.
Well, it isn’t.
I think the need for validation of our relationships via Social Media comes from insecurities about the level of commitment they have to us. The times I’ve been upset about a friend or partner never sharing photos or stories when with me came from a place of feeling I wasn’t good enough or they were embarrassed to be with me. Or worse, that a Lover was lying to me and therefore hiding my existence from everyone. I wanted some sort of proof that what they felt and said to me was real. If they show it openly to everyone it must mean it is real...right?
Could it also be a need to do some showing off yourself? Stake your Social Media claim of them? Are there followers of him and yourself that you want to see and rub it in to? Be honest with yourself… we all have that lingering ex we want to make sure sees us being happy without them.
People all use Social Media differently and you can’t expect everyone to have the same sharing preferences as you. If used for mostly business, they will probably never post about their relationship unless it ties in someway. Maybe their parents follow their account and they aren’t ready to talk to them about the new love in their life. Maybe they use it only to share cat videos and Memes. Or it is possible they also follow “perfect” Instagram couples and swore to never be like that because it made them feel bad when they were single.
Once you have a better understanding of why it is bothering you, I don’t think it is silly to bring it sup to your Lover. Approach it in a calm and rational manner. Tell them why it feels important to you. Explain that it spurs insecurities within you and you would like a better understanding of their perspective. You might learn things you never considered.
When we meet someone worth sharing our life and hearts with, some of us want to tell the world about it while others want to keep it for themselves. Neither one is right or wrong. Whichever way you choose, do it honestly, authentically and with all of your heart.
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My Life in Yellow is not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and the advice within this column does not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a health/medical professional. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.