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Social media and relationships

With a huge rise in divorce numbers and approx 1 in 3 modern day divorces resulting from social media related disagreements, we spoke with couples counsellor Imogen Ellis-Jones about how social media is affecting relationships.

Has social media ever caused arguments within your relationship? Have you found it has caused drama or anxiety when dating? Can social media cause distancing between couples? With statistics online ( stating approximately 1 in 3 modern day divorces resulted from social media-related disagreements, it begs the question, is social media the problem? After some reading of various relating debates online, the general consensus seems to be that social media is the problem. However, we decided to question whether or not this is something that can be fixed and managed by the couple themselves with some general ‘TLC’… Being mindful of each other, not ‘double tapping’ where it could be seen upsetting or insensitive, keeping off following pages that could trigger anxiety and other such simple situations.

Sarah Ashley wrote in 2019 on 9 different ways that you can protect yourselves in your relationship from interacting in person, taking breaks, not jumping to conclusions and considering the root cause of the problem. All pretty basic stuff that the majority of us forget to do these days, but helpful in moving forward and not being triggered at the first click.

We spoke to relationship and couples’ counsellor Imogen Ellis-Jones about what she believes to be the problem:

“I’m personally not a fan of social media, there is so much of a blame and shame situation across all forms of media as it stands, TV, magazines, papers etc, and social media is just as bad. There is so much showing off; look at my life, my holiday, my relationship, even my food, and then on the flip side you have the ability to point fingers, be nasty, call names, with no real repercussions because you don’t say it to their face. Which in turn, has led to an emotional detachment to other people. It’s easier to not take responsibility for your actions anymore when it can be hidden behind a screen.

I have found that the majority of my clients coming through with divorce, separation, affairs are all linked to finding something online. This isn’t the fault of the online platform; this is what has happened to people. We are losing the part of the brain that is required for problem solving because we have got used to everything being solved by buttons; phones, TV, computer. Answers are no longer being discovered, nor are people trying to discover them because they are used to getting what they want so easily. People aren’t trying to fix themselves necessarily or fix the problem in front of them, so they reach for external factors to bring them validation, satisfaction and distraction.”

Anyone else feeling a little like she’s hit the nail on the head? Might be time to pull up a crossword and start challenging our brains again. What do you think?

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