Social media has ruined romance more than anything else. With the plethora of consequences that come with it, such as body image issues, beauty standards, etc., relationships have been adversely affected in ways a lot of people don’t see. I don’t want to sound like everyone’s mom and say that Instagram is the reason your life is terrible, but speaking from experience, relationships are not held to the same standards as they once were, as a direct result of our digital generation.
We are all paranoid. We are continuously performing for a constant audience; a modern teenager has countless more “friends” than ever before (aka the people you meet once then follow on Instagram). In a relationship, especially a young one, the last thing you want is paranoia. Most people experience their first love in high school; new feelings and views of yourself become even more convoluted when you’re constantly in touch with your bae. Kids text each other love letters for days on end, but when it comes to being face to face, it’s awkward silence. “I love you” has lost all meaning–does it count if he/she tells you over text? The beauty of spending time with the person that you love is now impersonal; you’re constantly Snapchatting, texting or commenting heart emojis under their selfies.
There’s a difference between wanting to constantly be around the person you love and actually communicating 24/7. Love is characterized by saying goodbye and already not being able to wait until the next time you see each other. I’m not saying that we should all only talk to our significant others via carrier pigeon, but this constant obsession over where the other person is and who they’re with makes love more neurotic. Couples share locations with each other and constantly know where the other person is. It becomes a cycle of checking their socials incessantly. We begin to take every harmless, little thing as personal.
This issue is a tricky one because, on one hand, social media allows for those in love to stay in touch. Long distance relationships are made easier with Snapchat and FaceTime—you can feel closer to your boyfriend or girlfriend than you would if you could only talk on the phone. However, social media has become a tool to constantly spy on people. There’s a difference between caring for your significant other and obsessing over everything they do.
The complexities of love are difficult enough, even more so for dumb teenagers. Our generation quantifies love by how many times a day your crush texts you. Love is no longer measured by commitment, trust or happiness. I am no love guru, but I think social media makes things messy. Text them good morning and to see how their day was at night. Send them a snapchat of a nice dog you see on the street. Relationships become meaningless when you would rather have deep conversations over Instagram DM rather than face to face.
Not everyone will fall in love while they’re in high school. The majority of people in “love” I see at school are the edgy sophomores in matching Huf sweatshirts. But for the few who find that special person, I think it’s important to value love for what is truly is, at any age, and to not try to quantify love.