Social media is guaranteed to make you feel bad about yourself sometimes. Got a low mark on an essay? That lad will pop up on your timeline. The one that always gets a first, bragging about how he ‘just doesn’t know how he does it’ to his adoring followers. Staying in on a Friday night? Aw, look- there’s a picture of all my friends having a brilliant time at some swanky bar.
One particular aspect of social media is guaranteed to make yourself miserable- couples. This is by no means an attack on those happily partnered up on social media. I have posted many a #goals photo in the past of my boyfriend and I. But for those in a relationship and those not, social media can be really depressing sometimes.
There’s always comparisons to be made. Why haven’t I got a boyfriend? How come her boyfriend is so good- looking? Why can’t we go to posh dinners and watch West End shows all the time? This degree of self-deprecation is toxic. It’s toxic to your perspective of your own worth. If you’re in one, it’s toxic to your perspective of your relationship. You might be really happy being single at the moment. But one scroll onto a happy couple photo may have you severely doubting this, and that is the power of social media.
Social media is not entirely to blame for our unrealistic and, frankly, unhealthy attitudes towards relationships. The media in general- television, films, etc., give us all very idealistic examples of which to aspire to. I personally love Gossip Girl. Chuck and Blair’s love story was certainly a tumultuous one, filled with deceit, infidelity and aggressive disputes. Yet it is still upheld by many, exemplified by the frequent Chuck and Blair memes on Facebook, as the ‘perfect relationship.’ With my intelligent, post-Feminist hat on, I can easily spot a lot of red flags in their relationship. These are traits that should not be neglected if presented in a real-life relationship. But the media still hails it as a successful relationship nonetheless.
So does this mean that we should stop posting cute couple photos on Facebook? I don’t think so. I think we should take what we see on social media with a pinch of salt. People will only put their best on Facebook. Every relationship has its faults, no couple is perfect. The sooner we learn to focus on ourselves and our achievements, the better. You just do you- don’t worry what everyone else is up to. And then, maybe, we can genuinely be happy for that golden couple who pops up on our timelines.