Instagram has become an obsession for many of us. It has more than 1 billion users according to the co-founder and CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom. And what’s not to like about this app? You can see amazing posts about the cities and places you want to visit. You can have fun scrolling and have a laugh or two at memes. You can follow news accounts to see the world in real-time, you can shop your favorite looks with just a click, you can know about the latest trends, you can easily see your crush every time you want to.
We are all sharing this big online community. We are connected.
But what if I tell you that Instagram has become a hazard for relationships?
Social media has become part of our everyday lives and Instagram, without a doubt, is the front-runner. It is inevitable to say that it is a part of us. We can’t separate it from our physical lives. We find that our online selves matter just as much or more than our physical ones. Everything you do- no matter if it is online or offline- counts. If you think that Instagram can’t affect your relationship, then you are being naive.
It goes way more than posting pictures of your relationship for the sake of getting likes. What if one day you are in the bathroom, checking posts on Instagram -nothing too crazy- you are just chilling for a minute Hmmm I like that swimsuit and her hair…. She’s beautiful, your thumb is about to click the picture twice when you see the name of your boyfriend next to the numerous likes already.
Now, that feeling is indescribable. It is humiliating, and you want to laugh, but scream at the same time. You feel this overwhelming anger and all you want is an explanation.
You start wondering who is this girl? Or who is that boy? Are they a friend? A past lover? A past hookup? Are you being too dramatic about this? No! Don’t ever question how you feel about something.
Before I started dating my boyfriend I never thought about it. I had many crushes and would spend my day looking up their accounts, seeing their pictures and giving away likes because it didn’t mean more than just a thumbs up to me. Then came the boyfriend and one day he asked me “Why are you liking this guy’s pictures?” My answer was “How in the world, do you know?”
Of course! He knew from the “following” tab on Instagram, which I had never paid attention too until that exact moment. He never brought the subject up again until I saw that he was liking pictures of other girls! In that moment I knew how he felt. I was just behaving as if it didn’t count. As if flirting or liking someone on Instagram wasn’t that big of a deal— when it is.
Here are some of the reasons why it matters:
1. Jealousy, oh dear jealousy!
If you are liking pictures or posts of others who you know:
- Are not friends, family, coworkers.
- Are exes or possibly past flings or hookups.
It may arise feelings of jealousy in your significant other. It is enraging to see someone who you trust, like, and love; “liking” pictures of the same account every day. What if that happens to you? How would you feel?
It is exactly the same thing as being on the street walking hand in hand with your partner, and you notice that she’s ogling another guy or he’s checking out that girl in front of the bus stop.
Therefore, try to be more considerate of your partner’s feelings because a jealous partner may bring more issues to the surface than to stop flirting on Instagram.
2. It’s not just a click
A “like”, isn’t just a “like”. It makes the other person realize that you like what you are seeing. Especially if you are liking all the pictures of the same account because it’s not just liking an account, but liking a person.
Think about it this way, you are at the beach with your partner and he goes and tells that girl in the red bikini that she looks fantastic; or she goes and tells that guy with the abs that she thinks he looks hot. Isn’t liking their pictures on Instagram, the same thing?
If your partner sees that it could make them think that you would like them to be physically different, or that you are interested in that person instead. It makes them feel as if you are comparing them to the person you can’t stop “liking”. And insecurities lead to so many other problems.
3. Stalking your significant other’s account: such a pain!
After you realize that your partner is “liking” posts from specific accounts, you might want to know who the person is that’s getting and receiving all this attention from your partner. Thus the stalking begins. You go to the “like” account and scroll picture by picture looking at the comments and the likes. Or you just go to the likes of the people you follow and see what your partner is doing online. Or you go to your significant other’s account and check who they follow or who are following them.
This becomes an unhealthy obsession that is toxic to your relationship. It makes you insecure and you start doubting everything in your relationship. You feel the need to see who they are liking or what comments they are leaving on which accounts. You stalk their exes and their past, and you feel like you can’t do anything about it. You feel that maybe they are just not that into you and that they don’t feel the same way you do.
The Solution: Say how you feel!
Try not to end up like this. If you are in a relationship and you want it to be serious and you think that it is something important to you than you need to have a conversation with your partner about these issues.
You could set boundaries about what makes you uncomfortable or what makes you feel disrespected. If it is important to you that they are not following their exes or past hookups accounts, then let them know!
If you feel upset that they are liking or following accounts of other people who they don’t know and they seem to be attracted to them then speak up. And if they don’t seem to care and say “it is not a big deal”, or “it is just social media”, or “it is just a like”; then you should definitely ask yourself if you really want to be with someone who doesn’t acknowledge how you feel about something and dismisses it as if it is nothing.
You should prioritize yourself. You need to feel respected. What you want and expect out of your relationship is important. Don’t let Instagram become a wedge between your significant other and yourself. Don’t let it ruin something that could be extraordinary.