Has it improved or hindered our understanding of intimacy?
Social media has advanced how we communicate in many aspects of our lives, including dating and relationships. With the rise of dating apps, social media platforms and online forums, the way we meet people and form connections has drastically changed.
For many, social media has positively impacted their search for love. A 2019 survey found that 28% of LGBTQIA+ adults in the United States met their current partner online, compared with 11% of heterosexual adults.
As well as allowing singles to broaden their options beyond ‘friend of a friend’, social media has made it easier to meet people who share similar interests or lifestyles. Additionally, it has allowed them to be more selective when choosing potential partners, as they can learn more about them through social media than through traditional dating methods.
It has also enabled those in long-distance relationships to better maintain them easily and under low pressure, whether sending a cat Tik-Tok, endless Facetime calls, or a quick Snapchat. It gives them quick access to one another's lives and moments that they would not otherwise have access to.
On the other hand, social media has become a hindrance for some in the search for love. It might create false expectations, leading to disappointment in yourself, your partner, or both. The pressure to appear perfect on social media has made it difficult to build real connections with people, as everyone is putting their best foot forward and filtering their lives to present only a polished, curated image.
Additionally, it can lead to increased levels of suspicion, jealousy, and relationship dissatisfaction. Many social media sites utilise cookies and algorithms, which might result in a partner's "hidden" likes appearing in their feed. Research has shown that this can further feelings of discomfort and mistrust. Social media can allow us to obsess over our partner's actions, which may be upsetting when we see them commenting on or liking other people's postings.
While social media has made dating and relationships more accessible, it has also hindered our understanding of intimacy. Social media may be a great way to meet new people, but it can also cause jealousy, mental health struggles, and unreasonable expectations. Furthermore, being on your phone continuously might distract you from intimacy with your partner. Social media should never replace meaningful, real-life connections that can only be formed through in-person interaction.