How is the relationship between Facebook Instagram

What do Instagram, Facebook & Co. do with my relationship?

By Anna Wengel | April 25, 2019, 7:19 a.m.

The boyfriend likes a stranger's photo on Instagram, comments on his ex's latest post? There must be something behind it! Or not? There has always been jealousy in relationships, but it seems as if the danger of distrust from Instagram, Facebook & Co. has become greater and, above all, less tangible. But is it really the case that social networks make our relationships more difficult and more vulnerable? STYLEBOOK asked sociologist and futurologist Christian Schuldt.

It has never been easier to control what your partner is doing than it is today. And it has never been so "normal" to actually do that and spend hours stalking it through photos, stories and likes, as if you were on the trail of a serial killer. Anyone who flaunts their life on Instagram, Facebook and Co. - honestly or embellished - must inevitably expect others to watch and draw their own conclusions from it. Also the partner.

Increased jealousy through social media?

But is it really the case that the potential for jealousy is increased through social media, or is it just much easier to stimulate and act out now? “Medial distance generally reduces inhibitions, which is also proven by online phenomena such as hate speeches or shitstorms,” explains Christian Schuldt from the Zukunftsinstitut. You don't have to "literally get your fingers dirty" to find out what your partner is up to. Therefore, the inhibition threshold is much lower to stalk yourself through the social media profiles of others than, for example, to rummage in your pocket for evidence of an affair.

Jealousy might start a little earlier through social media, according to the expert: "Observing contacts that the loved one has in addition to the relationship can cause irritation and put trust to the test," explains Schuldt. In case of doubt, commenting or giving likes is sufficient. However, the number of breakups due to social media jealousy would not increase.

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This is how social networks change relationships

What would change through Instagram, Facebook & Co., however, are the requirements for a relationship: “Of course, the ability to quickly and easily contact a large number of people and potential partners via digital channels and especially dating apps like Tinder have new forms of trust from lovers, ”says Schuldt,“ trust in the relationship as well as in oneself - which is inseparable anyway. ” In general, the ability to communicate becomes greater and more complex with every social innovation. "That can mean good or bad and definitely requires new communication and relationship skills."

The futurologist advises couples to take a close look at how they interact with each other: “Less is more - less virtual communication, more real face-to-face exchange, real communication. It is important to have a healthy balance between online and offline. " He recommends dealing more consciously with the topic, reflecting on it and sharpening “digital mindfulness”. This is important for each individual as well as for relationships.

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Instagram and Co. bring people closer

In addition to the challenges mentioned, there are also many positive effects of social media on relationships, according to Schuldt - for singles as well as for people in partnerships. The "medially motivated dismantling of inhibitions" makes it easier to flirt and to communicate more openly and intimately. According to the expert, this also applies to relationships - for example, parallels can be drawn between communication via messengers such as Whatsapp and the letter culture from the age of sensitivity in the 18th century.

The power rests with the users

Trust can also be increased through the use of social networks, because the partners can “be close to each other even at a distance” and thus always participate in the life of the other. "The possibility of a continuous, intensive exchange can have a trust-building effect," says Schuldt with certainty.

Despite the positive aspects mentioned, we find that what counts in the end is treating each other with respect and honest communication in "real life". After all, it is not Instagram and Facebook that have power, but those who use it.

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