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How to stop social media from ruining your relationships

Social media has the power to connect us but it also has the destructive potential of ruining relationships when used excessively and negatively. Here are a few ways to stop social media from wreaking havoc on your relationships.

Stop comparing

One way that social media can be potentially harmful to your relationships is through comparison to other couples that paint a picture of romantic bliss online. Relationships are messy, wonderful, imperfect things – even the healthiest ones, so to compare your relationship to one that seems to be perfect online is only going to make you feel unnecessarily stressed and unfulfilled.

Don’t be a stalker

This point is especially true for newer relationships and exes. Avoid the urge to go through all of their posts and photos. Having online boundaries are just as important as real-life ones. Focus on your own life and happiness and don’t get wrapped up in jealousy due to your significant other’s past relationships or your ex’s new ones.

Respect your family and friends’ privacy and understand that if they leave you on seen, it might be because they’re busy or don’t have the mental space to reply right away.

Nurture your real-life relationships

Don’t neglect your real-life relationships by spending every waking moment online and engaged on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Find a healthy balance and keep tabs of when you start spending too much time glued to your phone. Know when it’s time to unplug and spend quality time with loved ones. A fun exercise to try is to take a break from all forms of social media with your significant other on a regular basis.

You don’t need to document, video or photograph every single moment in your life. Be in the moment and actually experience what’s going on around you. When you have a phone held up in front of you, you are not actually immersed in the present and connecting with the people that matter to you.

Nobody needs that many selfies

The invention of the camera phone has created a world of self-absorbed narcissists. Break the vicious cycle of thinking you need validation from the selfies you post online. Instead of spending endless hours trying to capture the perfect selfie, stop the self-obsession and focus instead on nurturing healthy, happy relationships with your friends and family.

Be mindful of your online identity

Only post and say what you’d be willing to say to someone face-to-face. While it is important to stay true to yourself and be authentic, it’s also important to take other people’s feelings into account when it comes to what you post and comment.

Think about how your posts and comments impact your network of friends, family and followers. Don’t get sucked into the trap of negativity online. Spend your time online being positive, compassionate and kind to others.

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Written by Taryn Hill

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