What your social media PDA says about your relationship
Relationship advice: How to strike a balance between sharing couple updates on social media and not seeking validation from it or boring your followers.
Do you post every cute photo you take with your partner? You may be over-sharing. And while it may make some people go “Aww”, not everyone may be thrilled to see everything you eat, buy, or do with your partner.
An Albright College survey done in 2014 found that Facebook users with an unhealthy self-esteem regarding their relationship or Relationship Contingent Self-Esteem (RCSE) are more likely to post photos and details of their relationship on the platform.
“Oversharing on media indicates a need to seek validation from others .Many people do this subconsciously but the underlying desire is always to prove something to others,” says clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany.
It reflects how the person’s confidence is strongly tied to their relationship status. “They are more likely to feel the need to brag about their relationship, or even monitor their partner online to maintain their self-esteem. Often, people over-share to make others and themselves feel more secure about their bond,” says Dr Kersi Chavda, consultant psychiatrist, Hinduja Healthcare Surgical.
The problem with this approach is that if your self-esteem is tied to the relationship, it can implode if the relationship falls apart.
But does that mean that you should stop posting those vacation photos and date night shots? Experts say in moderation there is no harm to posting updates and photos. And the same study also showed that people who are more satisfied with their relationship are more likely to use Facebook to share couple photos, details of their relationship, and “liking” comments on the partner’s timeline to feel happier about their bond.
“A little bragging online is totally healthy as it shows that you aren’t ignoring your partner on a public domain. But you need to boost your self-esteem irrespective of your relationship. And keep in mind that sharing affection on social media does not replace doing so in your actual relationship,” says Dr Chavda. To put it simply, three hearts and hug emojis do not translate into a real-life hug or kiss.
Here are 4 pointers to get it right:
* Ensure that you share the highlights, and not each and every thing you do with your partner, unless you want to bore/irritate your friends, says Dr Chavda.
* Keep in mind the dynamics of the relationship with your partner. “If your spouse or partner is a private person, it does create issues and intrusion leading to cracks in the relationship. Hence, discretion is necessary,” says Hingorrany.
* Boundary management is needed. Putting your whole life up there is not needed, as it no longer remains between two people. “We have also seen that there can be a greater risk of a misunderstanding if too many people start commenting and it gives them the right to interfere .It can definitely have a serious impact on the relationship,” says Hingorrany.
* Question your motivation. Are you sharing because you had a good day, or to make an ex jealous or to show that everything is going well in your relationship even though it’s not? “Make sure the comment or status of any picture is genuine and not to seek validation from others. Make sure you are not doing this to make other people jealous .That’s just immature,” says Hingorrany.