Social media can have a positive impact on our marriages—couples can stay connected even while apart, share photos of how much they love one another, and change the world with another clever wedding hashtag.
However, social media can also be a detriment for some marriages. In most cases, the constant phone checking can distract us from healthy conversations with our spouse. At worst, it can actually lead to relational temptation and even infidelity.
You don’t have to give up social media altogether to have a great marriage. But there are a few helpful tips you can follow to prevent technology from ruining relationships.
Create Healthy Boundaries
Social media can be a great thing. But it can also be addicting. Science shows that social notifications release chemicals in our brain that make us want to keep checking our phone. So it’s all too easy to become hooked.
Put in place some healthy boundaries for your social media usage to keep that in check.
- Stop bringing your phone with you to the bathroom.
- Put the electronics away (or at least on silent) when you’re eating dinner together.
- Keep the phone out of arm’s length from your bed—this prevents you from checking it first thing the morning and last thing in the evening.
- Take a break from social media while on vacation. Focus more on enjoying yourself rather than posting about how much you’re enjoying yourself.
Put Offline Relationships First
One of the beautiful things about social media is the fact that you can interact with people. I’ve made friends with people who live far away and have never met in real life.
These relationships are great—but they should not detract from those I have offline. The people who you interact with in person should take precedence over those digital friendships.
Because life online is instant and constant, we feel the need to always been connected. But people online will forgive you if you don’t respond right away. That’s much less the case with those you actually spend time with in person.
Maintain a Good Attitude
There’s a lot of negative energy on social media. It’s a place where controversial opinions run rampant. Users can get nasty and argue without almost any repercussions. It’s all too easy to get sucked into a negative vortex.
Try to stay above all of that. If you allow yourself to get dragged in the emotional mud, that carries over into your relationships—especially your marriage. You can’t take out your frustrations with an anonymous troll on social media, so you end up venting to your loved one.
Spending time on social media should be fun. It should be a place to find encouragement and links to funny cat videos. If it’s becoming too dark, start unfollowing people or spending less time online.
Always Be Transparent
A major flaw of social media is the increase in affairs. More connections with more people can lead to a greater temptation to be unfaithful in your marriage. There are stories floating around of spouses who have reconnected with old flames and forsaken their marriage for what was.
This shows the importance of being honest with your spouse about who you’re talking to online. If there is any conversation that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with explaining to your spouse, don’t have it.
Remove the temptation by simply walking away. Unfriend or block people if you need to. Their feelings aren’t as important as how it might make your spouse feel.
Robert Carnes is the editor on the MarriedPeople team. He’s worked in marketing and communications for a number of churches and nonprofits. Robert lives in Atlanta with his wife, Victoria.
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