Lately, I have found it impossible not to acknowledge the growing impact of social media on any sort of relationship. You think that social media would be used to connect with one another. Instead it has become something that tears people apart and tears ourselves apart. The impact that social media has on our self-image is a completely separate issue that needs to be addressed. Personally, though, I think it has a greater impact on our image of a relationship, and we aren’t even noticing it. With social media, everyone has the platform to share their relationship and share their ideas of what a relationship should be.

First, I want to address the unhealthy habit that has been formed where people in a relationship feel the need to constantly post about their significant other; and, if someone’s significant other isn’t posting about them, it becomes an issue. We are so obsessed with sharing that we are forgetting the importance of our privacy. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with posting a picture of you and your significant other; I am simply suggesting we start to question why we feel the need to post that picture. Is it because you feel like you need to show the world that person is YOURS? Is it because you are trying to live up to some relationship goal? Is it because you enjoy that person? Is it because you feel obligated by our society to share your life?

What drives us to become obsessed with another person’s life? I think social media has created a sense of possession. We feel we must claim something that is already ours, and then, God forbid, that relationship ends, and the first thing we do is delete every aspect of that person from our social media — erasing them from our life and removing our title of possession. But why is it about possession? I have never understood the concept of deleting photos from a relationship. Yes, I can imagine it’s painful to look at those photos and remember all the good times, but is the pain so unbearable that we need to remove those memories? It is undeniable that at some point you were happy with that person, so does the breakup discredit all those good memories?

Why do we delete these photos? Is it because they no longer matter? When people delete photos that once made them smile, it makes me question if we understand love. Because, yes, love is the good times, but it’s also the bad times. Just because someone isn’t “the one” doesn’t mean you have to remove every trace of them from your life. I think our culture and generation have conditioned us to erase people from our life if they did us wrong. I understand removing someone from your present because they won’t benefit your future, but that doesn’t discredit the role they played in your past. I think social media has cultivated this mindset that once you’re done with someone, it’s time to remove them completely; but, I think we need to recognize the importance that someone has on us. Keeping those photos on your Instagram doesn’t mean you’re still in love. It just acknowledges that at one time you were in love.

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