The Negative Effects Of Social Media On Relationships

If you have ever been in the same room with your partner and you are both on your mobiles checking your social media accounts you may find yourself so engrossed that you fail to check on your partner sitting in the room with you.

As technology and social media have evolved, more couples have drifted apart due to less face-to-face interaction. It has been most obvious over the past decade. If you live on your phone more than in reality with your significant other, the following information is for you.

It might interest you to know that many studies report that social media addiction has a substantial negative impact on relationships.

Some adverse side effects include cheating on a spouse or losing a friend. 

Here is what you need to know about social media addiction and the effects on your relationships.

1) Social Media is Designed to Be Addictive

Social Media Addictive

Social media is essentially just as addictive as using drugs. Unfortunately, this type of addiction is rampant amongst children as well as adults. Stop to consider how much time, how many minutes or hours you spend on social media every day.

You might surprise yourself by how much time you spend or waste on social media. Imagine the effect on your relationships this addiction can have. 

You can see it at restaurants where kids, parents, siblings, couples, and friends are sitting together to dine, but none of them are looking at each other or engaging with each other. Most likely they are all on their mobile phones.

Sadly, you will see this in schools and groups of children and teens looking at their phones instead of actually being social. 

A study from Harvard University showed that going through your social media channels lights up your brain much like using drugs will. It has a dopamine effect on the brain.

Psychologists surmise that between 5 and 10 per cent of Americans are addicted to social media. 

If checking your social media feeds is more important than being with your family and friends, you are likely addicted. If you cannot go longer than just a few minutes without checking your phone, you are probably addicted to social media.

You could be spending that time engaging in the real world with your loved ones and friends. Think of the meaningful conversations and memories you miss out on because of social media. 

Communication involves conversations that enrich a relationship and is crucial to the marital bond. Without communication, intimacy is less valued and important to couples.

With communication, you have a spouse that is your best friend as well as your lover. Did you know that social media addiction can even affect your sex life, to the point where it becomes an asexual relationship? Now you do.

How do you know if you are addicted to social media?

  • Do you spend a lot of  your time thinking about social media?
  • Do you feel like you just cannot wait to check your social accounts?
  • Do you feel the urge to use your social media more and more?
  • Do you use your social accounts to forget about your own problems?
  • Have you tried to cut back on using social media to spend time with friends and family, but you just cannot do it for long?
  • Does it seem like social media is adversely affecting your relationships?
  • Do you get stressed out if you cannot use your social media?
  • Do you use your social media accounts so much that it has had a negative effect on your school studies and/or work performance? 

If you can answer yes to even a couple of these questions, you may be addicted to social media.

If so, a good digital detox is in order so you can reconnect with your friends, family, and coworkers. In other words, come back to reality. 

2) Social media may cause mental health problems

mental health

Depression, anxiety, and similar mental health issues may be exacerbated by social media overuse. It is difficult enough to watch a loved one or a friend go through depression and anxiety without the social media influence.

The lines between reality and social media may become blurred, which results in causing mental health issues. It is highly likely to make existing mental health issues worse. This is primarily a big issue in teenagers, but it is also problematic for adults. 

There are several reasons mental health issues occur from using social media. It can make you feel lonely seeing other people so happy and together.

It can make you feel less than what you are when you see pretty people with great bodies. That is not what life is all about. 

3) Social media posts are often fake

fake post

Consider this: You are looking at someone’s post from one of their social media channels and Mom looks so happy and shares a positive message about her day with her new baby and/or kids. The reality is that Mom could be suffering with postnatal depression, a physical illness, or she could just be done dealing with things today. 

How about those people who post perfect pictures of their perfect bodies trying to promote something or just because?

How do you think that will impact your spouse? It could actually cause them to start comparing you to these “beautiful” people, better known as a fake sense of perfection. 

These perfect pictures show a lifestyle that you might desire, which can make you feel depressed or unhappy with your own life.

Not all social media content is representative of reality. Social media’s lack of reality can produce unhappiness in your relationship or yourself, jealousy, anger, and other negative feelings. 

4) Social media can cause infidelity – a cheating partner


The worst things about social media addiction is the fact that it could cause people to cheat on their partners.

Social media makes is so convenient and comfortable to start up a simple conversation with someone that could cause a connection to develop. It can even occur by catching up with an old high school or college crush or a current coworker. 

These “comfortable” conversations through social media can turn into something intimate. If your spouse or significant other is not communicating with you via in person or social media, someone else will make you feel connected and that is where the trouble begins. 

These kinds of communication have resulted in people meeting up for coffee or a quick lunch.

Before you know it, they want to see each other more and more and then it happens; the cheating partner. Infidelity is a very real and disturbing problem due to the ease of use and the addiction to social media. 

Social media can be a big distraction from your own partner or familial relationships, which makes things even harder for you to live in reality and the present. It is easier to start something up with another person online. 


While social media, when used in moderation and properly, can be an amazing communication tool. However, when one becomes addicted, there are pitfalls of social media. 

This technology can result in distancing you from your partner, family, or friends. It can cause relationship issues that can result in infidelity.

Overused, social media can cause mental health issues like anxiety and depression or worsen these conditions when they are already present. 

Consider these things in this article the next time you are spending a lot of time on social media. Try engaging in real life with your friends, family, and especially your life partners and children.