Social media is a part of nearly everyone's life at this point, and most people, 84%, are connected with their significant other on social media.
Surprisingly, a survey conducted with millenials found that only 30% had fought with their partner over their social media use.
Most of the time the fights were about interactions that could be viewed as flirtatious or romantic.
Is it a Problem?
Before you decide how to deal with the problem, you need to define what the problem is. You also need to take a good look at whether there is actually something wrong going on, or whether it is just your insecurity.
This is obvious in some situations. If your girlfriend is constantly talking to men online or her social media use is seriously cutting into your alone time, there's a problem.
If she is frequently confrontational or saying mean things to others online, this is a red flag as well. People who attack people online are likely to attack them offline as well.
However, if the issue is her liking another guy's post or following other guys, you should consider if it's actually inappropriate or if its simply jealousy.
More on Social Media
Check out these articles for more information on social media and social media and dating.
How to Solve the Issue
Just like any issue in your relationship, calm communication is the best method to solve it. Bring it up when you are both calm and have time to talk about it.
Use "I" Statements
Use "I" statements. It's easy to say things like "you are spending too much time on social media and it's hurting our relationship". This can cause your partner to become defensive and lead to a fight.
A better way to phrase it is "I feel that you are spending too much time on social media, and I am upset that you aren't spending as much time with me as you used to."
Beginning statements with "I" instead of "you" sounds much less accusatory.
Give them an opportunity to speak, and listen. Let them explain their reasons for the behavior that bothers you. Hear their side of the story.
Try not to interrupt when they are speaking. You should repeat what they say in your own words, to be sure you are on the same page. Ask questions if you need clarification, but try to withhold judgement until they are done talking.
After they have finished speaking, you'll need to decide what to do. You have three basic options.
Your Options Are:
- Attempt to find a suitable resolution
- Decide that it's a deal breaker for you
- Decide that the behavior is something you can accept
Find a Solution
If you want to find a solution, attempt to find a compromise that you can both live with. This may mean that they modify their behavior without stopping it completely, or agree to certain limits.
Decide It's a Deal Breaker
If you can't accept the behavior and they aren't willing to compromise or you don't believe a compromise would be helpful, then it's a deal breaker.
If you feel very strongly that the behavior is a red flag or an indication of inappropriate behavior beyond social media, then it is likely a deal breaker.
Decide You Can Accept the Behavior
Sometimes hearing someone's reasons for what they do is enough to make the behavior more tolerable.
You may discover that their explanation makes you more comfortable and that you are ok with their behavior now that you know the motivation behind it.
Have you had issues with your girlfriend's social media? How did you resolve them?