Social media red flags in relationships: is your girl addicted to it?
What will I do when my girlfriend is addicted to social media? From a distance, everything is going well between you two? Beautiful alchemy in stories and smiles from ear to ear in selfies?
But deep down, you think that your girlfriend is addicted to social networks… Samsung, Apple, or Huawei always in hand. She connects stories about your personal life to be like her friends.
Is your sweetheart a hopeless case? Is she addicted to Instagram, Snapchat, and other networks? A recent survey shows the time spent by young people aged 16 to 24 has doubled in one year, now reaching almost 4 hours.
A little test is in order: if she spends more than 4 to 5 hours a day on her phone, when it’s not her job, there is indeed a risk that your girlfriend will be addicted to social networks. Before meeting her again tonight to explain to her that you’re tired of being with a story junkie, take the test to see if she’s really addicted to her smartphone.
5 points that indicate smartphone and social media addiction
1. She thinks you’ve seen it all in her day
Instagram shouldn’t be a substitute for conversation, no matter how mundane. If when you come home from work, you tell her, “Hi, honey, how was your day?” And she says, “Well, you would know if you looked at my stories,” then there really is a problem. She has a problem.
She no longer lives in a world of the living. You have lost her. It’s not healthy for any relationship, and no one should have to be staring at their phone to follow their girlfriend’s adventures, especially since studies prove that passive consumption of social networks does not make you happy.
Bring her back down to earth, explain to her that you have more to handle in the day than wasting your time on Instagram. It should calm her down a bit.
2. She talks with anonymous people
If she happens to talk for hours on end with @mr_nice_guy on Instagram (someone she’s never met) but has nothing to say when you’re around, you’ve got a problem. The more you lose your privacy in real life, and the more you create false relationships on your messaging services: your couple becomes vulnerable because of this estrangement that the networks create…
3. Head to head between are rare and widely spaced
The more you become dependent on social networks, the more pleasure you feel in going there (the brain will give you endorphin, the hormone of happiness, every time you go). It corrupts your ability to have genuine, authentic relationships with someone in the flesh, which is less rewarding.
That’s exactly why it’s harder to seduce on a first date when the girls in front of you think more about their phones than you. It is very hard to be as entertaining and as rewarding in terms of dopamine as all the cell phone notifications.
4. Without her phone, she’s like weaning
If you’ve tried to log out for a day, what happens? It’s no secret that it can be difficult to take a break from social media, but withdrawal should be seen as an opportunity to work together on your intimacy and not cause further frustration in the relationship. If you set limits and she doesn’t follow them, and she’s restless, irritable, like when you take someone’s cigarettes or a drink, that’s a bad sign.
5. She prefers social media to your feelings
Even if you’ve dared to tell her that her excessive use of social media is bothering you, it’s like talking to a wall. If she’s not ready to listen to you, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
If your girlfriend isn’t open to how you feel, it’s more than just a red flag, and it’s fire. How do you have a relationship with someone who doesn’t care how you feel?
How to deal with your obsession with social media
It’s never about blaming your girlfriend but start by expressing how you feel. To keep your words from being aggressive, re-read this article on nonviolent communication.
Start by telling her: “I need to share something with you, and I know that you will be understanding because you care about me, but it’s still very difficult for me to share it”.
Go ahead, and then detonate the bomb. You say what’s on your mind. Continue by suggesting “changes that can be made” without her feeling like you are aggressively taking control. In short, plant a seed without her noticing it. You will then have to germinate the idea.
She needs to understand before you even verbalize what is bothering you, so she won’t be defensive but will be open to what you have to say. It is essential to use your words, discuss them as best you can. Communication is the key.
First, go her way, letting her know that you understand that she likes social media, but then voice your concerns. If she cares about her relationship, she will listen. Although your partner may listen to what you say, take note that you may not get the reaction you want. When you are ready to have the courage to take a stand (for yourself and the relationship), you must be ready to accept the response.
If she says: No, it’s not good, I’m addicted to Insta, and it’s not going to change, she tells you that her priority lies in the validation by her strangers who follow her and by the likes. It can be an embarrassing discussion, which can escalate into a breakup, but the embarrassment is worth it if you want to save this sinking relationship.
How to set the ground rules for social media in your relationship
Everyone should be spending more time in the real world than on Instagram or social media. Maybe you met on social media because you were popular on Instagram… It is up to you both to determine a ‘healthy media diet,’ that is, healthy consumption of social media.
Here are some ideas to help your girlfriend detox from Instagram.
- Determine how often the two of you are allowed to check social media while you’re together.
- Figure out what the two of you can post on social media: the close-up photo of her breasts? Are bikinis galore? Crazy pictures of you in stories? Of images of your children on social networks?
- Figure out how many hours per day it is acceptable for both of you to spend on social media in total. (4 hours is already a lot…)
- Take some time together to discuss this need for validation, this need to show that your online life is worth as much as your friends’ lives. Why does she need to do this?
Make sure you have a clear discussion of what you find acceptable to share online and what isn’t. Discuss the limits of your social media posts.
If you can see that it’s going too far, she’s probably turning into an “influencer”. If she tells you that she is going to “buy likes” to make it her job, run away, she’s a mental moron. Her brain has melted in contact with the Kardashians.
Lastly, If the last thing she does when she goes to bed is to say goodnight to her community, you’re in deep trouble, and even worse if her first instinct in the middle of the night is to check her number of likes…
Have you ever known girls addicted to social networks?
I split up with my partner after telling them how the amount of time they were spending on Twitter was making me feel. Over the past 12 months she has had a few health issues which have led to major surgery on a few occasions. I have felt like a second class citizen despite standing by them through all the health issues. They are always posting selfies, talking about their personal life but very rarely including me (their partner). Some of the posts have been about personal stuff related to their mother (shared without consent). Since we split, they’re now spending even more time on Twitter, I’ve telling them that because of the amount of time spent online that they are addicted. Of course, as with most addictions, the person addicted is the last person to realise they’re addicted.
@Duane The same with me. I dished her out due to constantly spending more time on social media. Almost 80% of her picture are on Facebook, no secret, no control. I got obsessed about her spending more time on Facebook without thinking about my feelings. We broke up middle of last year.