Suddenly, she looked up from her phone and realized, for the first time in 10 minutes, that her husband was scowling at her, after having called her several times. Stella apologized, and excitedly scuttled over to show him what had held her attention.
As you might have guessed, it was social media. She was checking on the last posts she had made online, which generating a lot of buzz. This inadvertently led to regular check-ins, to see how many more comments, replies, and likes she had gotten since the last time she checked. It was a habit that had eaten into quality time with her man and home.
Instead of being impressed by what she was showing him, her husband called her attention to the fact that the food she had been cooking had burnt. Sniffing, her nostrils suddenly perceived the burnt smell, and she rushed into the kitchen.
Her husband had been in the bedroom, when he smelt the food burning. He had called out to his wife, and had gotten no response. He had come out, only to find her sitting on the couch, with her attention on her phone, giggling away as she read and typed some comments. When he called out again, and she still didn’t hear, he knew there was need for an intervention.
Ironically, Stella was quite averse to social media in its early days. She did not feel comfortable putting herself out there, and did not understand the excitement her friends had, when they spoke about their social media life. Eventually, she had given in to peer pressure, and had created an account with the most popular one, the one where most of her real life friends were, all of whom welcomed her to the world of social media.
Then came the dilemma of what to post. Sometimes, she felt that some things were too trivial to make it online, or too private to be shared with others. Her husband was the one who encouraged her to post whatever felt right to her. So she started posting…and posting…and posting. She added new social media handles, and soon became the go-to girl for new social media apps…from messaging apps, to live video streaming apps, she was versed in everything.
[Tweet “His relationship with his wife was about to replaced #SocialMedia”]
Her real life relationships started to dwindle in importance, but because she still spoke with the same people online, all was well and right in her world…or so she thought. But her husband knew something had to change. His relationship with his wife was about to replaced by social media chat heads. She sent him more online messages than having face-to-face talks. There was need to do something about it…but he was all out of options, as nagging her to stop wasn’t helping.
For everyone out there, before social media takes over our real life relationships, here are some tips to help us all social media-proof them:
#1. Stop browsing mindlessly
For starters, you can start by not checking your social media just because it is on your phone. Stella was very fond of doing this. They would be watching a movie, and she would be busy on her phone, scrolling through her news feed. In the end, her husband, or whomever she was with, ended up feeling left out. A lot of people find themselves in this situation. Once their phones light up with a message, their immediate reaction is to jump It soon becomes something of a routine, albeit a very damaging one, which could lead to conflict in a relationship, as it has caused in Stella’s marriage, and a lot of others.
#2. Befriend Exes with caution!
Social media is one of the easiest way to reconnect with an old flame, and start a new romance…but if you are in a committed relationship, it helps to have it conspicuously stated in your relationship status and keep any friendship with an Ex open.
#3. Don’t bother logging on when upset
I see this a lot in my news feed…people venting and giving way too much information because they are obviously upset. What I do is block such people; if they cannot keep their personal matters private, then they should not be on social media…there is such a thing called over-sharing. When angry, social media seems really attractive, but sharing too much only leads to more harm than good!
Basically, your social media should not serve as a stand-in for your significant other. If you prefer to scroll through your phone than hang out with the person in your life, it might be time to evaluate that relationship.
But if it is a relationship that’s worth preserving, be sure to use your social media as a tool to enhance it…and not destroy it!