The internet is a great tool – you can communicate with others, upload pictures of your recent outings, and also get to meet new people.
You can even get online jobs. But the internet is often being used for the wrong reasons as well, and it can be taxing on our mental health. One such terrible use of the internet is using it for online validation.
Yes, you may have seen many people do it and maybe, out of peer pressure, you have become a victim of it too. And even if you think of it as harmless, you would not realize how toxic it becomes, and how fast you can become dependent on it.
There are many instances of online validation that you see on the internet. A common one is posting selfies and private moments in a way to showcase it on the internet and get more likes. You might have also seen many people posting their video chat records or relationships on the net, just to share it with people and get some likes and shares. It’s strange how likes and shares have become our currency of social reputation, self-esteem, and acceptance. And it is really harmful.
Especially when it comes to relationships.
In today’s time, if you do not share pictures of you with your partner, then you might be committing a ‘commitment fraud’. It shows that you are not that deep into the relationship as if the simple posting of pictures is a testament to your love. You might even be accused of cheating. Relationships are no longer set up on the third date – it is made official when you start posting your ‘loving, cute photos’ on Instagram or Snapchat.
While no one really criticizes this act and actually encourages it, one does not understand the psychological changes that these acts can start having on human beings. Once your life starts revolving around ‘likes’ and what other people love about you, you will be in for a tragic fall in your self-esteem, and it can even ruin your relationship. Online validation is not necessary to show that you are happy in a relationship.
Even Studies Show It
The online world has had a major impact on our mental health. The rising number of cases for depression and anxiety is often linked to social media exposure. When you are also barraged with Instagram photos of exotic places and food, you try to level up, waste your money, fail at meeting the Insta-perfection that you aspire to, and eventually feel like a failure.
And if your partner can’t keep up with your aspirations, you ponder whether he or she is the right choice. And in case there is a break-up, you start deleting every photo, and always have to keep your followers updated as to what happened in your private lives.
In the end, you will feel like you don’t even have a private life.
Don’t make your love life a romantic movie for others to enjoy. A survey done in 2016 of around 170 undergraduates explored the relationship between offline relationships and online self-preservations. They looked at whether couples who are active offline put more effort into preserving a relationship or whether Facebook couples do so. The result, unsurprisingly, showed that offline couples are stronger.
So, start working on an offline relationship. It doesn’t matter if your partner has not uploaded a ‘together’ picture online for some time, but call them up if they have not met you for a long time. Have prolonged face-to-face conversations about the future – about dreams and ambitions.
Enjoy a date without thinking about how many people would like and comment on the food photos you posted on the internet. If you are always online, feeding off the attention of others, you will find the attention of your own partner lacking. You will find it so much harder to keep an intimate conversation going for a long time.
So, how can you build a great relationship?
Date In Favorite Locations
Do you have a favorite place you really like to go to? No, I don’t mean the exotic rooftop restaurant you saw on Instagram. If you don’t have any, ask your partner if they have a favorite place. Go there, and enjoy the breeze and the ambiance. Share with one another why this place is so special. Be comfortable and get to know one another.
Lack of communication is the death of any relationship. So, start having heart-to-heart conversations with your partner. Be as open as you can. Share your life stories and goals. Ask your partner about their ambitions. If you have problems, share it and together, try to find solutions to it. Deepen your relationship as much as you can.
Do not lie to your partner. If you have certain sexual preferences or dreams which you do not want to reveal, it’s time to come out clean with your partner. Remember, a good partner will accept you as you are. So, don’t be afraid, to be honest.
Say Sorry And Don’t Forget To Forgive
There will be mistakes and errors in relationships. There will be quarrels. Sometimes, you might be the perpetrator and sometimes, your partner might be on the wrong foot. Don’t worry about it. However, apologize if you were at fault. There’s no problem in apologizing. If your partner apologizes, then forgive them, and try to make things right again, together. But don’t let serious problems slip by. If your partner turns out to be a serial cheater, walk away from such relationships.
Celebrate Each Other
When you are in a relationship, you become a part of another person. Every little win of your partner is your own win as well. Celebrate it. You don’t need champagne for it, just a pizza and a hug would do fine. Your partner should celebrate your little victories as well. Develop a positive relationship with your partner.
Your followers may support you online, but remember, they will also leave your side if you don’t deliver the right content for them. Your partner, on the other hand, will be with you through thick and thin.