How much of a role does social media play in our relationships? According to The Daily Beast, it's probably more than we realize. In her piece, "The New Dating Requirement: Consuming All of Your Partner's #Content," writer Taylor Lorenz reports that being in tune to your partner's Insta Stories, Twitter favorites, and even maintaining a Snapchat streak could determine the happiness and success of your relationship.
Lorenz explains that social media expectations within relationships are higher than ever these days, due to the large volume of updates on apps and the introduction of newer features like Insta Stories. Lorenz writes that couples are now not only expected merely to like, retweet, and comment under their significant other's photos and statuses, but also to actively engage with and watch their Instagram and Snapchat Stories. Lorenz also explores what it's like now that we can see in real time what our SOs are doing online, noting that Instagram's new "Show Activity Status" for its Direct Messaging feature allows you to see when someone was last online—and maybe call them out if they have yet to like that photo you posted of your brunch meal.
"If you really cared about me, the theory goes, you’d care about what I’m up to," Lorenz writes. "Ergo, watch my Stories."
But is it fair to assume that someone has stopped caring about you if they fail to send you a DM after watching your Insta Story? Possibly! It's not totally unreasonable to think that your romantic partner should like your selfies, much in the same way that it makes sense that someone might be losing interest if they stop texting you back with reliability.
But, whatever happened to getting caught up in life? Having a job? Taking a break from being online? Or simple human error? Why are we so quick to overlook the fact that other people have their own lives, and are experiencing them? And that maybe this means they don't see all your tweets? Beyond that, maybe we should just respect that not everyone is at our beck and call at all times.
A good friend of mine is stuck in a difficult situation with loved ones who don't respect her personal space. They need her to be available—at all times—to give advice, babysit, listen, etc. And when she's not available? It becomes a problem. She has told me there are days when she worries that if she doesn't pick up her phone because she is taking much-needed time for herself, she is in danger of losing those relationships because her loved ones will think she doesn't care about them. This is why there needs to be a balance and, more importantly, boundaries. People need to work out these issues by talking to one another and making clear that they are not their social media feeds, and vice versa. Because is your relationship doomed because your significant other didn't watch your Instagram Stories all week? Probably not. Is your relationship doomed if you care more about Story views than resolving the misunderstanding with a little communication? Hell, yes.