Instagram almost ruined my relationshipThomas Mitchell
Published: March 8 2018 - 10:19PM
Instagram is all fun and filters until someone loses an eye, or more accurately, cops an earful. I learnt this the hard way recently when I awoke to this text message from my girlfriend.
“You do realise I look nothing like Em Ratajkowski!!!”
This was confusing at best, worrying at worst. Had I been sleep talking and confessed my love for Emily Ratajkowski? It didn’t add up, my girlfriend is a cool customer – smart, funny, confident and not easily phased. Something was wrong. Then my phone buzzed again.
Dirty martini and a medium rare steak, please.
A post shared by Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) on Aug 2, 2017 at 11:52pm PDT
It was a screenshot of Emily Ratajkowski’s latest Instagram photo (...which I had liked) accompanied by three "cry laughing" emojis. My least favourite emoji, for the record.
Suddenly it all made sense. Needless to say, I opted to toss my phone into the ocean and begin life under a new name, fearful of any Ratajkowski-repercussions that were headed my way.
Well, at least that’s what I wanted to do, but before I had the chance another text arrived.
“This is great, are you sweating? Obviously I don’t care that you follow her, but why did you like the photo, you weirdo! Also, thoughts on dinner tonight?”
In my defence, there’s a lot going on in this text message. Firstly, who knows what they want for dinner when they haven’t even had breakfast? Also, the whole "why are you so obsessed with Emily Ratajkowski" narrative needed addressing. It was time to be honest.
“Kinda feeling salmon tonight. Haha I honestly don’t really know why I liked it. Definitely feels weirder now than it did at the time.”
We ended up sorting it out over salmon, but the whole episode piqued my interest about the effect Instagram has on relationships. As it stands, nine million Australians are active Instagram users – that’s basically one third of our population. And, with 60 per cent of all Australians reportedly in relationships, that’s a lot of potential fights.
Realising that I couldn’t let Instagram stand in the way of another happily ever after, I decided to commit my time to figuring out all the ways social media can stifle your love story.
Here are the foolproof ways you’re risking your relationship while logged on. Take notes and thank me later.
You’re creating unrealistic expectations
If you ever find you’re on the hunt for a way to immediately hate everyone then search the hashtag #couplegoals on Instagram. There are more than seven million pictures using this hashtag and each one is more sickening than the last. While it might seem harmless and hilarious at first, comparing your painfully regular relationship to the gloss you see on the 'Gram is bad news. For this very reason, I’ve had to stop following @chrishemsworth and his wife @elsapatakyconfidential because they’re annoyingly attractive and they smile too much.
You’re phubbing each other
While phubbing might sound like a sexy game you play with your partner – “Oh yeah, let’s phub all night” – in actual fact it’s the opposite. Phubbing or phone-snubbing is the act of dedicating all your together time to your device. So while you might technically be on the lounge binge-watching The Crown together, only one of you is watching, while the other is scrolling. My girlfriend is a repeat offender and I’ve found the best way to fix a phubber is with a tech-time out. Every time you catch them phubbing, the phone is put face down on the table for five minutes. Harsh but fair.
You’re rocking a fantasy feed
As we touched on earlier with the Emily Ratajkowski episode, who you follow can be a factor in how your partner feels within the relationship. If your Instagram is mostly made up of scantily clad attractive people who you barely know then you may be boasting a fantasy feed. That’s not to say you have to go all fun police on your feed and turn it into a PG-friendly lineup of food and puppies. But if it’s more fitness models than friends, perhaps you should take a step back and reconsider.
You’re fooling the world with phony posts
When the going gets tough, the tough go on to Instagram and pretend everything is fine – or so it would seem. A 2014 study about relationship visibility found that individuals who were anxious about their relationship would display a high visibility online. So while they might be #BrunchinWithBae on Instagram, in reality, it ain’t so rosy.
If you or your partner is guilty of a phony post then this may be evidence that keeping up appearances has become more important than creating a happy relationship.
Ultimately it pays to remember that your relationship exists outside a shiny application and spending time with someone you love is better than liking a photo of someone you barely know,
To summarise I’ll leave you with an anonymous quote I read recently (on Instagram, obviously).
“Sometimes to feel truly switched on, you need to log off!”
Anyway, I’m off to break up with Emily Ratajkowski – wish me luck.
This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/lifestyle/news-and-views/opinion/instagram-almost-ruined-my-relationship-20180308-p4z3go.html