Are you on Instagram? Most people are nowadays. It’s a fun photo and video-based platform that encourages users to scroll for hours. There are fun people to follow and cool videos to watch in pretty much every genre.
Instagram keeps friends and family members connected on the platform. You can update people on just about everything you’re doing. The social platform has a lot of cool features. However, I’ve found that Instagram can be pretty harmful to romantic relationships.
To be fair, I haven’t found that any social media platforms are helpful to relationships. Well, besides those that allow some people to meet the loves of their lives. But once you’re in a relationship, not much good comes from them.
I’m not saying that you need to close your accounts or anything, but there are things to be aware of when using Instagram. Take a look at the ways that it can be harmful to your relationship and be mindful of how you’re taking in and processing the information you get from Instagram.
How Instagram Can Ruin Relationships
The platform itself can’t ruin your relationship. However, the things you view on Instagram can drive a wedge between you and your partner. Let’s take a look at the things you need to watch out for if you or your partner have an account.
1. Relationship Comparison
One of the biggest problems Instagram can create is relationship comparison. The platform is full of influencers who stage their lives for reels and photo ops. They share their seemingly perfect relationships while hiding hard realities.
Your closest friends might be sharing their lives on the platform as well. Anyone you follow who is part of a couple might be posting stuff about their relationship.
If you see that someone else’s boyfriend is constantly doing nice things for them that make it into pictures, then you’ll start wondering why yours isn’t doing the same. Or if you see someone’s girlfriend posting nice things about them all of the time, you might wonder why yours isn’t publicly posting about her undying love and appreciation for you.
Instagram can make you look at other relationships, through a filter, and start to question your own. You might wonder why your partner doesn’t do the same things as someone else’s.
You’ll start examining the differences and may think that your relationship is less than or lacking something that isn’t important. What you don’t see is the couple’s issues in their reality behind what’s posted.
Jealousy is another ugly effect of social media. It is basically a virtual world that leaves your partner open to interactions with a bunch of people who they otherwise wouldn’t see every day.
Whether they are following an old fling or attractive influencers, you may be wondering if something is amiss. Especially if those people start liking and commenting on your partner’s posts.
While there are a lot of fun and informative accounts on the platform, there are also a lot of Instagram models and influencers who make it their job to promote themselves to any and everyone. You might find that you are getting jealous of the people your partner interacts with or follows, whether there is a good reason for the jealousy or not.
Largely due to constant comparisons and jealousy, you may even start to feel insecure in your relationship. There may be feelings of a crumbling relationship where there was once security and confidence.
You might even start to feel anxious about your relationship. We see this a lot where people are just waiting for the end or a catastrophe because they are insecure.
Insecurity as a side effect of Instagram use in your relationship can make you feel like you just aren’t good enough for your partner. Maybe you feel like you aren’t attractive enough or aren’t doing enough in your relationship.
4. Major Distraction
We all know how distracting social media can be. It is a major time suck! The apps are downloaded to our phones so it takes just a few seconds to jump on and check our feeds.
Then we see something interesting that leads to something else. Pretty soon, an hour has passed while we’re numbly scrolling through photos and videos.
The large amount of time we spend on social media platforms like Instagram can take away from our relationships. This can mean less free time for you that could be spent on your relationship. Or you may even find yourself scrolling when you’re supposed to be spending quality time with your partner.
5. Makes Cheating Easy
In just a matter of seconds, you can be sending someone a private DM (direct message) on Instagram. Whether they approach you or you decide to reply to one of their stories, it’s really easy to start up a conversation.
What might start out as micro-cheating or small flirtations can turn into full-blown cheating. There have been a ton of emotional affairs that start out on social media platforms. These sometimes turn into physical affairs as well.
If your partner isn’t prone to cheating, Instagram won’t turn them into an unfaithful monster. However, if they have any weaknesses in this area, it can certainly make it easier for them to cheat.
6. Inappropriate Content
It’s quite easy to stumble upon raunchy photos and inappropriate content online. It’s just as easy to do this on Instagram. There are accounts dedicated to sexy photos and videos that are accessible to anyone.
Many users are shocked when they discover that their partners are following these accounts. Some are even extra concerned when these accounts are private and their partner has gained access to what’s hidden to those who haven’t been accepted as a follower.
It can be disheartening to find that your partner is looking at inappropriate content without your knowledge. Instagram makes this easy by allowing pretty much anything on their platform.
7. Bad Advice
As a relationship coach, it’s hard for me to stomach some of the terrible advice I see on Instagram! There are men and women on the platform that find the need to dish out relationship advice that is not in the best interest of their followers.
Anyone can make a reel or post about relationships. So, you need to be careful about the advice that is given. Just because someone on Instagram says that you need to be doing something or that your relationship needs to be a certain way, this usually isn’t the case.
Take what you read and watch with a grain of salt. Always consider the source of the information you receive.
Do you ever wonder why relationships seemed simpler back in the day? It’s because people didn’t have social media platforms to broadcast their personal lives on.
It wasn’t normal to share the ups and downs of our relationships until social media came about. Now, we see many couples sharing everything about their relationships on Instagram.
Go on a date? We hear about it.
Have a fight? We hear about it.
Overcome a struggle? We hear about it.
Some couples are happy to share every detail about their relationship. Many times, there is one partner who is Instagram crazy while the other doesn’t even have an account.
Either way, the sharing of personal details can feel violating at times. It also adds additional stress to the relationship when you know the whole world is going to hear about the ups and downs of your entire life.
9. Staged Photos
It’s nice to have some photos to look back on where everyone is smiling, no mouths are open or eyes shut. However, taking the perfect photo has never been as important as it is now.
People feel the need to share parts of their lives via a perfect picture. Instead of enjoying a private, romantic moment together, couples are pausing to take a photo that will tell the world just how great their date night is going.
Staged photos can make special moments feel, well, staged. This takes away some of the genuine, real magic that happens in our lives. Instead of focusing on how great a moment is, we’re reaching for our phones to make sure we capture it.
Not only that, we are making sure the lighting is perfect, the angles are right, and that we can come up with the perfect caption.
10. Partner Bashing
The last way Instagram seems to be bad for relationships is that there is a lot of partner bashing there. While it may be in the form of a humorous video or snarky comment on a photo, there is a lot of public shaming of people’s partners.
Even if you’re not the one posting things like this, it can still affect you if you are taking in the information. You may connect with someone whose partner does the same irritating thing that yours does. Since they find an issue with it too, you feel more validated and it can increase the intensity of your feelings.
People may even point out things that you didn’t find an issue with until they said something. You might close the app with the thought of “yeah, my partner is taking me for granted by not doing X” or “I can’t believe I’ve been manipulated into doing Y”.
While information is great, bad information and negativity can make you feel like your partner or your relationship is lacking.
Instagram For Relationships FAQ
Is Instagram healthy for relationships?
No, Instagram is generally not healthy for relationships. While it can help you stay connected with others and share your relationship, there is really no direct benefit to your romantic relationship. Instead, there are many ways this platform seems to be unhealthy for your relationship.
Can social media ruin relationships?
While social media is just a tool, it cannot ruin relationships on its own. However, many relationships have been negatively affected by the use of social media. In the worst cases, it makes cheating easier. In other cases, it is a distraction or place to find comparisons and insecurities.
Why is Instagram toxic for relationships?
Instagram can be toxic for relationships based on how it is used. If you are constantly comparing your relationship to others or airing out your dirty laundry, it can lead to a lot of problems. Additionally, if you are spending more time on social media than with your partner, it can create distance.
Is flirting on Instagram cheating?
Flirting on Instagram isn’t technically cheating. However, it can be a form of micro-cheating. If you are sending flirtatious messages to someone other than your partner, it can lead to actual cheating.
While Instagram is fun for users and offers a place for people to connect, it’s not great for relationships. The use of any social media platform can put a strain on a relationship when it is used incorrectly.
If you choose to use Instagram, it’s a good idea to watch out for the negative ways it can affect your relationship. This can be anything from comparing your relationship to flirting with other people in your DMs.
When problems present themselves, it’s important that you make the changes necessary to keep your relationship secure and healthy. This may even mean deleting your account if Instagram is ruining your relationship.