Social Media has become an everyday part of life that continues to impact marriages across this world. Couples can either benefit from usage or become annihilated resulting in a divorce. Couples must use Social Media as a tool to ensure completion of their God given purpose to avoid the atrocities associated with divorce.
Social Media are websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Social networking is the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to oneself. The social networking aspect is what can provide challenges for couples.
The first aspect that couples must remember is that Social Media can cause division in the marriage. When a person decides to sign up for a social networking site the individual uses an individual email and password. Signing up for a social network website does not need the permission or blessings of the other person in the marriage. From the door, Social Media creates individuality rather than cohesiveness and unity in a marriage.
The individuality of Social Media continues. Once a person develops their individual account, this person has an opportunity to either seek likeminded individuals or groups of individuals. The range of interests and groups is infinite.
Herein lies one problem. Social networking sites include concepts and themes that are contrary to a God centered marriage. For example, on Facebook, many people continually get requests from the opposite sex seeking to engage in some type of pornographic or sexual encounter. The pictures are very graphic and the text is only there to get the person to go to an outside pornographic website.
According to Janie Lacy, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Addiction Specialist in Orlando, Florida, “Pornography can lower the sense of self-esteem and self-worth of the wife because she may compare herself to the women that her husband is viewing on the screen.” She sees it as a slippery slope to addiction. It may also lead to “an increase in the progression of rougher or more deviant sex.” This contributes to the husband becoming more focused on his needs and not those of his wife.
Another problem is reestablishing relationships with an ex or exes. Studies have shown that people who continue to stalk or keep tabs on their ex partners through Social Media like Facebook are more likely to reach out and try to continue being with them intimately. Psychologist and author Jill Weber, Ph.D. says, “If your relationship has ended, then it’s over: What you had with your ex no longer exists. Continuing the connection means that a part of you is still hoping that in some alternate universe there is a chance you and your ex can be together and be happy. As a result, you live off moments of closeness.”
Reconnecting with an ex can also lead to Social Media stalking. Science has shown that people who tend to stalk their exes on Social Media are also the same people who have a greater risk of depression. Constantly reminding yourself of a relationship that ended is a great way to cause yourself unneeded anguish. “Both psychiatrists and psychologists report that there is a close relationship between Social Media and depression since it is becoming a major means of communication. The addiction leads to social withdrawal, as users are preoccupied with spending their time on self-entertainment and defusing their daily activities,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Dolly Habbal.
The first step that couples should take when using Social Media is to become friends on the social networking website with your spouse. This will improve the transparency between yourself and your spouse. This will decrease any opportunities to start or rekindle relationships that could lead to infidelity.
Next, Social Media websites provide persons an opportunity to either create or become involved in specific groups with targeted interest. If you create a group or page, make sure your spouse becomes a part of that group as an adminstrator. This helps because once again it invites transparency. Next, if you lose your privileged to the group for some reason, your spouse can reconnect you.
Finally, couples need to begin on the necessity for Social Media. When couples know their purpose, then they will know the reason for the Social Media website. This provides an opportunity to develop a Social Media strategic plan. Furthermore, this will help to make decisions on the type of people to interact with and the types of groups to join in the couples Social Media quests.
Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell
PO Box 4707
Cherry Hill, NJ 08012
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