Murder was the Case: Social Media was the Killer
Curiosity really did kill the cat.
As a new generation, we’ve become accustomed in our ability to access the things we desire instantaneously. If we fancy a particular type of food, we can order it to our doorstep. If we need advice, Google can answer us. If we need to get somewhere, we can order an Uber to our location within a couple of minutes. Online shopping allows us to browse, purchase, and receive our items the next day. And now, with social media, if we want to meet someone – we don’t even need to leave the house.
People are more easily accessible, with far less effort. Isn’t that ironic… you could meet the love of your life and you don’t even have to get out of bed?
They say that there is someone for everyone. But what if social media has made that one person harder to find? Visualise a ‘Where’s Wally’ book… the more people there are in the picture – the harder it is to find Wally.
Now translate that into Social Media. Most of us have a ‘type’ (I like light skinned guys with good bone structure – think Fredro Starr in Save the Last Dance, or Chris Brown), so naturally we’re attracted to someone who ticks our boxes. I could browse on Instagram and find plenty of guys that tick my boxes… but how am I supposed to find my Wally?
I’ve mentioned previously (in my Social Media Detox post) that we only show the best parts of our lives on Social Media. Someone’s profile online is often a false representation of their real life. As humans we are constantly searching for something better in life. Be that – a better job, car, house etc… In many cases the same can be said for our relationships. It’s definitely a catch-22. Social Media gives us access to people in a positive sense, but at the other end of the spectrum it can lead to distraction, temptation and deceit.
In this day and age, I have seen so many relationships tarnished at the peril of Social Media. Curiosity killed the cat because you caught your other half DMing half of London’s female population… but curiousity’s brother also killed the cat – paranoia. Having such transparency over your partner’s actions online (who they follow, the photos they like etc.) can destroy a relationship in itself as a result of paranoia and jealousy… ‘why did you like her photo?’ You may as well have cheated then right?
The concept of ‘Social Media and Monogamy’ is pertinent in the times that we live in. This topic is something I’ve wanted to write about for a while as I think it is relatable for every single one of us.
When you’re bored on the way to work, waiting for an appointment, queuing, on the toilet… what do you do? You go onto social media…. So what happens when you’re bored in a relationship? What happens when you’re bored in a relationship and you can access other people online instantly? What happens when you’re bored in a relationship and you can access other people instantly online that you find attractive???
I’ll start by asking two questions:
- Have you ever met someone on social media?
- Has your relationship (past or present) been affected by social media?
If the answer is yes, then welcome to the party, make yourself comfy and enjoy…
What is Monogamy?
‘Monogamy is the practice or state of having only one sexual partner and being dedicated to one single person.’
I thought it best to properly define in writing what Monogamy means… because it seems as though many people can’t quite grasp the concept.
Are monogamy and social media able to co-exist?
I’ve created an analogy that applies perfectly to this topic.
We’ve all been online shopping before. We browse through hundreds of items looking at stuff. When we find something we like, we chose to ‘add to cart’ or we can ‘add to wishlist’.
- In our dating life we browse through hundreds/ thousands of people and find a handful that we’re attracted to. We can ‘add to cart’ on these people by making contact (sliding into their DMs for example) or ‘add to wishlist’ if you are unsure/ unavailable at the time – but you’d like to revisit them at a later date (you could simply just ‘follow’ them so they remain on your radar).
But how many of us actually buy all of the things that we put in our cart? Often enough we add a dozen items and once we’re done we go in and take half of them out.
- In dating, once we’ve made contact with someone a number of things can happen. 1) They don’t respond (your DM slide is ignored) 2) You engage in conversation but there is no spark or 3) You start talking and you click with the person. Similarly to refining your shopping cart, you end up cutting your options down to a few select people that you’re attracted to and have a connection with. At which point you can ‘proceed to checkout’/ go on a date with them.
So you’ve purchased your items – cool. Does that mean it’s signed, sealed, delivered? Absolutely not. Very rarely do we purchase something and actually utilise it. Think of all those times you’ve purchased something, worn it once and then stored it at the back of your wardrobe to collect dust?
- The same can be said for dating. You go on a date with someone and then decide it wasn’t for you. Or (one for the guys, and probably a few girls) you finally get to sleep with a girl and it wasn’t all that so she gets dropped out of the equation.
The frequency and purpose of the shops are also an important factor. For the scenario described above, this would be a more frequent/ spontaneous shop. The item(s) purchased were minor and you didn’t really NEED them, they just caught your eye.
However, when it comes to shopping for something important (i.e. a house, car, mortgage, bank account provider etc.) we spend more time researching. When something is life changing we treat it as an investment. We read reviews, take test drives, trial out samples… only once we’ve done all of these things do we chose to invest. Normally this would involve signing some sort of agreement/ contract.
- In dating, when it comes down to actually choosing a long-term partner, we do much the same. After all, why do we form relationships if it’s not an investment into our happiness? We do our research (small talk), try out samples (go on dates with various people), enter a trial period (start seeing them) and then come to a final decision. We either 1) Sign the dotted line (enter into a relationship) or 2) Go for something else (or someone else).
Think again… As I mentioned earlier, we’re constantly in search of the next best thing. You purchase your dream car and a few years later you start thinking about what car you’ll get next. You get a promotion at work and your 1 bedroom flat suddenly feels small in comparison to your pay check, so you move to a bigger house. That Michael Kors watch was great 4 years ago but everyone’s wearing Rolex’s now, so you stop wearing Michael and invest in a Roley. The same goes for relationships
The honeymoon period ends and you start arguing? Things become repetitive? Whatever the reason is… in relationships everyone goes through rough patches. Our dependency on instantaneous access to temporary pleasures has made working through this rough patch harder than ever. Especially with Social Media.
Instead of working through it and fighting for the relationship, Social Media offers an instant escape… access to other people.
Oh, and remember that wishlist you created when you were online shopping before? Great thing about those is the reminder emails you receive saying ‘did you forget something?’, allowing you to easily pick up where you left off. So, the relationship is heading south, conveniently you’re scrolling online and come across the person you followed but never spoke to because you were happily committed? What better time to make contact than the present!…. Next thing you know your 6 foot deep into their…. DMs (replace DMs with whatever word you see fit).
When the going gets tough… the tough gets… too much for Millenials to handle.
I asked this question on my instagram story poll… has social media tarnished monogamy? And out of the 700+ people who voted 70% said yes…. But why?
Because it’s true, nearly all of us have had relationships affected by Social Media in one way or another.
And for the 30% who answered No… I spoke to a few of you and it was either 1. Because you’ve been in a long-term relationship that was formed before Social Media really became this impactful on our lives, 2. You’re still in the honeymoon period 3. You are an optimistic romantic or 4. You’re the exception.
But what is the solution? Will monogamy become a thing of the past? Is it becoming ‘the norm’ for your partner to stray? Or, are relationships being replaced by casual dating because it’s easy to have all of the benefits of a relationship but to not actually be in one? As I said, humans are always searching for something better in life – and when the prospect of that is made so easy online, why would we put all of our eggs in one basket?
I’ve been speaking generally throughout this post by saying ‘we’, when in my reality it has always been ‘you’, the other person. I don’t care for online temptation, I care about real life connection. From my experience it has become increasingly hard to find someone who wants only one person…
Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m subconsciously attracted to unattainable people because I’m scared of monogamy as I’ve never experienced it?
Truth is… I don’t know ‘what now’, and you can take this as a biased post all you want… but I do believe that Social Media has killed monogamy.
What I do know is that we need to focus on ourselves before anyone else. If Social Media killed monogamy then it must have been reincarnated as something right? Self love. I think that for anyone struggling to find their ‘Wally’ in this Social Media obsessed world, it’s important to remember that if you aren’t content with yourself, then you’ll always accept less than you’re worth. Self love is more important than expecting the love of your life to slide in your DMs and assuming he’s not done the same to 10 other people as well 🙂
Ciao for now – Elz, the Witch.