Social Media is Making You More Jealous

photo credit: Freitag/Corbis
Jealous tendencies, combined with social media, has transformed our ability to be jealous more intensely, and more incorrectly, than ever before.

Jealous tendencies, combined with social media, has transformed our ability to be jealous more intensely, and more incorrectly, than ever before.

photo credit: mylife.com
photo credit: mylife.com

Our access to the daily activities of our partners’ lives has increased dramatically, and as such, our ability to interpret (and often misinterpret) our partner’s intentions.

It’s easy to forget that our lives have changed dramatically in the past few years through social media, so before you begin to make drastic conclusions about the stability of your relationship, take a look at the big picture and recognize that there are simple solutions in this brave new world.

photo credit: socialmediatoday.com
photo credit: socialmediatoday.com

A Bigger Digital Dating Pool: Social networking has opened doors to more opportunities to meet people than ever before, so there’s theoretically more opportunities for other men or women to access the mind and heart of your partner. This can allow the imagination to run wild with thoughts of constant threats against your relationship. Does this mean that is the case? No! Online or not, you and your partner have always had social interactions that were outside of each other’s field of vision, so the “threats” have always been there. Just like before the internet existed, your job is to be an exceptional YOU so your partner never feels the need to look elsewhere.

photo credit: gottmanblog.com
photo credit: gottmanblog.com

Digital Self Esteem: Research has concluded that social networking can have a negative influence on your self-esteem. If you’re prone to looking at your partner’s Facebook timeline, for example, and you’re curious who he or she’s interacting with, you’ll no doubt view those individual’s pages and see how terrific their lives are. Let’s face it, our profiles are generally the absolute best of our lives, filtered by our own desire to make a good impression on our audience. If we all lived the lives that we promoted on our social networks, we’d all be making more money and would be happy all the time! Jealousy is often a product of feeling “less than,” so always remember that others’ profiles are a type of fantasy, just like yours. The best advice in this situation is to make sure you’re comparing yourself to the person that matters; yourself.

photo credit: mtvgirlcode.tumblr.com
photo credit: mtvgirlcode.tumblr.com

Breaking Up is Hard(er) to Do: It’s challenging when we end relationships today because we have a virtual life that seems to be going 24/7.  Even when we “unfriend” our ex, we are bombarded with mutual friends and acquaintances “liking” their posts. It’s the equivalent to being at a party with your ex there wandering around, too. If we’re not careful, these constant reminders will send our brain spinning toward jealous investigations of all the people in his/her life. How can this be avoided? Just like in the real world, you may have to take a break from going to the social networking “party,” and that means taking a break from social media. If you’re heartbroken, you need to spend healing time with yourself to lick your wounds, so unplug and stop picking at the scab. In time, the pain will subside and you can jump back into the digital dating pool.

photo credit: chownow.com
photo credit: chownow.com

Let’s Do Lunch: Even in business relationships, jealousy abounds, as the traditional boundaries of networking has eroded where being number one has more to do with the number of “likes” or “friends” one has, creating useless competition between associates than can foster jealousy and division. The strong bonds that come from sharing in-person activities, experiences, and conversations with other associates create intimate ties that are crucial to building long-term bonds between associates that will last for years to come. Instead, digital relationships are disposable, and as a result, harder to keep vibrant and extended over long periods of time. With this in mind, make sure that you still “do lunch.” There is nothing more valuable to human connection than sitting across the table and getting to know someone as a person, not just an opportunity to increase sales.

photo credit: themoscowtimes.com
photo credit: themoscowtimes.com

Biological vs. Digital Relationships: Can anyone truly call over 1,000 people “friends”? An empire of false relationships are being built through social media, at the expense of truly intimate ones. We have been convinced that “social networking is so important to our lives!” so we spend hours building digital connections rather than building more satisfying ones in person. The unintended result is loneliness and disconnect, which can emotionally drain someone, making them vulnerable to incubate jealous tendencies.

Nothing replaces sharing the same face-to-face space with a person, especially your partner, which builds trust between two people. Even if you have a crazy work schedule, you absolutely have to spend more than a few hours in the evening with your romantic interest, or though texting and emails. As much as we’d like to, we don’t behave at the speed of light– we require time to ease into trust, which comes during the  moments in-between activities. Get to know your partner by relaxing, build real memories, and watch how the jealousy fades away.

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