In this technology-dependent, Instagram-addicted and Facebook-obsessed generation, almost all of us participate in creating other versions of ourselves online. Typically a better, more perfect image, achieved by the selection and refining of certain photos or statuses that conjures an appearance that is all too often very different from reality. Psychotherapist, Michael J Formica describes a “false intimacy and social distance” that is often present in relationships by the involvement of social media and the pressure it exerts on young people today.
Our newsfeeds are constantly bombarded with exuberant displays of devotion, which although isn’t a bad thing in itself, it reaches a certain point where it becomes about having a relationship for the sake of personal image. This is the result of the desire to have the ‘perfect’ relationship (otherwise known as ‘bae goals’) that we see online.
Increasingly we find young people confessing their love and admiration for someone for the first time in a Facebook post; and as my school-friend described it, “We are treating the most intimate part of our lives as public property”. When these intimate feelings are placed online it makes people very vulnerable and leaves the relationship susceptible to distortion.
Such online posts, written as much for other people as for themselves, aren’t always ‘real’ proclamations of love. The best, most genuine and deepest parts of a relationship won’t be found online.
TNT Anna Seifu