Where to draw the line when sharing your relationship online

In the ever-growing age of social media, how much should our followers know about our love lives?

Charlotte Ratheram
8th November 2021
Image: Pixabay
Like most things these days, our relationships, may they be romantic, platonic or familial, can be found through a two-minute scroll through a social media feed. But is this transparency positive, or could it have potentially harmful consequences?  

In an increasingly digital world, sharing your relationship online is the new normal. Anniversary posts, cringey captions, even TikTok trends, mean we can find out information about the relationships of both celebrities and our peers at the touch of a button. People ‘follow’ relationship drama on some platforms (Libby Mae and Katylee I’m looking at you) and I’m sure many of us are guilty of noticing when suddenly there are a few noticeable gaps in the Instagram feed that weren’t there a few weeks ago.  

Online culture also means that many of us only share the best parts of that relationship, contributing to a toxic social media culture of constant perfection. But then again, it would also be weird if you shared every little bicker and disagreement online for everyone to pick apart and analyse. So essentially you reach an infuriating point where no- one can win – if you post too little, you may be accused of hiding your partner or being ashamed of them and if you post too much, you risk having your privacy invaded.  

Ultimately, what you choose to post on social media is your personal choice and like all things in life, each person will have their own boundaries about what to share and what not to share

Gossip about relationships isn’t a new phenomenon though and although social media may enable us to find out information much quicker, relationship gossip has probably been the source of a good conversation since the beginning of time. No access to Instagram didn’t stop Mrs. Bennett from finding out the personal biographies of every prospective husband in a twenty-five-mile radius- although arguably if they all did have social media back then, most of Austen’s novels could have been much shorter.  

The good thing about social media is if things go pear-shaped and you’re wondering why on earth you decided to caption the last two months' worth of photos ‘Soulmate forever and ever <3’ when they end up not fitting that description, posts can be deleted. You can start afresh. Well, your own feed can- pictures of yourself on other people’s accounts might tell a completely different story.  

Ultimately, what you choose to post on social media is your personal choice and like all things in life, each person will have their own boundaries about what to share and what not to share. Some people’s relationships appear to thrive in the public sphere, whilst others need privacy. But whoever you are, if you’re posting screenshots of your four-hour facetime on Snapchat in the early hours of the morning, expect a teeny bit of judgement, from me at least.  

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AUTHOR: Charlotte Ratheram
she/her 2nd year English Literature student

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