C/O Markus Winkler, Unsplash
How social media has tampered with our perceptions of love and relationships
By: Ana Mamula, Contributor
Rom-coms are my favorite, especially The Notebook. I couldn’t even fathom a man writing me a letter every single day until we meet again, a man who would wait his whole life for me. Today, love is if he likes your Instagram picture, slides into your DMs and is your number one friend on Snapchat.
It’s matching on Tinder with strangers hoping for that Notebook kind of love. However, in actuality, love this way is superficial and impossible.. Love is non-existent today. Love is transactional; it’s a like, a comment or a FaceTime. It’s getting jealous over your significant other liking another person’s picture, it’s cheating coming in so many different forms and becoming so accessible.
I hate it.
Love has turned into lust. Today, we are just focused on physical attraction rather than having a genuine relationship. Hookup culture is the norm and seeing someone just for their appearance is the norm due to social media. As a result of the media uprise, men and women have lost the acceptance of themselves today and feel they must live up to society’s expectations.
And maybe that’s why I love rom-coms so much, and why girls love rom-coms so much. Rom-coms liberate us from regular concerns and dump us straight into that beautiful space, a fantasy featuring no real responsibility or risk.
Then we have social media that dumps us into a space full of anxiety, jealousy, low self-esteem and so much more. It is so rare to actually meet someone out and about and just click and then start dating. Nowadays, a swipe right is all it takes. Individuals do not even look for relationships anymore. It starts and ends with a hookup and if it escalates into a relationship, well you’re in luck!
Social media has created such a toxic space for relationships that bring out the worst in us. Jealousy and self-esteem issues are on the rise and the accessibility to cheat is so much more pronounced. With Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, webcams and other such social media platforms, partners can carry on affairs from the comfort of their couch, illuminated by the light of their computer or smartphone screen.
Social media is meant to highlight the best parts of one’s life, including the positive aspects of their relationships. This restrictive positivity does not allow for a person’s negative aspects to be brought to the light until we get to know someone. We never truly know how someone is or what someone’s relationship is like until we see it in person.
All of these false representations of love, from rom-coms to modern dating on social media, make it difficult to understand what a relationship should look like due to our clouded judgments. The media has shown us such an unrealistic standard of love that we do not even know what to believe anymore — and that is scary to me.
What even is love anymore?