The toxic effect of social media on dating

Today 27% of young adults report using online dating sites, which is up 10% from 2013, due to the influx of dating apps on smartphones. Source:

Vivian Aviles, Reporter

Social media has changed the inner-workings of modern day relationships, and while it offers certain benefits, it has also negatively affected the important aspects within them.

The key element to any relationship is trust. Because of apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Life360, trust completely disappears. How? They offer certain features in which followers or friends can view the location of others, see their battery percentage, or if they’re in a moving car.

Instagram shows if someone you follow has liked a post that shows up on your feed, and allows each user to see if the people they follow are active on the app. Snapchat also provides a way to see people’s Snap scores. A snap score is a number that appears next to everyone’s username, and it goes up by one point when someone sends a snap, or receives and opens a snap.

While these things may seem harmless, they’re responsible for the lack of trust in most teenage relationships today, and they contribute to controlling or possessive behavior.

This is because some people will constantly check the location of their partner to make sure that they’re where they said they’d be. People check Instagram to see if their significant other has been online, or they’ll look at their snap score to see if they’re talking to anyone else.

“I check snap scores all the time. Afterwards, I usually get upset about what I find. Having access to the social activity of someone I like is absolutely terrible when it comes to trust. It definitely takes it away. It breaks the bond that you have with that person, and makes you dishonest with each other,” said junior Carolina Augustynska, Div. 125.

Some couples even go as far as exchanging passwords to their social media accounts so they can monitor who the other is talking to. One survey showed that 70 percent of couples share their Instagram and Snapchat passwords with each other.*

While sharing passwords could be used for lighthearted things, many couples use this as a way to read conversations between their partner and someone else, showing an absence of trust within the relationship.

“I share passwords with my boyfriend, but we do it for fun. Sometimes I like to log into his snapchat and leave him funny photos. We avoid viewing each other’s snap scores and other stuff similar to that, and it has strengthened the trust between us,” said junior Jasmine Gonzalez, Div. 127.

A survey showed that lack of trust is one of the top four reasons for the fall of a relationship,** and social media has made it easier than ever to always know what your partner is up to. Although it’s tempting to check apps like Life360, it’s more important to have trust in the person you’re dating.

Trust can be maintained in a partnership by respecting the privacy of one another and establishing boundaries. Removing apps that reveal locations and refraining from logging into the other’s account is one way to do this.

“My boyfriend and I don’t look at each other’s locations. We feel secure and we know we can trust each other,” said junior Olivia Gonzalez, Div. 120.

Though social media has evolved dating as a whole, it has setback the process of developing trust in a relationship.