Most of us look at our phones 28 times a day, so it’s hard to believe there are humans out there who don’t use social media. But what happens if it’s your significant other…
Words by Olivia Foster
It’s safe to say that in 2019 we’re more connected than ever. From Twitter, to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, in just 30 seconds you can find out what your BFFs child had for lunch, or where your old desk buddy is on holiday, without even having to strike up a conversation. In fact, the average person now spends over two hours on social media every single day and is signed up to over seven platforms each.
But it’s not only about connecting with old contacts, it also plays a big part in our interpersonal relationships as well; from sharing pictures of a significant other, to cheekily stalking your exes Instagram account – don’t worry, you’re not alone, 75% of us are guilty of this. So what’s it like to have a partner who isn’t in on the trend, can it make your relationship stronger, or are you destined to spend your life screenshootingthings that they’ve missed? And while 75% of millennials believe social media can be damaging to their relationships, we spoke to three women to see how they’re coping with an anti-social social media type.
Hester Grainger, co-founder of Hudia, a company that utilises social media to help small businesses grow, says her husband, Kelly, doesn’t understand why social is such a big deal. ‘He just doesn’t get why everyone wants to share everything about themselves. He really isn’t interested in seeing people’s holiday photos or night’s out. Whereas I love how it keeps me connected to friends who don’t live near me and I haven’t seen for ages.
‘The positives are he’ll never see when I’ve been shopping and shared my buys on Instagram,’ she adds. ‘Plus, thanks to the power of social I’ve also connected with some fantastic and lovely people who I wouldn’t have otherwise met.’
Relationship expert Laura Yates explains that being the solo social media lover in a relationship can be a big positive ‘like’ for your chances of a long-lasting relationship. ‘We all know, when used productively, social media is a great way to find like-minded people, communities, interests, hobbies and inspiration outside of your relationship,’ she says. ‘A relationship thrives when the couple have their own interests. It puts less pressure on the relationship being the sole source of happiness and sense of identity. We’re always going to be happier when we have the freedom to explore our own hobbies and passions.’
Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach & Trainer Rebecca Lockwood, says that although it can sometimes be frustrating that her man doesn’t use social media, it’s also played a part in strengthening their quality time together. ‘Although sometimes there may be events on Facebook that I wish I could just send him an invite. It’s not all bad. If anything we spend more quality time together rather than both of us mindlessly scrolling through our phones every evening.’
Micro-influencer Abi Hugo, runs her own business, The White Thistle, coaching small companies on how to use Instagram. ‘I post daily to keep up with the algorithm but also to set an example to my clients to show them how consistency works,’ she says. ‘This sometimes causes tension with my husband, as I’m posting during the evenings as that’s when clients and followers are online. He doesn’t always understand this aspect.’ However, like Rebecca, Abi feels having a partner who isn’t on social media is ultimately a good thing. ‘I love that we’re not both constantly on it, when I am done with work it means we are together, rather than him being, “well you were just on it so I can be too.”’
However if you’re struggling with a partner who doesn’t like you being on social, it may be a sign of bigger problems at play.‘Ultimately it’s about having mutual trust in a relationship,’ says Laura. ‘If your man doesn’t use it and is becoming paranoid or wary about you being on it, you need to identify whether your use of social media is fuelling this reaction, or if social media is just a trigger to a bigger issue.If he’s wary of the purpose of social media, it’s really about having open communication so you can both express your concerns and you can share how you’re using it. It’s all about setting some boundaries and expectations.’