How do socials affect our sex and relationships? 2020 saw over 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide, a number that is predicted to rise rapidly throughout the coming years. Plenty of relationships are being formed through the use of online platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tinder and Hinge. Originally starting as in 1995, dating websites and apps have progressed considerably throughout the years, continuously innovating the way we connect virtually. 
Social media is now an integral part of society, becoming a go-to for both business and pleasure. For many it continues to shape life as we know it, whether we like it or not. It affects everything we do immensely, especially the relationships we find ourselves in and how we find ourselves in them. But why is this the case, you might ask? The answer is simple, most of the connections we form are forged or at least fuelled by social media and dating apps. Naturally this makes total sense because that’s the very thing they promise to do. Ultimately these platforms all have one main aim which is to expand our network and allow us to connect with a vast community of people from various walks of life. However, like everything in life, this new found way of forming connections presents us with its negatives as well as its positives. 
It goes without saying that there are many ways social media and dating apps do benefit our lives and relationships considerably. Not only do they allow us to form relationships with ease but they can help us to keep said relationships from ending prematurely, or even force us to look for love outside our usual social circles. Such platforms are designed with the purpose to solve our problems. Perhaps for those of us who struggle to find ‘the one’ in ‘real life’, for those of us trying to keep a long distance relationship alive, for those of us trying to keep in touch with a possible love interest or even for those of us living in isolated places across the globe. Regardless, we can’t deny the fact they do actually support us, one way or another. 
With that being said, socials and dating apps can also have the potential to be extremely damaging for any relationship. Millennials report more issues with loyalty, infidelity and honesty than ever before, with studies showing that spending more and more time on social media can actually make it easier to escape into the lives of others, maybe even into the open arms of a new or old flame. For this to even be the case, an overwhelming amount of time is spent by individuals online. In 2019 the average time spent on social networking was a staggering 144 minutes per day, a number which has continued to steadily increase over the past two years- especially considering the current climate. Being present on social media day and night can lead to an endless supply of options, we are left constantly ‘shopping’ for the so-called ‘perfect’ match for us. It could be said there’s too much opportunity, and we, being the ever faulted human beings that we are, are spoilt for choice. 
Our idea of what a ‘real’ and attainable relationship is has become skewed, with the foundation being based solely on photoshopped images, paid promo, followers and influencers. It seems as though society has lost touch with reality. We no longer search for meaningful conversations but rather meaningless social media tags, posts, stories and DMs. 
With the introduction of apps like Tinder, Hinge and Grindr came the concept that someone new could be just around the corner and along with it, the casualisation of dating and sex as we know it. Both relationships and intimacy have become this throwaway thing, allowing us to believe that there's other (possibly more attractive or better suited) options out there. It’s sad when you think about it, but what's the alternative? We live in a world where social media is a necessary tool, soon it will be even more common than it is now. Perhaps distancing from it poses more of a threat to our normality than we think. Have virtual interactions become safer than real ones? 
You have to wonder where we might be in a few years time. Social media has become part of our virtual diet and in turn we have become dependent upon it. Considering this, it’s safe to say the way we use and consume social media isn’t going to change. At least not for now.

Article written for Read 24.
Back to Top