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By Juan López
We've all heard the phrase, "It's not official until it's Facebook official" when it comes to relationships.
We laugh about it, but it's true -- until you're ready to profess your love to the world, it's not legitimate. (That was a joke.)
But social media hasn't stopped at just affecting the legitimacy of our relationships -- it's completely altered how they function.
Jealousy rates must be at an all-time high as a result of social media. With your significant other able to track your every move by seeing whose photo you've commented on or who you've retweeted or what YouTube video you've watched, it only takes one of those aforementioned actions to trigger a jealous outbreak.
Humans are territorial by nature, so even the slightest gesture indicating your intentions might not be in the right place on social media will result in a jealous trip from your partner. If you use social media, don't doubt that your partner has analyzed every single post on your profile and has jumped to irrational conclusions as a result.
JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS
This jealousy has resulted in your partner pretty much assuming that if you RT someone, you're sleeping on them. We've reached a point where "liking" someone's photo constitutes cheating.
It sounds absurd, but with social media being so accessible and public, it doesn't take much to expose your partner's insecurities.
This dynamic even existed back in the "when-Myspace-was-popping" era. I remember tripping out on my first girlfriend because some random boy kept on posting comments on her page. Little did I know this man who I thought was trying to steal my woman was actually her cousin, but the entire situation still resulted in me accusing her of cheating. Yes, I was a 15-year-old, hormone-raged-out kid back then, but this same thing is happening to intelligent 20-year-olds now. It's obviously a problem.
And these problems have grave consequences.
Some people are forced not to have social media accounts because their partner doesn't approve of it.
Others live by the "don't tag me in any posts or pictures!" motto when they go out on the town.
Why? Because Facebook, Twitter and any other updated-every-second network has eradicated any sense of privacy an individual had when it came to being in a relationship.
It's not that people are constantly trying to cheat on their significant other, it's that they're afraid the slightest post will be misconstrued and will cause unnecessary and unwanted problems between them. A simple photo with another person in the picture whom your partner does not recognize is 84 percent likely to result in a fight.
While that aforementioned statistic was a guesstimation on my part, the next one also is: I'm sure Facebook has ruined or seriously damaged at least three of your friends' relationships in the past year. If it wasn't a friend of yours, it was likely you.
So how do we fix this cycle of relationship destruction? Sadly, telling your significant other to trust you simply won't work.
Avoiding social media networks altogether sounds logical, but you would be allowing your partner to have too much personal control over what you do in your spare time.
So while I don't have answers, I do have three tips to help you and your partner get over the social media hump and avoid problems: 1) Adjust the privacy settings on your networks so people are only seeing what you want them to see. 2) Do not leave your phone unattended. If you do, you are simply asking your partner to go into your Facebook app. 3) Do not live by the "Facebook official" mantra. Go back to the old days when things were official if you introduced your partner to your parents.
And if your partner can't understand this, unfriend their ass.
Juan López studies journalism and Spanish. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.