Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words

This weekend, I was looking around my Instagram account and a picture of someone familiar to me came up in my news feed. I felt my heart sink when I looked closer at the picture. At first, I felt envious, even angry at one point. I analyzed the picture and tried to make sense as to why the girl in the picture would post it up, even if it was their first anniversary. Let’s face it, one year together is a great thing, but in reality, today’s couples go the distance and a year is a mild milestone to me. I tried to make sense as to why they would this picture up, then I thought about how many couples clog up our news feeds with gushing statuses about each other, oversharing comments or selfies of themselves and even in the most mundane of situations, they may be doing it so to mask their relationship insecurities. Many times, couples who share the most on social media are often just seeking reassurance about their relationship from others.

Often it’s the people who post the most who are seeking validation for their relationship from other people on social media. They thrive on the likes and comments, which can be validating, that when someone is struggling, that’s where they get their up from – not the person making the gesture, but what other people say about it.

It is couples just like the one who was on my search feed who are the ones that are so keen to take pictures of each other and upload them to Instagram that is often missing and not living in the moment with their partners. You see people who will focus so much on taking a ‘relfie’ – a relationship selfie – and getting the right filter and hashtags that they’re missing the moment. I think, why don’t you take a photo because it’s a nice memory and a moment you want to look back to, instead of posting it on Instagram? It is couples that are taking these photos and putting them online and then watching the likes and comments instead of being with their partners.

Other things, such as common captions for relationship photos like ‘my man’ or ‘my girl’ could be signs of possessiveness. I think that some people don’t want to post about their relationships and some do, but if you are going to post… keep it fun and entertaining for people, not mushy and possessive. Of course, this all serves as another reminder that social media is not reflective of real life. While two people sharing a gushing selfie may appear like the most fun and in-love couple going, you never know what is going on behind closed doors, or computer screens.

I tried to remember a time before social media when my only means of connecting with friends and family was through calling or writing letters. We had little to no access to even my favorite  celebrities, whom I now feel like I “know” thanks to their readily available Instagram feeds. While social networking has had a hand in strengthening relationships, such as allowing us to keep in touch with friends and family across the globe, advancing our careers, and even helping us find love, it also has a mostly negative influence on romantic relationships.

Men and women are constantly being shown images of what the ‘ideal’ relationship looks like, and this can put a lot of strain on relationships that don’t live up to the ridiculous standards set by celebrity couples. It gives many a “grass is greener” mentality, where they’re not just wondering if there’s someone better out there for them, but they actually “see” better options. Much of how we express, or we don’t express our relationships on social media says a great deal about the status of them. However, if we look closer at what these couple posts reveal, we can learn the truth about their relationships. Here are some ways to understand these pictures better.

You Vent About Your Relationship

Whether it’s out of frustration or humor, taking your relationship grievances to social media in the form of a post for all the world to see will most likely come back to bite you, experts say, especially if you’re doing it to the extent where your partner feels exposed. This is a violation of both your partners and the relationship’s privacy and only shows your desperate need to feel important and be noticed.

It’s more important to look at your relationship through your own eyes than portray it for the world to see and judge. Instead, she suggests keeping any bit of information you’d consider private just that—private.

You Rarely Post Anything About Your Relationship

If you’re not someone who uses social media often, then it’s no surprise your few posts don’t center on your significant other. But if you’re someone who posts on the regular and only a handful are dedicated to your significant other, it can mean one of two things. Your lack of focus on your relationship could mean you are ashamed of it, or your partner, and simply do not value it as much as other aspects of your life. Or it could mean that privacy and intimacy are important to you and you don’t feel the need to share your relationship with friends and strangers.

You Post About Your Relationship Nonstop

If the only time you think to log on to social media is to say something or post a photo about your relationship, it says you have something to prove to the world. This may be a sign of insecurity as an individual or in your relationship. Commenting and including your partner on everything you do is what an insecure or codependent relationship looks like. If it’s your partner who is constantly commenting and including you on everything he or she posts, he or she is either trying to claim you as his or her property or showing signs of codependency.

You Post About Your Relationship Now and Then

If your relationship posts are in balance with other topics you post about, be it work, your passion for animals, or your exercise regimen, you are most likely in a healthy relationship and post about your significant other because he or she makes you happy. This kind of posting behavior is giving people a glimpse into your relationship without putting your whole life on display. This says that you have a healthy relationship that doesn’t need to be validated by other people.

You Frequently Post Love Letters to Your Partner

If you often feel the need to write love letter-type posts to your partner for all the world to see—not just on his or her birthday or Valentine’s Day,—it is most likely insincere. Showing your love for your partner is a beautiful thing, however, like all things, it is good in moderation. Give your followers a break and mix it up with your other interests.

You Only Post Photos If They’re Perfect

How we post photos on social media says a lot about who we are and our level of happiness and security in the relationships we find ourselves in. For example, if you’re someone who refuses to post a photo unless both people look their very best and, perhaps, even find yourself constantly enhancing features with one of the hundreds of photo-enhancing apps available, you are likely unhappy with either yourself or your relationship. This might mean that you’re either trying to convince yourself or the world that the relationship is perfect when it’s less than ideal and are avoiding the problem areas that need to be fixed.

Most of the Photos You Post Are Selfies

While there’s nothing wrong with a good old selfie, especially when the lighting is too good to pass up, if every photo on your feed features you and only you, it shows that getting attention is your number one mission. If you only post selfies, crop you, so out of photos, and mention very little about him or her, then it is clear your relationship with him or she isn’t a major priority. You’re more seeking attention and self-promotion than hoping to display your relationship. When one partner is receiving constant attention, whether wanted or unwanted, from total strangers all the time, this can create issues in a relationship.

Posting pictures on Instagram is just one way of sharing yourself with the world around you. However, once we get past the pictures of ourselves with friends and family, and we cross the line with posting personal pictures, and even private to a relationship. We should think about what the message is that we are trying to send to people. I have pictures that I was fortunate enough to have taken with someone important to me. I wouldn’t share them with Instagram, or any online presence. It’s not because they don’t have worth, rather, it’s just the opposite. Because these pictures and the person is so important to me, they have an added value to my life, and I don’t want to share them with anyone. That’s what’s meant to be, they are personal and special to me. We all take pictures of our life and we want to share the joys and pleasures with the people we care about, but we should find that comfortable balance between the two of you. That’s what makes a picture worth more than a thousand words.

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