Social Media Ignites Conflict

Illustration by Darryl White

Live tweeting, Facebook messaging, Snapchat, and Instagram are almost as important as breathing.

Social media is embedded in our culture, from almost in the cradle to one foot in the grave.

Social media can connect people around the world in seconds, but surprisingly, most couples agree that social media has hurt their relationships rather than helped.

“Social networking is the only fights we’ve gotten in,” said Chelsea Miller, an MCCC student. “If Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram never existed, we wouldn’t be perfect, but we wouldn’t fight about hardly anything.”

In some ways, social media has helped people meet each other.

Facebook helped MCCC student Miranda Lyons and her boyfriend get to know each other.

“We met online and I could see that he was honest with what he was saying by checking his Facebook,” she said.

Lyons said that social media doesn’t hurt their relationship.

However, student Connor Harmon said that social media can be harmful.

“It ruins relationships,” he said. “She has her notifications turned on and she’ll ask me – Why did you favorite this girls tweet?”

It’s not just Twitter that causes havoc between couples, but other social media like Facebook and Snapchat as well.

Miller said Snapchat is what hurt her relationship the most.

She noticed her boyfriend Snapping someone she didn’t like and asked him to stop. She thought all was well until she found out he had another Snapchat account.

“I would have rather he told me upfront -if you don’t like it, deal with it – rather than lie to my face, go behind my back, and make another account. I would rather he was honest with me,” she said.

Miller said it made it harder to trust her boyfriend, even after a year has passed.

Student Cynthia Evans agreed that it has to do with trust and jealousy.

“I think if neither of us had social media, then we wouldn’t be as worried about talking to another guy or girl,” Evans said. “I know the types of girls he’s friends with on there, and he has problems with dudes liking my pictures.”

“Social media does affect our relationship because of our pasts and jealousy issues,” she said.

Another student, Ian Leach, said that social media creates problems in more ways than trust.

Leach said that it exposes everything in your private life to the public.

“I have been seeing a guy who is not yet “out” to his extended family and so he feels uncomfortable with me posting things about him,” he said. “Social media is everywhere and the potential to tweet, post, or blog something is readily available at every memorable – or not – moment.”

To some people, it seems that social media is being taken too serious.

MCCC student Nick Scheer said he wouldn’t worry about his significant other over social media.

“It depends on how much you trust the person,” he said. “This girl I was dating had social media and I didn’t really care – I trusted her to be shooing guys away.”

Scheer said that he enjoys social media.

“It’s not important, but it is entertaining to watch people fight with each other,” he said.

So, why do we find the urge to fight with one another over the internet; why is it necessary to subtweet how someone irritated you yesterday?

MCCC alumni Tyler Berry said that he has seen social media destroy friendships because of sub-tweeting.

Berry said social media was making a couple he knew lose some of their friendships.

“They’ve pretty much cut ties with everyone because they’re so far up each other’s asses and insecure about their relationship, that all of their friends have tried to stop talking to them,” he said.

Some students agreed that social media is, in a sense, destroying face-to-face communication.

“We glue our faces into our phones and take social media way too seriously,” Berry said. “As a result, it’s made us afraid of face-toface conversation and somehow seem to get tougher behind a keyboard and social media.”

Leach said that he doesn’t see this social media disaster improving.

“We use it because it’s there and it’s stayed around because people are very interested to hear what people are up to,” he said.

MCCC student Matt Tischler agrees that social media seems to be taking over, and not in a good way.

“My girlfriend is always on it, always has to check Twitter and Instagram at the wrong time,” he said. “Like when we’re talking and she’s just checking her Instagram- why do you need to check it? Nothing has changed from the last 5 seconds.”

Tischler said he doesn’t use social media that often and if he wanted to get a point across, social media would not be the answer.

“People connect over social media and texting, they feel more comfortable texting rather than talking face-to-face,” he said. “When I have a problem, I’ll straight up tell you.”