From Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, to Maury and even Oprah, every media personality with a degree or pedigree in dealing with the physical or emotional problems of others has exposed a shockingly pervasive trend across the digital landscape today - Facebook, Twitter, and other fast-growing social media platforms are destroying relationships.
According to no shortage of experts in relationships and psychology, social media is used by scores of people as another form of online dating. The problem, however, is rooted in the fact that many of these folks are already married. From leading to outright affairs to simply sparking jealousy, social media has represented nothing but bad news for countless couples at all phases of their relationship.
According to relationship expert and licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Jonathan Swinton, PhD, of Swinton Counseling, even if social media isn't ruining your relationship, it may be a source of detrimental distraction.
How Social Media Affects Marriage
"I have clients tell me daily about how busy they are, how they don’t have time to do some of the things that they know will help their relationship," observes Dr. Swinton. "They rattle of lists of sports practices, school plays, musical performances, volunteer assignments, etc. Sound familiar? Life is too busy. When time is spent using social media when there is little time for focus on your marriage, how can that be healthy? Are the social interactions online that much more beneficial for you and your spouse than finding more moments for your marital relationship?"
Although Dr. Swinton, one of most accomplished and respected relationship counselors in his native Utah and across the nation, doesn't suggest that all social media interactions are a problem, he offers a number of recommendations "to make sure social media doesn’t distract you from your relationship."
So what does Dr. Swinton encourage?
"You need to rely on each other for support," he says. "If your social media friends or networks are taking the place of your spouse, you should discuss the issue with your spouse. See what they want and need from you. Adjust your usage to accommodate."