The Role of Social Media in Modern Relationships – Do’s and Don’ts

A couple smiling while surfing the internet on a laptop.

Social media is one of the Internet’s most utilized tools. People use social media to stay connected with others. In the modern dating world, social media is the very basis of the online dating experience. Dating sites like Open Relationship are, at their cores, social media websites.

There’s some irony in this article which can’t be ignored. If you meet on a social media dating website, how could social media be a bad thing for the relationship going forward?

Not all social media is the same. And once your in a relationship, social media use takes on a new consequence.

We’ll discuss the role of social media in modern relationships.

Social Media is a Communication Enhancer

Let’s begin on a positive note.

Social media helps facilitate communication. In open relationships, this is especially important given you may want to consistently connect with people outside your relationship.

Social media allows you to foster new relationships and maintain connection with current ones. In the days of old, when Johnny and Sara moved to Oklahoma, leaving you behind in Idaho, you probably didn’t hear much from Johnny and Sara again. With the advent of social media today, you know when Sara is at pilates.

The connectivity feature of social media is revolutionary. Its made our world ultra-sticky. It allows us to stay connected and communicate with people all over the world on a daily frequency.

Social Media as a Support Feature

Social media has a built in support system. When someone updates with a new life event, such as a new relationship or job, we’re able to add support from afar. We can share special moments from across oceans and time zones. We create digital memories by the minute.

Of course, the ability to support people’s milestones is the positive part. There’s a dark side to all this. We’ll touch on those in our “don’ts of social media relationships” section.

The Don’ts of Social Media Relationships

No matter what type of relationship you’re in, whether its a modern, open relationship or otherwise, you want to be careful in the way you use social media. This is because it can not only affect you, but your partner(s).

Avoid Over-Comparisons

Everyone loves to share on social media. Some people overshare. Although, “oversharing” is a rather subjective concept. One thing many people do is only share the wondrous, blissful moments. In a way, this is natural. We don’t hang pictures of our worst moments in our living rooms. So it stands to reason that we’d not share “the bad” on our social media. Its fair.

But there are consequences to people sharing only the absolute best moments, or, in many cases, portraying their relationships as unrealistically perfect.

This causes people to compare their relationships to relationships they see online that seem “perfect.” These over-comparisons can challenge a relationship. It can make all partners feel underwhelmed by their own relationship experience.

All relationships have challenges and obstacles to overcome. That’s the point of a relationship. But most people don’t post those challenges or obstacles on social media. So it can make it feel as though your challenges and obstacles are abnormal.

This is why it can be important to limit social media across the board. You and your partner(s) don’t want to become detached from reality.

Limit Public Arguments

It may start with a public post featuring a clear passive aggressive statement. And it evolves into a partner making a more direct comment. Suddenly, there’s an online argument and the entire public square is eating popcorn and watching it play out.

Its important to heavily limit public arguments. When emotions are high, don’t go to social media. For one, as we discussed in the prior section, social media may feature a lot of unrealistic relationships in your scroll feed which won’t serve you well when you a bit frustrated with your own relationship. But it also can cause you to make ill-timed comments or status updates. When the heat is on, step out of the kitchen (social media is the kitchen in this case).

Don’t Overshare

We mentioned oversharing in the introduction of this article. There’s a lot of risks in oversharing personal relationship details. Everyone doesn’t need to know everything. Determine items which should be private and keep them exactly that.

Abide by Social Media Boundaries in Open Relationships

Actually, no matter what modern relationship type your in, you should observe boundaries. We point out open relationships in regard to this because open relationships have relationship boundaries as their core component.

Social media is ripe with temptations that can steer you off course. It only takes a few seconds to ruin a modern relationship on social media. This is why you should understand your personal boundaries. You don’t want to message a flame from the past and end up losing your current partner.


Social media offers many wonderful things in the modern dating world. In open relationships, social media is a great way to meet new partners. But there are downsides to social media use in current relationships that all partners should observe. Always understand your boundaries.