Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become the means through which many people display their affection for their loved ones. Photos of couples kissing and cuddling are not uncommon as profile pictures. One of the best examples we have is Kim Kardashian, who often Instagrams intimate pictures of her with Kanye West.
With so much of our private lives being out up online, it’s understandable that people are also getting increasingly concerned about privacy and security issues. Research has shown that people are becoming more aware of online security, especially after the WikiLeaks and NSA revelations. And celebrities like Scarlett Johannson, Keira Knightley, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie — while famous for their onscreen roles — are also famous for refusing to share much of their private lives online. Scarlett Johannson, in particular, has claimed that, “I don’t understand this need to share.”
A friend of mine (who is happily in a relationship) got questioned recently about his love life because he doesn’t express his relationship by uploading lovey-dovey photos or leaving corny messages on his social media accounts. It seemed the strength of his relationship with his girlfriend was being questioned, simply because he never did what Kim Kardashian did.
And that got me thinking: what would this chat have sounded like back in the days when social media had not yet been created? Would we be critiquing a couple for not being loving or sweet, just because they don’t express a certain level of PDA? I’m not exactly sure, because back then we’d have to give that person a call and ask them out for a tea in order to find out how he/she was doing.
Sadly, people nowadays are beginning to look at each others’ lives through the lens of social media. We’re only as interesting as the photos and comments we leave on the Internet. What we do on social media — rather than in real life — is what people value nowadays. Instead of catching up, and getting to know how someone is currently doing in their life, many of us are turning to social media instead.
But the fact is that social media doesn’t tell you what is really going on in someone else’s life. Some people choose to hold back on reality on social media, simply because of one word — privacy. Power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have said that they see nothing great about social media, and choose to shun it. And that hasn’t stopped them for loving each other and adopting kids, all while keeping a screen of privacy between their family and their fans.
To me, romance between two individuals is a private thing, and it should be kept between only two people— if they wish for it to be so. Not everyone posts their reality all over social media, and we need to accept that and give them the space they deserve.
Instagram is just a space for you to portray how you want people to perceive you. It is a place where you can craft a collage of the kind of impression you want to let people have about yourself.
If you’re a chef, you’d probably post pictures of food and write recipes as captions. If you’re a traveller, you’re most likely to share pictures of yourself taken at beautiful places of attraction.
These things should only have to be preserved in your memory, and you shouldn’t have to post them on social media to obtain likes or boost your self-esteem. If your partner gets mad at you for not expressing how lovey you both are on social media, you should probably just walk away from the relationship.
Of course, I’m not so naive as to think that the level of intimacy of a couple can be defined through their social media activity. And I can’t help but feel that it’s creepy when people start to ask questions like, “You’re in a relationship? Why didn’t I see any picture of you and your boyfriend on Instagram?” If you ask me, I’d say we could all do with a little less of that.