Social media is powerful, and like all things associated with power, it comes with its good and its bad.
When entering the world of a millenial, you are bound to shake hands with countless struggles that might be new to you — and are definitely new to previous generations. One of these [many] struggles is to be under pressure to get married or be in a serious relationship. Navigating singlehood as a millenial can be difficult as it is, and on top of it, social media has great potential to affect perceptions of what a “perfect relationship” looks like.
As a South-Asian Muslim woman, I can speak from my own past experiences. When I was single, my perception of marriage and relationships was heavily skewed because social media. I found myself paying attention to the way married couples would post photos together while on vacation and/or sappy captions that I now see in a very different light, in retrospect + being married myself. Some of these captions would say things like “If your man doesn’t cook for you, get yourself another man.” Unknowingly, many men and women in relationships create these false ideologies of what a perfect relationship looks like… and what a significant other should or shouldn’t be doing for both to experience a relationship free from all flaws — disagreements, arguments, anger, sadness. We experience a variety of emotions on a daily basis even when another person isn’t in the picture, right? What makes us think that we won’t experience anything negative while married?
In order to bring a change to the current millennial climate of easily getting sucked into these false realities of social media, we need to remember that what we are seeing is not necessarily individuals we know/know of living perfect lives or perfect relationships — but picture-perfect, curated posts on their social media feeds.
Let’s talk more openly about our struggles. Let’s talk about our pain, sadness, and difficulties… in light of reminding each other that we are all undergoing some sort of battle unknown to the outside world. If we don’t talk about these battles, we will only feel alone, in a society that is itching to create a greater sense of that loneliness.
There is no one way to define a “perfect” relationship. We strive for excellence in all areas of our lives, and we grow from our struggles and find gratefulness within our difficulties. Remember that the next time you are going through a rough patch and you see other friends, family members, or even individuals you have never met sharing their happiness, excitement, and success. Be happy for them, but know that whatever you see on social media isn’t always a good representation of a person’s mental health/state or overall quality of life.
Focus on yourself and what you can offer to others — combining your passion with significance — be a force for good and give back to the world.
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