The Harsh Realities of Social Media’s Impact on Intimate Relationships

There is an extensive and growing body of research that reflects correlations between social media and relationships. However, there is a gap in the literature that highlights disengagement in the relationship that could lead to distress and infidelity due to social media engagement or lack thereof. It is important to highlight the harsh realities that social media can have on intimate relationships.

Studies have shown a pattern of disengagement in romantic relationships due to the increased time spent engaging in social media and decreased time spent in the relationship. Despite that, modern-day relationships tend to develop through social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or dating websites while commonly maintaining online relationship visibility through those platforms. Unfortunately, another harsh reality couples may face is digital relational boundaries. With quick access to people seemingly anywhere in the world at any given time, it can be easier to cross relational boundaries in a digital world. This can cause space for miscommunication and misinterpretation causing distress in the relationship.

In closing, this presentation will highlight the harsh realities of social media presence in modern-day relationships. It will highlight the development and maintenance of modern-day intimate relationships, identify digital relational boundaries that interfere with the relationship, and identify social media-related romantic disengagement signs. Lastly, this presentation aims to bridge the gap in the literature; however, further research is needed on this topic.

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Learning Objectives

    1. Participants will understand the development and maintenance of modern-day intimate relationships.
    2. Participants will be able to identify at least two digital relational boundaries that can interfere with intimate relationships with the aid of the Perceived Influence article.
    3. Participants will be able to identify social media-related romantic disengagement signs.

Charlece “Charlie” Bishop, LMFT

Speaker Information

Charlece “Charlie” Bishop, MS, LMFT is an AAMFT Clinical Fellow, the co-chair for the African American Eating Disorder Professional Committee, and is the owner of the private practice CR Counseling in Birmingham, AL. In 2021, she published an article in the Family Therapy Magazine. Charlie hosts an inspirational audio podcast titled Black Girl Body. She is an international speaker on topics related to Black culture, social equality, eating disorders, and body image issues. Further, her research interests include eating disorders, body dysmorphia, anxiety disorders, systemic racial trauma, and Black mental health.