Dear V: Social media obsession ruining relationship

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Dear V,

My girlfriend is a self-titled “social media queen.” She’s always posting somewhere, from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest DIY tags and Tumblr fandoms.

It was cute at first. She’d post a selfie with me and our friends would gawk over us on Facebook. I thought she was just showing off the new guy in her life and assumed she’d cut back on the Tweets, posts and hashtags about us after a while.

However, the opposite has happened. Now, almost nothing is kept between us. Everything we do is shared with the world. Yesterday morning, her Snapchat story was a video of me sleeping next to her with little hearts drawn in!

It’s like my girlfriend doesn’t have a personality of her own outside of the likes, reposts and pokes she gets.

I’m thinking about dumping her – but is that the right thing to do?

Sincerely,

Luke the Luddite

Dear Luke,

Nowadays, it’s difficult to distinguish between what’s normal online behavior and what’s verging on self-obsession. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional duck-face selfie or Yeezy-style Twitter rant. But if it’s affecting your relationship, it’s time for her to cut back.

Social media is a breeding ground for narcissism, where one’s self-worth is determined based on the number of likes a post gets. Thing is, though, these virtual interactions don’t compare to the one-on-one quality time real-life people can share together.

If you always come second-place to a Tweet, text or Snap and you’re always asking her to put down her phone, you might start to feel like you’re not even her boyfriend.

It’s not fair to be ditched for a soap-bar-sized hunk of metal all the time.

Sure, sometimes the group chat might blow up. Sometimes you really do have to write out a long-winded email. That said, it sounds like you’re fighting for a lover who’s too busy living in a virtual reality.

Try to talk with her about her social media usage. Ask her not to tag you in posts anymore and to turn off her phone while you’re together. Help her to disconnect from social networks, so she can actually connect with you.

If this doesn’t work, you might have to “pull the plug.” Don’t stay with someone who makes you feel like an afterthought and don’t maintain a relationship with someone who’s more focused on hits, messages and comments than they are with you.

Try to talk it out. If she’s not willing to make an effort, move on. Find someone who will live in the moment with you, not just a shell of a person who’s too busy picking a filter for a selfie to focus on the person they care about.

-V

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