As someone who has a boyfriend and refuses to shout it out on social media, I have always been very intrigued by those who do. I would even say that I am at times, judgmental. We all have those people who post a million pictures of their boyfriends/girlfriends doing the same couple pose with only the outfit changing picture to picture. Their profile pictures are together; they have a relationship status posted; and sometimes the couple even acknowledges one another on their social media bios for say, Twitter and Instagram. Having gone through middle school and high school with social media, I view all of this with inherent skepticism. Fortunately we have gotten to an age where most people will skip out on posting “it’s complicated” statuses. We are even getting to the point where couples are no longer posting“in a relationship” to “single” back to “in a relationship.” They know better. And if you are one of the people who still do this- you are the worst.
As an avid social media user myself, I feel as if the aspect of my life that I post about the least is my significant other. I am with him so much that photographically documenting the moments we are having really just doesn’t cross my mind. If we are doing something cool like going to a concert or a cocktail- sure I’ll snap a picture. But if we are spending another night going to the same set of Chapel Hill bars we always go to- no I never think to take and post pictures. In my head, that’s like taking a picture of working out or getting coffee. In Chapel Hill, it’s part of the routine. Because I am active on social media and don’t have the tendency to post copious couple pictures, I think that is why I am so interested to delve deeper into the psyches and motivations of those who do.
I will preemptively admit that I have a severe distrust of couples who are constantly broadcasting their relationship. No I do not believe they are as blissfully happy as they look in their pictures. I have way too many friends (social media and real) who have put a lot of time and effort into making their relationship look fabulous on social media in an effort to cover up the multitude of issues underneath it. I think part of this is his/her desire to make the outside world perceive the relationship a certain way. I also believe it’s a way for the person posting to act like the problems aren’t really there- like their lives really are as simple as the pictures they are posting. I also don’t think that avid couple posters are aware that they are spamming their fellow social media friends or posting to achieve one of the ends highlighted above. I think there are a few types of social media couples, which we will expand on below.
The Show Offs: This is a common breed, and I have come in contact with many of them at Carolina. These people are constantly posting gooey kissy pictures and praising their thankfulness for having their significant other in his/her life. Here is where we #vomit. The constant posting is either stemming from an obsession with his/herself or extreme pride that they have landed their significant other. As I said before, there is no reason to pose for a picture during even a quarter of the total encounters you have with your significant other. Realistically as college students, we are seeing our significant others every single day. I don’t want to see a picture of you once a week much less the 5 times a week. We know you like looking at yourselves, but maybe tone it down?
The Possessives: The possessives love to stake a claim on his/her significant other due to his/her insecurity that the other won’t be faithful if tempted. Possessives are the first to make their profile picture with their significant other, and they are guilty of frequent and forward posts that remind everyone around them about their relationship status. Additionally, they are the most likely to create a relationship status during this day and age. These posts and statuses hardly stem from love and joy for one another. It is the persons way of saying “mine, back off.” #healthy
The Insecure: These people are the ones we touched on in previous paragraphs. The insecure are going through various relationship troubles. Maybe they post excessive amounts of pictures because they love maintaining their perfect social appearance. Or maybe posting happy pictures make the problems seem less real. Either way, I often times look at excessive posting and conclude that all is not roses underneath. Couples with tumultuous relationships often feel the need to broadcast exactly the opposite of what is happening. I can’t exactly say why, but it is a trend I have picked up on throughout college. It’s like they want to scream to the world, “we’re still here and still ‘happily’ together despite the screaming matches you all endure at the bars.” We know you’re lying.
Last but not least is my favorite type of social media poster: The obsessed female. For some reason, high school and college aged girls seem to be incredibly obsessed with showing off their boyfriends in every way imaginable. I think part of this is because I go to a school where the ratio is swiftly approaching70/30 female to male. But that being said, I gain a lot of pleasure looking online to see a girl I know incessantly posting about her boyfriend. This is because 6 times out of 10, once I click on his profile (which she surely direct linked in her picture/post) the presence of a girlfriend is virtually non-existent. If I were posting about someone 24/7 and they didn’t return the outward announcement of our relationship, I would A. be embarrassed B. question our entire relationship and C. be embarrassed once again. There are so many occasions in which I will flip through profile picture after profile picture of a girl and her boyfriend, and the guy will have maybe one picture of him and the girl in his profile picture roster. Hello, isn’t this some kind of a red flag?! I honestly couldn’t tell you for what, but if one person is overly vocal about a relationship, and the other will hardly admit to being in one, isn’t that alluding to cheating or something of that nature? Intuitively I would think so, but that’s the thing about relationships- they are entirely situational.
All in all, the social media couple is a very interesting one to follow. I will never get answers to questions such as why one person posts more than the other or what his/her motive is. Above is a string of speculations I have formed over the years. Until I find myself in one of these post-heavy relationships, I guess I will never know. Feel free to share your comments if you have any answers from personal experience!