“My friend is in her marriage having the time of her life, and I’m just angrily elucidating my thoughts on an internet blog.”
At least that’s how I’m made to feel by the almost overwhelming combination of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram… the list seems infinite.
But does it really even matter? Well, sort of.
I think that there’s a little bit of the ‘keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome in all of us, and that’s ok. It’s easy to take solace from someone else’s failure; it means you’re not alone; it justifies your misdemeanors, your missteps, your failure to achieve whatever it is that you set out to achieve when you were young(er).
Cowardly? Maybe. Comforting? Most certainly.
But it’s getting harder and harder, year on year. Expectations of relationships have changed in the last, say, 10 years or so.
Accessing the aforementioned social media channels floods me with images. Look at the happy people; they’re always smiling, always socialising, getting married, raising children – it takes a level of mental fortitude that’s beyond most of us to be able to avoid making comparisons and avoid being overcome by feelings of inadequacy.
We’re all stuck in a massive, bottomless echo chamber, where we’re told what happiness looks like. The result? We feel that our own marriage isn’t where it should be, so, naturally, we’re inclined to act upon that.
It takes the better part of, I don’t know, 5 minutes (?) to set up a profile on a dating site, and away you go. And given the aforementioned, y’know, ‘my life’s terrible while all my friends are thriving’ thing, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t given it any thought…
According to a study by CyberPsychology, 28 million couples split up every year because they’ve been busted by Social Media. A study by IllicitEncounters.com has listed the top ten apps that resulted in break ups by surveying 100 women.
Illicit Encounters spokeswoman Claire Page said: “What I find most interesting about this list is how obvious some men are. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to be friends with their mistress or histress on Facebook – it’s just asking for trouble.”