Computer love: Dating in the age of social media

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are social networks that have become part of many peoples daily routines. They often influence lives in both positive and negative ways, but one of the biggest problems is how they affect relationships.

I think social networking challenges the transparency two people should have in a relationship, said Miranda Mack, a medical student from Havana, Fla., at Florida State University.

When it comes to relationships and social networks, there is no rule that people cannot interact with third parties, yet at times there can be added jealousy because your partner retweets others, adds them on Facebook or likes pictures on Instagram.

However, some people, such as Mack, feel relationships built on trust cannot be affected by social media use.

When the two cannot be completely open about who they communicate with and the content of the interactions, there are problems in the relationship, Mack said. Social networking exposes issues that exist.

If the relationship is solid, it cannot be impacted by social networking. But if problems exist, the behavior on these sites will bring them to light.

According to Dougla-Khan Stancil, coordinator of Clinical Programs at Florida A&M, the way people go about dating in this social media era may possibly be a contributing factor to the rise in unhealthy relationships.

Initially, people got to know each other before they would consider themselves to be in a relationship or dating, Stancil said. They may talk on the phone or see each other, whereas now people are talking to each other but communicating with them via social networks or text messages.

But while many young adults participate heavily in social media, some feel its unnecessary to share their lives online.

Its almost like being a celebrity, said Michael Davis, a health care management student from St. Petersburg, Fla. People keep their relationships private to keep outsiders from using the slightest assumptions to destroy what they have.