How Abusive Partners Use Social Media to Monitor and Control

Modern technology has brought us many things, including social media. And as social media has slowly but surely taken the world by storm, so too has it taken over our lives.

From iconic moments in our lives to even the smallest of accomplishments like cooking dinner, it seems as though everyone is sharing everything. And while this may or may not be a good thing, one thing holds true: if you are an avid social media user, it’s likely that you use it to mark every aspect of your life.

With that being said, entering into a relationship could possibly be one of the major hallmarks of human life, other than marriage and having children, or starting a new career. Because of this, in modern times, it seems that a couple isn’t officially together until they have made the jump on Facebook. Psychology Today refers to this as going “Facebook official,” and while they provide many pros to going official, they also note a very dark side to this coin as well.

According to the article, various studies have found that couples who share photos of themselves together were also happier. Furthermore, those that disclosed their relationship status on Facebook enjoyed stronger relationships.

Sadly, however, as the Huffington post notes, Facebook relationships are not always sunshine and rainbows. Think about it: Facebook is almost an archive of your entire life, including past loves, photos, questionable friends of the opposite sex and more. While some couples may be able to overlook this downside, it can create a very negative opportunity for jealousy, distrust, and misunderstanding.

Furthermore, in an abusive relationship (verbal or physical) social media can provide the abusive partner with ample opportunity to not only stalk but to cyber-abuse their partner. According to Borrajo et al. (2015), cyber dating abuse is defined by monitoring and surveillance of a romantic partner or ex-partner, posting humiliating photos and making rude of threatening comments.

Now, with Facebook offering GPS features and location sharing, you can see exactly how easily it can be used by a controlling partner to manipulate their victim.

And while social media doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, if you have a partner who abuses this aspect of your lives, it may be time to send them packing. From time to time, we may all ‘Facebook stalk’ our partners, however, there is a fine line to be drawn for how we use this information. Jealousy is a normal part of a relationship, however, cyber abuse is not! With the world being full of potential partners, do not waste your time on someone who is an opportunist for control and manipulation!


Featured image via The Today Show

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