Singer-turned-reality star Ray-J got into an online spat with his pregnant wife Princess Love in late November last year. The couple was in Las Vegas for an event when Ray-J allegedly had an affair in a separate hotel room. Love began posting passive-aggressive messages about her husband on her Instagram story prompting Ray-J to go on Instagram live and tell millions of people that he was still in Las Vegas, trying to prove his innocence and get people off his back.
Both fans and the press were questioning him about what happened between him and his wife. If he said anything to those people, his words could have been twisted, which is something social media likes to do. Then he would have to explain himself to his 2.2 million followers on Instagram when frankly the only person he should have to explain his actions to is his wife, not his followers. This is a problem we could all avoid if we stopped blowing things out of proportion. The toxicity when it comes to public relationships is so real, and very few see the strain that social media puts on relationships.
Some couples put themselves into this situation by putting everything about their relationship online, inviting vulgar accusations. I’m not saying they deserve this but they could avoid some of it by keeping things more private. Even couples that do keep things private face accusations and get dragged into scandals. Unfortunately, not a single couple on Instagram is safe from the way we publicize online spats and make them worse.
YouTube makeup artist and entrepreneur Jeffree Star and his partner Nathan Schwandt split in January after being together for five years. Star stopped posting on Instagram and Twitter for three days until Jan. 11. when he posted a video on YouTube titled “We broke up.” In the video, he talks about his and Schwandt’s relationship and the breakup. He explains that Schwandt never wanted to be famous, but he would appear in videos because Star asked him to and because he believed in everything that Star was doing.
“Me and Nathan are friends,” he said. “I feel like I need to say that because I think the internet spirals and creates so many false stories.” In this specific line, he addresses how social media makes up false stories about relationships during sensitive times.
The problem is before he put out this video, fans were speculating if he and Schwandt really did break up because Star took the phrase “Nathan’s wifey” out of his Twitter and Instagram bio. False stories and speculation about a couple’s status can ruin trust and communication, while also discouraging them from dating again in fear of having to go through a huge scandal.
Most people don’t realize that the couple controls what we see and we don't always get to see what happens behind the scenes. There could be problems that are legitimately affecting the relationship and people on social media have no idea, leading them to say or do things that only make it worse.
“I know that sometimes social media can be the source of arguments being bigger than need to be,” said Jorge Murilleo, a 15-year-old student at the Dearborn STEM Academy. Social media and its users have a tendency to blow things out of proportion by twisting words, making up rumors and false claims.
I believe that relationships on social media should be less targeted when it comes to drama and scandals. I’m not saying that couples shouldn’t be on social media, I follow a variety of couple accounts myself. All I’m saying is that social media shouldn’t break up couples or blow arguments out of proportion. Having that much vulnerability on a big site with people who don't exactly share your views or don't know the value of “if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything” can damage any relationship no matter the strength and established trust.
We make relationships work for us by establishing trust and understanding that every relationship is going to have problems or arguments and a lot of times social media makes these things worse. We need to let people be and let them handle their business so online couples can be two happy peas in a pod.