Almost every day we come across social media posts by celebrities telling the world how blessed they are to have their wives/husbands in their lives. This includes sharing photos from family vacations, writing long messages on their special days, tweets praising their loved ones — all to exhibit how much they love each other. Take for instance, ace Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram, who posted birthday wishes for his wife and asked her out for dinner on Twitter. Other celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Bipasha Basu and Virender Sehwag, too, regularly post their couple pictures on social media.
The online effect
While it might come across as a cute gesture, often couples do it only because of ‘social media pressure’. Explaining the term, energy analyst and couple counsellor Harpreet Kaur says, “The term ‘social media pressure’ can be defined as the need to show how happy you are to others. Every celebrity is as human as me and you, and hence they feel the need to be as happy as other couples. I have met many couples who want to go on vacations not to spend time with each other and their family, but so that they can post scenic pictures like other couples. This is unhealthy, because you are not happy from within.”
Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover
At the same time, relationship expert Kavyal Sedani feels that the likes and comments one gets on their posts can be very reassuring. “Unfortunately, not just relationships, in almost in every sphere, people have started living parallel lives — one for themselves and one for social media. In fact, what we see on social media may not be true at all sometimes. Having a social media presence boosts your own confidence, making you happy with the illusion that you are just as happening as the others around you. The likes and comments make you feel validated.”
Selena Gomez and The Weeknd
The other psyche
On the other hand there are many stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor, who prefer to spend time with their family and spouse than putting out pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. “It’s no secret that social media can get you a lot of followers and mileage, which is a good boost for the smaller stars. However, big celebrities do not need the same mileage as they are already established and very deep-rooted in the psyche of the people. They will use social media only to maintain a personal connect with their fans,” explains Kavyal, adding, “I think that they have also experienced the kind of damage so much public attention can do to their personal lives; hence they feel the need to protect their privacy and that of their children.”
Relationship expert Nisha Jamvwal, however, feels that such gestures can keep the spark alive in a marriage. “Marriage doesn’t mean the end of flirting. And as much as I despise when couples act happy to put up a front, I have to say that sometimes flirting on social media could help a relationship revive,” she says.
This doesn’t mean that you wish your loved ones only on social media. “Nothing can compensate for a nice, romantic evening spent with your better half or a rejuvenating vacation with your family. So, as long as posting stuff on social media is a part of the celebration, I think it should be fine. However, it should not be the only thing one does to wish or appreciate their loved ones,” she points out.
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West
Another aspect to consider here is that many times couples who use social media to brag about their relationships might be masking their relationship insecurities. Former celebrity couples such as Selena Gomez-Justin Bieber and Gigi Hadid-Zayn Malik regularly posted many pictures together on their social media handle. Interestingly, a top Bollywood actor, who used to celebrate his birthday alone until now, celebrated it with his wife this year amid rumours that he is in an extramarital relationship with another heroine.
Kavyal explains that sometimes couples share intimate messages on social media to put up a happy face. “There are times when relationships are not doing so well yet you see a different front online. At that time, couples put up a front to protect their most vulnerable selves from the world.”
Resonating with the thought, Harpreet adds, “We never want to portray anything bad about ourselves. If I am do not have a good relation with my partner, I don’t want the world to know about it. Hence, many times we see the couple indulging in a PDA. While it could be a genuine gesture at times, most likely it is done so that no one notices anything wrong in the relationship.”