Before they were serenades and messages left on the walls, today they are publication and sugary images shared on social media: it’s always about Public displays of affection, demonstrations of affection that couples exchange in public, but in a modern version. To all of us, especially on the occasion of holidays and celebrations, it happens to us constantly, shaking the various timelines, to be helpless spectators of the so-called Pda of couples who can’t help but express their love in public. They can be photographs of affectionate hugs, plans that portray joined hands or lips that are in passionate kisses to want to call their happiness to the famous four winds. But are we really sure that all these immortalized and shared love trials are an indication of a healthy and happy relationship?
“Historically, the ability to express affection and some aspects of one’s own intimacy without problems is considered an indication of the couple’s well-being and good contact with their own emotional and affective component, without this being confused with a sign of weakness or fragility “, explains Dr. Tommaso Zanellapsychologist at the Minotaur Institute in Milan, an expert in new media psychology.
“Over the years, with the advent and mass spread of the Internet, even PDAs have declined their digital expression. The exchange of photos, videos or phrases, comments with language defined within the couple, quotes and references, and other methods of communication are now assumed in Pda, given the visibility of this content. However, as is often the case, there is no neutral transposition of real online experiences: The internet can often become the ideal setting for hiding difficulties and fragility. Here some couples use social media as a theater to stage, and sometimes show off, in front of the audience of their contacts and friends, a happiness of a highly sought after couple, but not necessarily true. It seems that they are carrying out a kind of mission, which obliges happiness at any cost, with the aim of erasing and denying suffering “, continues Dr. Zanella.
So is dissatisfaction masked by acting backwards and looking happier than you really are? “In a sense. In fact, we often see publications that express a romantic and idealized love, almost fairy tale even on stage, even where the couple is animated instead by everyday and lacerating conflicts. This is not a rational fiction: in today’s society, the so-called narcissism, in which visibility at all costs is synonymous with self-realization, even sharing an achieved ideal partner has the function of satisfying one’s own and others’ expectations of success. It is not an operation to minimize superficial and childish behavior, but a current manifestation of fragility and changes in the role of one’s partner. forms of suffering and especially loneliness: each manifestation, even very marked in the network of affection and intimacy of the couple, is increasingly useful to crystallize a life of full relationship, eliminating risks and fears of breakups, losses and a insulation. , even at the expense of perverting the very concept of intimacy. “
So would it be better to avoid posting moments of your life as a couple on social media?“Not necessarily. In fact, it’s not about condemning widespread behavior, it’s about making sense of it in light of the sociocultural context in which we live. There are also uses of physiological social networks and benefits for one’s partner. Many people feel the need to use the virtual bulletin board as their own diary, as a way to always have the growth process of the individual and the partner, such as a photo album or the home display of It is very different to publish content with the specific intention of giving visibility, gaining recognition and popularity through likes or imitating positions dictated by so-called influencers.It is precisely the reflection on this transition between online and offline behaviors that can guide us to better understand whether a PDA can bring benefits to the relationship or, in any case, be an expression of the well-being of the couple: even all in offline life, in fact. , expressions of exaggeratedly ostentatious affection, in contexts that may not be appropriate, can be read in the same way as overpublishing on social media. In this sense, the Internet has not generated pathological expressions, but rather amplifies situations already present in life outside the network. In short, then, if PDAs are simple expressions of the relationship, of complicity and of the way of being together, if, in short, the recipients are the respective partners, the advertising aspect is almost relative. On the other hand, it is different if the aim is to directly arouse effects in the public: the aspects of couple and intimacy in this case, unfortunately, go into the background “, concludes Dr. Zanella.
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