The evolution of social media has changed so many aspects of our lives, including the way we experience love and relationships.

Members of Gen Z are spending too much time looking up to the relationships they see online and expecting their love lives to reflect that. Young people are feeling more lonely because they are not receiving the same kind of love others are constantly posting about on their social feeds. Social media has created a mirage of expectations for how we should be experiencing romance. 

People on my own timeline put too much energy into couples on social media and YouTube that don’t even know they exist. The truth is, we don’t know what happens behind closed doors with these couples. Cute pictures and videos don't mean their relationships are healthy. Their viral posts don't mean they are happy or treating each other right, and I'd rather be single than mistreated. 

Stop letting social media trick you into thinking your love life is supposed to be in a certain place right now. Your love life does not have to reflect what you see on social media. 

We should focus on our own happiness and peace rather than the mirage social media has created for us. Social media has made us feel like we have to have somebody in our lives. There is nothing wrong with finding yourself and waiting for someone to treat you properly. It is okay to be lonely.

We should not expect our partners to be like the people we see on our social media feeds. Just because your boyfriend didn’t buy you 100 roses for no reason doesn’t mean he loves you any less. 

Social media has also changed our perceptions on dating. In reality, you don’t have to be tied down to one person. Our youth is for exploring what we like and what we don’t like. You don’t have to spend your days as a young adult being someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend. 

As young adults, we need to discard the image social media has created in our heads. We should spend our youthful days living life and loving ourselves instead of other people. 

Love is an unexpected and adventurous concept. The way famous YouTube couples like De’arra and Ken handle their relationships will be different than how we handle our own. 

We need better representations of love in our lives. Our parents looked at their parents' relationships for guidance, but somehow we have strayed from that. Parents should try to show their children how to create positive and healthy relationships rather than letting them buy into the façade of how it should be from social platforms like Twitter. 

Heartbreak and love are undeniably intertwined, so we are all bound to experience both emotions at some point in our lives. Social media should not delegate how we experience the inevitable. It is important to understand the concept of love outside of social media before you dive into the unrealistic expectations others set for you.

Everyone has a different path in life. You should not expect your life to be a certain way at a certain age because of what you see on Instagram. If you try to expect what you cannot control, you are going to end up disappointed.  

Tamia Southall is a 20-year-old mass communication junior from New Orleans.

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