Love Letters: Is Social Media & Reality TV Ruining Relationships?

Glad y’all took a moment from becoming wealthy stockbrokers to join me for a few minutes in the land of Love Letters.

If you’re still trying to decide whether to buy in or opt out of that new relationship, hit me up – I got you, free of charge.

I guarantee you can trust my advice more than those random Twitter financial analysts. Why y’all are taking stock tips from people who still need their parents to pay their car insurance I’ll never know.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on Twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

Do you think reality TV and social media can ruin relationships/marriages?


Reality TV and social media have ruined a lot of things around here:

– Good music, when being “entertaining” on TV became more important than “being talented” in the booth

– Common sense, when we ignore the wisdom of educated professionals and turn to celebrities for guidance

– The art of conversation, where clapbacks and cosigns become more important than actual understanding

In short, they should have never given you playas the Internet.

That said, I refuse to lay the blame of failed relationships solely at the feet of the digital gods. I’ve been doing this Love Letters thang for a LONG time – most of the time when things fail, it’s not the fault of the bird app or the sexy Tik Tok challenge of the day.

It’s all on you, pimpin.

Social media and reality TV certainly have their faults, as I outlined above. Their influence is strong – from setting unrealistic expectations of beauty and success to serving as a gateway for bad decisions. When they become aspirational and not entertainment, there’s the problem.

HOW (*hand clap emoji*) EV (*hand clap emoji*) ER (*hand clap emoji*)

Even if social media and reality TV are a gateway to bad decisions, walking through that gate is a personal choice.

Which takes me to something else we’ve seemingly lost in this social media era – taking personal responsibility for your own actions. Social media and reality TV can fan the flames of infidelity, mistrust and division, but they didn’t start that fire. I guarantee those issues were smoldering long before then.

Metaphors aside, let me keep it all the way real – don’t blame reality TV and social media for escalating relationship problems. That’s an easy out. The roots of those issues were already there. Address the root.

Blocking your boo from watching the Silhouette Challenge won’t save your marriage if his eye is already wandering.

Question No. 2

So my cousin recently started dating this guy the family doesn’t really care for. She has turned into a whole another person. Everything is surrounded by him. She doesn’t even like football and her favorite time is his team. It’s like she has no mind of her own. Is it time for my cousin to sit on a psychiatrist’s couch?


On the surface, I’m sure some of the social media psychiatrists among us will scream GURRRL YO COUSIN BEING BRAINWASHED BY THAT FAMILY, SHE GOTTA GO.

But I like to use more nuanced thinking around here. And in the case of LC’s cousin, there’s levels to this.

It’s not unusual – or even wrong – to pick up the traits of your partner. Believe it or not, it was my digitally-savvy wife who practically forced me to embrace social media in the mid ’00s when I had absolutely no desire to do so.

Now I spent way too much time talking to strangers about their relationships on the Internet. So thank her. Or blame her, depending.

Likewise, my wife is now able to carry on the nerdiest conversations imaginable. From the comic book origins of the Scarlet Witch and Vision to who fought in last year’s WrestleMania, wifey knows it all – thanks to being geek adjacent to yours truly.

So it doesn’t surprise me that LC’s cousin went from not caring about sports to suddenly becoming a rabid football fan. If her man is obsessed, she’s gonna check it out and maybe, JUST MAYBE, she now loves it too. No Jedi Mind Tricks necessary.

(BTW I can’t get my wife to do Star Wars – that’s the one thing she ain’t getting with.)

Again, there’s levels – if her newfound obsessions push her away from her family or she begins to totally lose her individuality to please her new guy, yes, that’s a problem. But loving what your significant other loves isn’t necessarily bad. That’s just … love.


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