Why Do Some Couples Feel the Need to Exhibit Social Media PDA?

Why Do Some Couples Feel the Need to Exhibit Social Media PDA?

Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande are keeping us ALL in the loop.  

By Marianne Garvey

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson are getting it on IRL — and on Instagram. The duo’s constant posts/likes/comments read like lines from a teen’s love letter (secretly, it’s kind of adorable) but their endless public displays of affection on social media are driving some people nuts.

Take Seth Rogen, who, after the Saturday Night Live star captioned a bikini photo of Ariana, "what the actual f--k" with a heart eye emoji, wrote "Guys seriously," under Pete’s compliment.

But their Insta-flirting didn’t stop there. Ariana told Pete "i love you," and he responded, "i love you more tho."

Pete then tagged Seth, writing, "when ur getting married to the hottest girl in the world you tell me how you'd act."

If you check Pete and Ariana’s Instagram pages, the gushing is endless, calling each other hot, proclaiming their love, and telling each other to “come upstairs,” when the comment is coming from inside the house.

Is that weird?

Actually, no. The two are both 24 years old, and grew up with social media and the Internet as the norm. Sharing, or oversharing, is really no big thing. It’s older people who get their panties all in a bunch. Sorry, Seth.

There has been much research done connecting one’s self-esteem to social media and how strong or weak a relationship is. Facebook has even conducted research to determine how its users use their page to broadcast their love.

Natalie Mbogo, Digital Director of Factory PR in New York City, explains Relationship Contingent Self-Esteem (RCSE) to Personal Space, which determines if you’re a person who is more likely to have your self-esteem and quality of life rise from social media feedback, or something external.

“What exactly does social media posting mean? Are you a narcissist? A sociopath? What is your self-esteem level? All these things have been researched, but I find that social media essentially just promotes and exacerbates the already existing mental health of a person.”

Mbogo says posting, commenting, and liking a lot on your partner’s page is not necessarily positive or negative, it’s just how you derive your self-esteem, which for two 24 year olds like Pete and Ariana, is perfectly normal and how their generation was raised.


A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

“Some research says that when people post a lot on social media in their relationship, they are compensating for lack of confidence in the relationship, but when you’re happy and in the limelight, you’re gonna share things other people may not,” she adds.

“Millennials have a generous viewpoint on this, you can have a very healthy relationship and post it social media even though people may think it’s too aggressive. They [Pete and Ariana] come from an environment that is inherently digital, they interact and grow relationships in the digital space. For younger people, it’s a reflection of the time and how people communicate.”

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