“When we compare our actual lives, full of ups and downs, to other people’s polished social media images, we feel bad,” she continued. “You may end up feeling that your honeymoon wasn’t that special or that your spouse isn’t that romantic after you compare yourself to others.”
It’s not just during or after the honeymoon that people feel stress to impress. “The pressure is felt long before the actual trip because we can peek in on others’ honeymoons on social media,” said Amy Cirbus, a counseling psychologist based in New York and the manager of clinical quality at Talkspace, which has a social media dependency program. “We know where people go and what they do. This has significant influence on couples who then feel the need to have an equally amazing trip.”
Social media dependence can lead to unrealistic expectations and, of course, disagreements. “Couples today are seeking validation from their followers instead of talking about what they want with each other,” Ms. Bebell said, adding, “Social media drives the honeymoon decisions: where they go, what they do, and definitely where they stay.”
Rebecca Manning Reid, a 28-year-old freelance writer from London, felt so challenged and unnerved by her peers that she changed her honeymoon plans. She and her husband, Marcus Manning, 39, a contract lawyer, were going to Cornwall, England, after their Sussex wedding. “We love it there, she said. “We would have saved money, stayed in a nice cottage, gone on long walks.”
It seemed perfect for them — until her friends weighed in.
“People started saying, ‘What are you doing for your honeymoon?’ And I would say, ‘We’re going to Cornwall,’ and they would say, ‘Well that’s your mini-moon, what are you doing for your real honeymoon?’”
She grew embarrassed by her plans. “And I started to imagine the photos not looking that good and people seeing them and thinking, ‘Such a shame they couldn’t afford a better honeymoon,’” she said.