Reading Progress:

How to Manage Your Relationship’s Relationship with Social Media

by Scarlett Brade

“This isn’t a story: this is my confession.” My debut thriller, The Hive, opens powerfully with Charlotte Goodwin’s chilling confession: she’s killed her ex-boyfriend’s partner in cold blood, and now invites you to vote on whether he should live or die via Instagram Live. Navigating a relationship is already tricky; add social media into the mix and you get a minefield. Dating isn’t what it used to be, with apps to smooth our skin and drastically change our apperance. Are any of us who we appear to be online, and do we even really want to be? Is our addiction to being online simply an addiction to being someone else and if so, could it be that the entire population is suffering an identity crisis? What we do know is that our relationships often suffer the consequences of our fixation with being online. Here five tips to keep your relationship’s relationship with social media healthy (and drama-free):

The Hive Author Book

1

KEEP IT PRIVATE

Or, at least, keep it private for as long as you can. When first getting to know your potential other half, don’t put it all out there in the world too soon. Wait until you’re sure that your person is in it for the long haul. I can think of few things more embarrassing than deleting your ‘couple goals’ post a few months after putting it up. Instead, take solo pictures of each other on date nights. It’s a fantastic icebreaker and you can post them risk free—a real win-win situation. When you do take pictures together, store them safely for future throwback posts on birthdays, anniversaires, or, who knows, maybe even your wedding.

2

TAME YOUR VICES

Don’t be like Charlotte’s ex-boyfriend! When you partner feels insecure about what you are liking or the comments you’re leaving under someone else’s posts, take their feelings into account. Reflect on your behaviour and consider how it might affect them. Respect is a non-negotiable and your relationship should always be a priority. Take the time to clearly communicate your boundaries and remember that your partner is not a mind reader, so open up. Things may have worked out differently for Charlotte and Lincoln had they followed this tip.

3

JUST TURN IT OFF

When you’re meant to be spending quality time with your boo, actually spend the time with them. Be present and ask them about their day, cook a meal together, or perhaps hit the park for an evening stroll. No one wants to feel as if their partner prefers scrolling on an electronic object to spending time with them. Undivided, quality attention is the foundation of a healthy relationship, so balance your priorities and don’t skip on the relationship-care.

4

BEFRIEND YOUR FOE

For all its faults, social media is fundamentally about connecting with others and can spice up your romantic life. Send your partner funny memes or clips of your favourite podcast. When you see something that might interest you or your partner, share it with them and brighten their day. Use social media to find articles, activities, and events you may enjoy doing together. The best relationships consist of the best of friends.

5

BE NICE

When writing The Hive, I was driven by the belief that we should be kinder to each other online. We should uplift one another, leaving aside toxicity and promoting positivity. Our accounts are reflections are ourselves and our lives, and spreading positivity whether it be online or in person should be the standard. Social media gives you the opportunity to receive recognition, so return the affection and show your lover’s posts some love. Everyone deserves to feel special (but remember, just like in The Hive, the internet is written in ink and not pencil).

SCARLETT BRADE is the daughter of parents who migrated from the Caribbean to England in the early 1970s. She was born and educated in London, though as a child she spent her summers in Canada, where she developed her love affair with reading. When not writing Scarlett spends most of her time cooking, drinking fine wines, and entertaining family and friends. The Hive is her first psychological thriller, and she is currently writing her second. Follow Scarlett @scarlettgbrade on Instagram.

How to Manage Your Relationship’s Relationship with Social MediaThe Hive by Scarlett Brade
Published by Zaffre on 21 July 2022
Genres: Chick lit, Thriller
Pages: 400
Goodreads

Charlotte Goodwin looks directly at the camera and reveals a chilling truth to the thousands watching her Instagram Live broadcast. She has killed her ex-boyfriend's new partner in cold blood. But she is not finished yet. With bloodied hands she takes a calm sip of tea before continuing. Lincoln Jackson will now make his confession, then the viewers must vote to decide whether he should live or die. The public display sends shockwaves rippling through the online community and the numbers of viewers skyrockets. But as Lincoln's past is revealed, how will he be judged? Bonded by mutual tragedy, Charlotte's three best friends have supported each other through the soaring highs and devastating lows of their lives. Now, in Charlotte's hour of need, her friends also face a choice, whether to help her get away with murder. The Hive explores our darkest fears of the relationship between social media and mental health, but, most importantly, the strength of sisterhood against all the odds.

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