7. We'll be smarter about sexting. Speaking of phones, let's talk about sexts. According to a recent Pew research study, sexting reaches about 15 percent of teenagers' phones, and up to nearly a third (31 percent) of young adults' (18-29). Sexually suggestive images sent to the privacy of the phone have become a form of relationship currency, noted participants in the study. Kanye, Tiger, Brett... seems like everyone's doing it. And getting caught, too. In 2011, expect to see new etiquette rules around this trend. Want to send your new squeeze a picture of your tatas that cannot be resent, copied or retweeted? Well, there'll be an app for that, too.
8. Couples will enact social media bans. As much as Twitter, Facebook and the iPhone are good at creating relationships, they're equally as efficient at tearing them down. Just think about the ways social media can stir up drama for those in a monogamous relationship: Inappropriate and/or flirty comments on your wall that lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Private messages that cross the line, blurring the territory between friendship and virtual or emotional cheating. Connecting with an ex who reignites old flames that perhaps should be left in the past. The list goes on and on.
"Those with an interest in maintaining their relationships will require their partners to abandon [social media]," says Farrah Parker, a marketing consultant who doubles as an Interpersonal Relationship instructor. "Couples who do not need added strain may opt to flee from all things social media. Considering our increasing reliance upon virtual communication, savvy couples will recognize the dire need to devote attention to their 'real' friends and not to those who only exist in the form of a thumbnail photo."