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Olajumoke Awosemo: Social Media PDA



Before the dominance of social media, public display of affection(PDA)was mainly referred to as the acts of physical intimacy exhibited by couples in the view of others. Several relationship experts have viewed PDA as an important element in strengthening relationships. As a matter of fact, research shows that there are three pillars of PDAs: 1) hand-holding, 2) a kissing and 3) affectionate invasions of space. Others include: public declarations of love, the use of pet names, babying etc.

On the other hand, technology has been rapidly evolving, and with it, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are growing – with people posting everything from what they are about to eat; to what items they just purchased, and of course there has been an increase of PDA via these social media sites. Many people’s Facebook profiles show their relationship status and even link to their partner’s profile. Photos of smiling, embracing couples are not uncommon as profile photos, and sometimes people leave loving messages on their partner’s Facebook pages. Instant messaging platforms like Blackberry and Watsapp show display pages of people with pictures of their loved ones, with sweet personal messages to follow.

Of the two genders, it is fair to say that the female folks are more into the social media PDAs, ranging from birthday and anniversary long messages to the ‘shout outs’ to the best ‘bae’, husband’ and father posts. The 21st century man has also greatly improved on his PDA skills. I have been greatly impressed with some epic proposals and the efforts that men are now putting into making their women happy.

However, some men still cannot bring themselves to showing emotions, whether in the physical open or on social media. Although, it does not mean that those who do not want to highlight their relationship on social media are necessarily unhappy, not in love or even unromantic, some people are just not into the public mushy stuff. It also does not imply that the men who display love on social media are genuine, Infact, for some playboys, social media PDA is all part of the game.

The majority of women aren’t going to demand a full-on make-out tell- all pictures or messages, but most will want at least the occasional display of love- to let the world know that she is in a relationship, that she is genuinely happy and of course to boost her confidence. Social media PDAs have become so important to some women that the lack of it from their man could lead to them calling off of their relationship. Some (few) women couldn’t care less and even when they see the signs of other people’s couple-dom on social media, they think, ‘Enough already!’ One of my friends put it into perspective when she said that for people who are still dating, unless one is sure that the person will marry you, don’t make a fool of yourself by posting pictures of the two of you every day. Love your partner, post the occasional photo and be happy because if or when you do break up, the process of deleting all the pictures will be even more grueling.

It is worth asking whether there can be too much PDA on a social network? And is there something lacking in a relationship without it? Also as a woman, how important is PDA on social media important to you?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Andrey Popov

Olajumoke Awosemo is an HR Professional, a Personal Shopper and a Self-Developed writer. Her interest in writing focuses mainly on relationships, marriage and related issues but sometimes touches on other current issues. She is a wife, a mother and jointly manages a relationship blog with her husband at She also runs her personal shopper business at"


  1. missusK

    March 7, 2015 at 3:54 am

    I agree with the post. I don’t want to see “cute” photos of couples just a few months into their relationship. If you have to post at all, make it don’t make it a daily or weekly thing and please stay away from the plenty crazy hashtags. Until when the person you’re with becomes a significant other (engaged/married) control the PDA.

  2. beeeeee

    March 7, 2015 at 4:30 am

    My opinion, keep it on d down low because many are lurking around d corner waiting for season 3 episode 5 of your relationship. PDA is not a proof of love. Most of these people live under the same roof so I wonder why they profess on social media n d spouses respond like they are many miles away. I took a cue from my friends who suddenly became anti-social media, the shame of deleting or re-introducing another guy or girl is not pleasing to any humans emotion.

    • Kunmi

      March 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

      My friend and I termed the deleting of pictures after a relationship has ended, “Shameful Takedown”

    • Peyton

      March 7, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Exactly like why would you do that??? You don’t need to prove your love or happiness to anyone It’s nobody’s businuess what your love life is.

  3. Ifemelu

    March 7, 2015 at 4:30 am

    In my younger years (early 20s) i would have loved PDA but kinda coded. You guys know what i mean, the kind that they know i have a fine handsome chocomilo but not all my business is known. Get it? The kind my so called “girlfriends” will be “awwwwing” over and all. Now, in my late 20s, honestly i don’t care for even a hint of PDA. As in zero, nothing, nada! I am also not that crazy about dating, maybe that is why. I really love my life too and Nigerian men have shown me that the devil is what? Indeed a liar! So, i am more concerned about what i have to get done and countries i can visit. Call me selfish but life is too short to start worrying about “does he love me”? simply because one man does not want to show me some affection on social media. If you want to show the whole world your business, that one na your matter. If not, leave all that story for the gods.

    P.S. I have heard of our lovely Nigerian men who will BOLDLY swear love up and down on social media, even quote the bible on top their wife yet they will be sending explicit messages to young single women on that same social media. Nigeria, i hail theeeee!!! The devil is what? A LIAR!

    • gel

      March 7, 2015 at 8:53 am

      omg you are damn funny

    • Kunmi

      March 7, 2015 at 10:02 am

      LOL a million likes for your comment. The devil is indeed a liar.

    • Africhic

      March 7, 2015 at 10:45 am

      I am not holding the brief for Nigeria men but give them a break. ALL men are capable of cheating, I doubt it’s only a Nigeria men phenomenon

    • MC

      March 8, 2015 at 10:34 am

      True. But it is only Nigerian men that are polygamous by nature.

    • Zero

      March 9, 2015 at 8:51 am

      You are so on point babe

  4. Tosin

    March 7, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Smooches, everyone!

    – THAT’s how you do a public display of affection.

  5. Aro

    March 7, 2015 at 7:06 am

    lol people still do PDA? I’m one of those that ld laugh when they break up! Like ahmean we don’t need to know what’s going on in your life
    Keep it to yourself! Some would even go to the extent of making single ladies really jealous. Smh
    I know of one couple on Instagram, they are both singers. After all the PDA. Where are they now? I won’t mention names.

  6. Ndali

    March 7, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Great article. I’ve never been a fan of social media PDA as such, I mean I see couples everyday on IG and I’m like this is cute…And then I move on.
    And yes people break up relationships just because their partners wouldn’t profess love to them on the media. My believe is everyone should keep it on the low,and as the person above said,stay away from all the “unnecessary” hash tag, and long stories. Doing all that is not a “proof” of love. If unfortunately you guys break up,you’ll go through hell trying to get those pictures off. Random pictures of you and him/her is just about okay,without the long stories tho.

  7. Blueberry

    March 7, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Married or not, I believe social media and our relationships should be kept as two parallel lines that will never meet.
    With everyone showing every corner and angle of their lives on social media, people have forgotten the definition of privacy, and more are failing to respect that. Everyone MUST just know by force, by fire!
    Even more appalling is that it has turned people into accredited secret agents and phenomenal gossips .
    What people don´t know is that some professional “Rosy-Nosys” would stop at nothing to assuage their curiosity. Seeing that picture of you and your boo is not enough for them. They would like to know what he/she does, how much he/earns earns, where he/she lives, etc…and Lord knows that the alterior motives are never good.

  8. Sisi

    March 7, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    This post reminds me of a friend who posted pictures of her and her partner on Facebook like everyone thought this was definitely alter bound. Fast forward some months later unfortunately they broke up and babe had the task of deleting and hiding every picture of them on Facebook.
    My verdict: don’t do it even though you are 100% sure this is alter bound don’t. I’ve seen cases of even engagements being called off. When you are MARRIED then you can do the SPDA.

  9. like

    March 8, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I flaunted my first boyfriend ehn… After the break up.. i kept up appearances for awhile before letting go.. Then i was MIA on social media while I cleaned up my wall posts, all his comments and pictures. . Since he blocked me from writing on his wall, i decided to delete him on my Facebook

    I sincerely pray for Toolz and Tunde Demuren…

  10. Seun Solanke

    March 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    PDA as you have rightly placed it really depends on the person. To some it’s a great deal, to others it’s nothing and some are good with or without it. I would just add that if you find yourself in a relationship with someone who loves PDA, and you are not, don’t kill your partners feelings. Also, PDA or no PDA, true love isn’t defined by it in anyway.

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