My question for this final project is one that I believe is important both now and in the future and that is “What effects does the use of social media technologies have on our real life interactions and how will it affect our relationships in both the short and long term?”
In today’s society our social interactions are shaped strongly by our online presents. Many individuals are involved in various types of online interactions including but not limited to Facebook(www.facebook.com), Twitter(www.twitter.com), and Linkedin(www.linkedin.com) all of these involved a level of commitment to stay up to date and as beneficial as possible. Much of these actions can cause individuals to become overwhelmed and stressed. The effects of developing relationships online and connecting with many others easily can seem like a beneficial idea at first but when a lack of depth is developed in these relationships it can turn to a feeling of isolation and loneliness having 400 friends on Facebook isn’t and won’t ever be equivalent to having a set amount of quality in person friends. When one of these many online relationships goes sour it can often times lead unhealthy residue. This is can be known as cyber bullying and can be detrimental to anyone. It is most common among young teens or preteens. In the linked article it discusses real life scenarios that have unfolded and have had detrimental effects on their lives. In one example a student online was bullied and forced too even switch schools. Cyber bullying has been a tough crime for local law enforcement to patrol so often times individuals have been left to fend for themselves. This had become an example of how your actions online can put your real life into a troubling state. Often time’s individuals will act out online for attention this can often times lead to bullying or verbally aggressive behavior. If an individual feels seriously threated by the actions online they may take too acted upon them in real life. This has often times led to physical altercations.
However the positive aspects that social media has on our lives is that it can help us interact and reconnect with long lost friends and allows us to easily communicate with family that may be geographically distanced from us. In addition we as humans can create meaningful relationships through interactions of sharing pictures and life events which has been made easy thanks to various social mediums. Some additional benefits on social networking is that it can give birth to inner confidence to any individual who may be struggling and fuel them with real life confidence. Confidence is known to be a great asset of the rich and successful so you’re social networking skills maybe already paying off. Other benefits include become more adaptable in real life this can be developed by adjusting to the constantly changing world of social networking. One aspect of the internet that gets lots of negative views is that of the exposure to diverse political, social, and environmental viewpoints that can help create ingenuity and intrigue in the real world setting. Online life’s have become and extension of communication in both the real world workplace and the real world social life. The ability to always be connected with individuals between real life exposures can help grown and develop stronger relationships. A great example of this can be found on Facebook if someone decides to post devastate and heart ripping news on their Facebook feed about something that has just happened to them. Then you can understand that if you run into them later maybe a condolence or sign of gratitude is appropriate. This would be something that could have been missed or improperly handled. Facebook has been known to create a sense of joy or happiness in people’s lives by increasing social trust and engagement these positive actions are backed by the sharing of successful outcomes and can lead to a measure of self-reinforcing excitement building confidences in an individual. However I am not the only individual who believes there are positive impacts of social media on our lives, in the article Millennials Reflect on Social Networking written for Psychology Today we can find that social networking can help lead to breaking the ice with new relationships if you have experience interacting online then you will likely have an easier time interacting for the first time in person. An over looked benefit of social networking that younger generation benefit more from then older is the ability to receive breaking news and event information near instantly. Being connected online can help you be aware of what’s going on anywhere in the world at any time, which would be a grueling and a likely impossible task otherwise.
Social media can affect and shape our real lives by allowing us to connect too many different people ranging anywhere from our childhood best friend to the individual at your office that you may not know very well. With this medium we are able to meet individuals that we wouldn’t normally had the opportunity to have both online and in person. Many relationships are formed online and are continued after an online foundation is established in person. Many individuals are turning to the internet to utilize online dating websites such as Match, Farmers Only, EHarmony and many more. Each one is user specific and allows individuals with similar interest and objectives to be plugged into various algorithms in hopes of completing the ultimate connection between two users. EHarmony for example has grown to over 150 countries would wide and have boasted to be taking 15,000 new dater applications every day. These online dating experiences can be a significant positive or negative on any individual’s life. The benefits and dramas are the same with online dating as they are with person to person interactions. However individuals believe that they are entering a greater pool of potential mates and in return will likely have a better percentage of finding the one.
Maybe the biggest impact that modern day social media has on individuals real life is that it amplifies everything we do in our lives from accomplishments to failures. With the ability and utilization of social media such as Facebook we are constantly connected and connecting to everyone about our life’s and with this constantly comparing ours to theirs. Since Facebook has been linked to many signs of depression, various studies have shown the direct impact it has on day to day life it has been linked to detonating relationships by causing jealousy and envy in relationships where there typically would have been neither. However the biggest issue with Facebook is that it is addictive and creates a sense of resentment as we compare our lives to others. If everyone one of your friends (or at least it feels like it) is going on a vacation this spring break its likely all you will see on Facebook each day is about those planned vacations making you the one staying home become jealous and start to resent your friends. Maybe one of the most direct repercussions of posting something on Facebook is the police could arrest you. Please check out this link. However there are a few things everyone can do to help prevent negative effects of social media and theyare; limit the time you use them, monitor your emotions on line, try not to compare yourself to others, and maintain a good life balance between virtual and real.
The long long term effects of having social media around and widely used is still a ways in the future but for now we can study research and articles that were conducted by Dr. Larry Rosen professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills was published in the Courier Press shows us the results of social media in the academic setting. He found that students who utilized Facebook at least once during a 15 minute period achieved lower grades as a whole. In addition to Facebook the more windows a student would open as a time period elapsed the worse off they would be at studying and retaining information. The results of his study showed us that if you weren’t able to go a long period of time then 15 minutes without checking your Facebook then you were likely going to struggle in an academic setting.
In conclusion social media and living a life online have both good and bad effects on our everyday lives through research and critical think I have found that it remains key like any good or bad thing in life to stay in balance with it. Never get too carried away one way or the other. An individual doesn’t want to live there life only online that will not be satisfying and will likely not lead to long term happiness.However in the same respect an individual will not want to live there life only offline. The ability to compare contrast and adapt to the every changing mediums of social media will help individuals live a more fulfilling life.
Konnikova Maria, How Facebook Makes us Unhappy. September 10, 2013. Accessed: February 28, 2015. http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/how-facebook-makes-us-unhappy
Price Marilyn. Millennials Reflect on Social Networking Teens question how social media affects relationships. Jun 17, 2014 in The Moment of Youth https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moment-youth/201406/millennials-reflect-social-networking
Rosen Dr. Larry. Research Confirms Social Media’s Impact on Adolescent Development. August 15, 2011. http://www.courierpress.com/lifestyle/columnists/youth-resources/research-confirms-social-medias-impact-on