As a teen I use social media on a day-to-day basis. I wake up, check my Instagram and get caught up on what I missed during my slumber. On the way to school it is Snapchat and Kik to connect with those dreading to go to school, and listen to complaints about upcoming tests and quizzes. After school I have a couple laughs on vine then make sure my grades are adequate on Engrade. Before I end my day it is another round of Instagram to see what I missed during the day. On most of these social media sites we are given the ability to communicate with people from all around the world, people who without social media you would have never come to know. I experienced this first-hand a couple months ago. I was checking my Instagram notifications and saw that this girl named Aminah wanted to follow me; she looked harmless so I accepted her. After a while she commented on one of my pictures a compliment to which I responded with a simple thank you. At the time I went to a public school and so did she, we both found comfort in each other knowing that we both were going through the same thing. We both were trying to get through public school while still keeping our faith strong. After a while she gave me her Kik, or instant message, and whenever a problem arose to either of us we would Kik the other person.Order now
My relationship with Aminah created a wonderful relationship with someone in a completely different state. My story shows the upside of social media and how it can develop many wholesome relations. Although this narrative shows the advantages of social media in relationships I am interested in fining out the disadvantages. The girl who I spoke to ended up being a kind person, but I know that in many situations people are not so lucky. The Internet allows anyone to hide behind his or her computer screen, pretending to be whomever he or she wants. The girl could’ve been a complete fraud and I would have never known.
I know that because of social medias easy accessibility, checking social media on a mobile phone provides quick access to a percentage of personal information at the touch of a button. I also know that social media can have both pros and cons. For example, although social media allows us to communicate with a higher amount of people, it still has a dangerous aspect. That dangerous aspect is that we do not really know the people who we are communicating with.
I know fairly little about social medias affect on interpersonal relationships. One thing I want to learn about is how social media works. Why and how did it begin? What are some different experiences that have occurred through social media? Not only the bad but the good as well. Looking up statistics about the amount of people who use social media is something I want to look into as well. To sum up, social media is something that affects the old and the new generation drastically. Learning if this drastic change in society is either a good or bad addition to humanity is something that plays a very important role in creating a better tomorrow.
Social media. An invention that allows someone from Nebraska USA, to converse with a random person in Bangladesh. 98% of 18-24 year olds around the world, confess to using social media. Social media not only allows one to communicate with people all around the world but also to create new online relationships, which would have never occurred without social media. Although this invention may seem like it would make us more social, people are spending an immense amount of time online creating virtual relationships that it is making us create less real relationships. Social media has many upsides and downsides but whether or not is affects social interactions is what this paper plans to answer.
Social media gives us a platform to interact with the people we know. This capability allows us to connect with families and friends who live abroad, which allows us to sustain social relationships. Another pro to social medias affect on social media, is that it allows people to communicate with others that otherwise, would have never met. In fact 57% of teens who use social media say they make new friends through social networking site. (commonsensemedia.org). In an article written by Brooke Welles she speaks about the social impact of social media. In this article the author writes about how social media is an added benefit to society. The author also says that according to recent research, social media users are more social than those who do not use social media. So using social media actually causes us to become more social. A third pro to social media is that it allows those who have no one, to meet with actual people and find someone who may care. Kelly Wallace says “Social media has been a place where teens, who might be feeling isolated, can cry for help.” Without social media some of these teens who have no one could harm themselves greatly. In a nutshell, social media is beneficial to society because it allows people to interact with their peers a lot more, and they will find other people to connect with as well.
Although there are many pros to social medias affect on creating relationships, there are still a number of cons. One con is that social media threatens to abolish the concept of face-to-face interaction. Social media is taking the place of face-to-face interaction by limiting the parts needed for real face-to-face interaction, for example body language. Body language is a key part to communicating; one can tell how a conversation is going to go just by observing ones body language. Paul Hudson says “social media puts us at risk of the way a person stands, the way they hold their arms, the eye contact they make or refuse to make all gives us vital information that is lost when all forms of communication are virtual” (elitedaily.com). Another con to social medias affect on creating relationships is, that face-to-face communication is being less appreciated. “Since there are only so many hours in a day, the more interactions we have in any given day, the shorter those interactions must be. In this day and age, we attempt to make such interactions as quick as manageable, avoiding actual conversations if at all possible. We don’t want to meet in person and we prefer not to have to dial a number and talk over the phone” (elitedaily.com). Social media is causing us to become lazier and undermine the ability that actual face-to-face conversation has on creating relationships. Finally, some relationships made on social media can be hazardous. On social media anyone is allowed to be whomever they please, which can be a scary thing if that persons goals are dangerous. Susan Tardonico wrote an article on the dangers of social media. In this article she explains that social media creates a mask that conceals and makes people seem different than who they truly are (forbes.com). Because of this fact users on social media can put not only themselves, but those who are active on their profiles, in danger. To finish off, the cons of social media include, social networking cites lack privacy, they threaten to abolish face-to-face interaction and it causes people to spend less time on creating real relationships.
The question to whether social media makes us less, or more social is most definitely debatable. There are some things to keep in mind when answering this question, one thing is that social media allows us to call people “friends “ when we have never met them. Richard Jones states, “Even more than blogs, web pages, and smartphones, the environment on a SNS like Facebook and Twitter facilitates self-disclosure in a directed way and allows others who have access to our profile to see our other “friends.” Jones explains how social media causes information to spread to people you may not even know, but still consider as friends. Even though one might have multiple “friends” or connections on social networking sites, most of these connections are “weak ties”. In an article by Maura Keller, Keller addresses the fact that although people are connecting more due to social media, these connections tend to be “weak ties”. The article then goes on to explain that even though we are communicating more, we may not necessarily be building strong relationships. After learning this one has to remember, social media does create connections, they may not be as strong as face-to-face connections, but they still are connections made that without social media would have never occurred. In essence, good or bad, social media is a technology that appears to be a permanent part of today’s social culture. As with most technology, how we use it can have both positive and negative effects on society.
In short, some pros to social media include the ability to interact with ones peers more often and find others to connect to as well. Some downsides to social media are that social media and social networking cites lack privacy, it can lead to stress and offline problems, and it causes people to spend less time interacting face-to-face. After understanding all of this one has to come to the conclusion that social media is here to stay. It is by all means not a fad, as Andy Braner said, “We’re not going back. Communication is going to get faster and faster, and more efficient, until the pendulum swings back to the longing for real human interaction.”
This research paper taught me multiple things about the way social media works. I now know that social media has actually been going on since the creation of email and is expected to continue, only advancing, for much longer. After doing some research I have also come to the conclusion that almost everyone uses social media.. According to a poll taken on January 1, 2014 98% of 18-24 year olds around the world use social media. My initial answer to whether social media affects relationships was a maybe leaning toward a no. But now after conducting research I have come up with the conclusion that yes, social media does in fact affect relationships. I believe this because of a number of factors including the ability to communicate with people online. I do recognize that these interactions may not be as strong as actual real life interactions, but it still gives people the opportunity to make friends and get to know more people easily, thus creating more relationships. Another factor that lead me to my conclusion was the amount of people who go on social media is overwhelming. When I think about why some people are associated with social networking sites the thought of communicating and meeting new people comes to mind. The last thing I learned from this paper is “you are what you post.”
• “Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives.” Reviews & Age Ratings. Common Sense Media, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.
• Tardanico, Susan. “Is Social Media Sabotaging Real Communication?.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
• Keller, Maura. “Social Media and Interpersonal Communication.” Social Work.com(.5 Feb. 2014). 17 Feb.2014
• Jones, Richard. “How does Social Media affect our Relationships?”. Richardjonesjunior.com.(12 May. 2013). 17 Feb. 2014
• Hudson, Paul. “ Why Social Networking makes us less Social”. Elitedaily.com.(May 20. 2013). February 13. 2014
• Wallace, Kelly. “The upside of selfies: Social media isn’t all bad for kids.” CNN. Cable News Network, 22 Nov. 2013. 23 Feb. 2014.
• Carr, Nicholas G.. The shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.