Social media is a form of communication which is used by people or groups of people to interact through sharing of information. Social media is also a platform used to develop professional and social contacts. In today’s world, social media is one of the most used forms of communication among the people as it connects people in all corners of the world. Advancements in technology have facilitated growth in some INTERNET users which has given rise to some social media applications.
Through social media applications, it is possible in particular for the young generation to be updated on their followers’ lives and relationships. People can post on social media what they are doing, where they are, who they are with or even where they will be at a given moment. For those who are in a relationship, one can be able to regularly text or talk to his/her partner as long as one is connected to the INTERNET. Before the web came to be, people had a tough time to connect to their partners as one had to wait to get home where the phone was accessible. Nowadays couples can be able to video call through Skype and talk for hours.(Chen,2011)
Social media, on the other hand, has its negative impacts, especially to the millennials. Millennials have developed an addiction to the social media where they are hooked on their phones for many hours. They are dependent on their phones to properly communicate with their peers. Individuals with social media addiction lack proper communication skills when it comes to lively interact with other people.( Papp, 2013). This addiction has negatively affected relationships among people.
Individuals in a relationship have to trust each other to maintain their relationship. Use of social media has however threatened the existence of trust among people in a relationship. For example, Facebook has over billion users, and this means that one can have as many friends as possible. In Facebook, one can view who is a friend of who and this may raise trust issues in particular between a girlfriend and a boyfriend. Couples can keep in touch with each other but when there is anomalous activity by one partner the other partner may raise suspicions. The overexposure of one’s activity in social media may cause trust issues among people. For example, Snapchat users can see their follower’s best friends, and this may be misinterpreted. Couples may pick fights by viewing their partner’s post with another person of an opposite gender.
Trust issues are also evident for Instagram users who are in a relationship. For example, a male counterpart in a relationship may confront his girlfriend because of an Instagram post liked by many male followers. This is a sign of insecurity which weakens relationship of many couples as one partner has a fear of losing his or her partner in future. On Twitter, users can privately contact their followers through the direct messenger feature, and this may sabotage relationship especially between couples.( Bolton,2013)
Jealousy and anxiety are limitations directly linked to social media usage. Individuals especially millennials may post all their information on Facebook or Instagram, the information posted may be about their lavish lifestyle which may be a source of jealous. Other information displayed may include individuals in a relationship, and information they post can create a sense of suspicion to their partners. Couples in a relationship may receive negative feedback once they post about their relationship. This can be disturbing and can lead to failure of their relationship.
Fake personality is another negative impact of social media, which demolish relationships. Social media users may create a fake profile on their social media accounts to impress or attract others. Through social media dating, a user can create a fake personality profile which will make him/her attractive to others and a perfect person to date.( Bolton,2013). Fake personality, however, turns to be disturbing when individuals dating online finally meet and discover one of the partners is opposite of what it is in his or her social media profile.
Relationships are ruined through social media where people mainly married couples post their relationship’s problems on Facebook looking for a solution. They get all sort of advice from their online friends most of which may ruin their relationship. As indicated earlier, not all people on social media are to be trusted as some of them may be jealous. Moreover, people with fake identities may comment on an individual post and pretend to be concerned with the person’s problem but turn out to be worse friends. However, one can be lucky and consume helpful information which will solve his or her problems.
Time used while using social media is a drawback for many relationships. Couples minimize their face-to-face communication time as each one of them is very busy chatting with friends on Facebook or twitting to his her friends or groups. Excessive time on social media has led to mistrust and cheating in many of the married couples. Also, constant monitoring by individual partner feels and uncomfortable, and this can damage a relationship. However, continuous monitoring can be useful to make sure an individual partner stop cheating. Face-to-face communication has failed for most of the people in the modern generation as most of them are regularly chatting on social media. Relationships have been based on social media where there is constant monitoring by individuals in a relationship. People living together are not aware of what is happening in each other’s lives as they rarely find time to talk and communicate properly.
In conclusion, it’s evident that social media has taken away our ability of emotional closeness and support to one another. All it has done is to increase mistrust in relationships and also to cause jealousy, suspicion, and anxiety. Couples are breaking up after due to over usage of social media and end up cheating on one another. Childhood friends are losing connections as they are busy interacting with other friends on social media who are far away. However, social media, if used well, can be relevant to its users. Users of social media can be able to reconnect or reunite, and this enhances growth and maintenance of relationships. Through social media, people can offer emotional support to one another and help each other. The task of how to use social media is by the user. The users should be aware of why they are using social, what they are posting and if it will be of importance to their relationships.
Wang, Q., Chen, W., & Liang, Y. (2011). The effects of social media on college students.
Boyd, D. (2014). It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press.
Bolton, R. N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., … & Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 24(3), 245-267.
Papp, L. M., Danielewicz, J., & Cayemberg, C. (2012). “Are we Facebook official?” Implications of dating partners’ Facebook use and profiles for intimate relationship satisfaction. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15(2), 85-90.
Seidman, G. (2013). Self-presentation and belonging on Facebook: How personality influences social media use and motivations. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(3), 402-407.
Marshall, T. C., Bejanyan, K., Di Castro, G., & Lee, R. A. (2013). Attachment styles as predictors of Facebook‐related jealousy and surveillance in romantic relationships. Personal Relationships, 20(1), 1-22.
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