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Effects of Social Media on Relationships

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Arguably, technology is one of the human beings’ greatest achievements and this is not without its perks and convinces in our society. Research shows that approximately 4.68 billion people own a cell phone and the number is expected to rise to 4.78 billion by the year 2020 (Tairov, 2019). Social media has become part of our daily lives and we have to accept that fact and use it for our well-being as humans. In this paper, we are going to look into details at the positive and negative effects of social media on relationships.

It would be grossly unfair to only highlight the negative effects of social media as it brings many positive effects. Social media helps reduce physical distances in relationships. In the society we are living in, long-distance relationships are common and it never that easy. Families and couples far from each other have to spend time together either on daily basis or once in a while. The social media act as a channel that brings people together even if they are a thousand miles apart. Social media applications like Whatsapp and Facebook are becoming more common and people are using them more often.

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Secondly, it helps the people stay in touch and have a better understanding of each other. Through social media, one can understand other people’s personalities, likes, dislikes, opinions, views, and habits. People planning to enter a relationship can use social media to evaluate the person’s behavior and if they are compatible. Children staying or studying far away from their parents or couples who work or study far from their partners can use social to keep in touch as it takes a short period of time to reach out to them.

Another major effect of social media is that it helps create memories and helps in raising children. Taking pictures and taking videos on anniversaries, birthday parties, family gatherings, and with friends helps family love going strong. Parents that work or study away from their children also can reach out to them and this makes the kids feel loved. Children brought up by a single parent where the parents are separated may be by divorce, parents can still talk to their children through social media and this ensures there is no estrangement.

Although social media has some major positive effects, we cannot allow that to overshadow our judgment and forget the real negative effects. Firstly, social media is highly addictive and has a highlight effect on everyone’s lives. Because the internet and social media can be easily accessed by children, and parents are not tracking their children’s activities on social media, research shows that this is promoting anxiety and low self-esteem among children. It also has serious effects on how they bond with others and how to form relationships in real life. Many people especially teens cannot balance social media life and real-life with most of them prioritizing the wrong things.

Social media acts as a safe channel for cheating and lying in relationships. This is because one cannot notice something seemingly out of the ordinary. After all, we are on our phones and there is no visible physical or behavior change. Facebook in particular plays a major in today’s modern infidelity. Research shows that an average Facebook user spends 50 minutes on the site instead of their leisure activities (CC Chang, 2015). Another effect is that social media has an effect on mental health especially on children and teenagers where it can lead to conditions such as anxiety and depression.

It is no simple assignment to evaluate the positive and negative effects of internet-based life but as social media continue to grow, it’s important to evaluate other people’s beliefs and values. It’s also important to know who your real friends are on social media and mind other people’s feelings before posting anything controversial or that will hurt their feelings.       

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