Before social media transformed the way our society communicates, our interactions consisted of meeting each other face to face, telephone conversations, email messages, and written letters. Now, social media and technology allows us to be in constant communication. Although technology and social media makes it easier to stay in contact, how much of this change impacts our personal friendships and relationships?
An advantage of utilizing popular social media sites to maintain personal relationships is the ability to interact with a larger amount of people. Not only does social media make it easier to keep in contact with people from all over the world, but it is also a great tool to use to reconnect with old and new friends.
Different social media tools have different characteristics depending on how your friends use them and can support a wide range of relationships.
Facebook: With over 1 billion active users, Facebook is the perfect network to reconnect with old friends
LinkedIn: Not only is this social networking site a great way to establish your professional identity, it is also a great tool to maintain relationships gained from business events and networking opportunities.
Twitter: Since tweets are public for everyone to see and are limited to only 140 characters, Twitter is the perfect platform to exchange casual and frequent exchanges with friends.
Skype: As a breakthrough in connecting the world together, distance is no longer an issue for real time interaction with long distance friends.
Despite the positive impacts social media and technology has had on the way the world communicates, it has also negatively affected our interactions and relationships.
For those in romantic relationships, social media has changed the world of dating. By posting personal information on social media platforms, social networks allow us to obtain information that would be more difficult to obtain offline. For example, activity on a partner’s social media page can be overanalyzed and evidence of a breakup can be more easily seen since 60% of Facebook users list themselves in some sort of relationship.
Just as much as how romantic relationships can be affected by social media in a bad way so can our friendships. In a survey by Badoo, 39% of people spend more time socializing online than face to face. Also, according to Cornell University’s Steve Strogatz, social media can make it difficult for us to distinguish the meaningful relationships from the casual ones.
Although social media has made it more convenient to stay in constant contact, the convenience can create the possibility of more socializing over the internet rather than face to face interaction. When it comes to communicating and interacting with others, social media acts as a double-edged sword where it is advantageous in certain relationships and can potentially be damaging in others.
Written By: Juliet Fong, Creatine Marketing