The effects of social media on people’s ability to connect and communicate can be seen in every aspect of society. There has been a major change in the way people interact as a result of technological advancements and the advent of smart devices such as smartphones. People tend to communicate through social media sites rather than face to face contact. As a result, the question of whether social media hinders or strengthens interpersonal relationships arises. The essay will present the evidence that support the case, as well as some counter-arguments, before concluding that social media does indeed impede interpersonal relationships.
The essay will provide a guarantee of truth on how adversely social media affects the interpersonal relationships leading to a valid conclusion. In this deductive argument, the following premises support the thesis that social media hinders interpersonal relationship. They include;
P1: Social media hinder relationships as it offers no face to face interaction.
P2: Social media has negative impacts on peoples’ emotions and psychology. That is, it does not provide emotional closeness provided by real interpersonal relationship.
P3: Social media also create unrealistic expectations for relationships. It tends to manipulate the actual psychical attributes of individuals.
P4: Social media can also invoke feelings of jealousy and stress.
C: Social media hinders relationships because it disconnects people from reality, connecting them to the online social systems.
As outlined in the first premise, social media platforms have no opportunity for face to face interaction. Human beings are social beings, where, they are supposed to meet each other, share ideas face to face, and maintain the intimacy. The face to face interaction makes every aspect of ideas shared real and practical. Consequently, it brings a real feeling of acknowledgment and togetherness. As stated by Cincotta, 2015, social media is a strong tool that assists those people with social phobia to enjoy the real-world interaction. However, not all individuals who are social phobic; hence, face to face interaction is an essential requirement for every normal human being.
The second premise, that supports the argument is that social media has negative impacts on peoples’ emotions and psychology. The platforms for social media does not offer emotional closeness which brings about the sober emotional state. According to Cincotta, 2015, a human being needs to have a small group of friends who they interact at the deepest level. Everyone requires that person whom they can touch, feel, share emotions, and expect a real response from them. It means that every individual thrives off human closeness, which is significant for survival. Apparently, if this is not the case, people will end up annihilating themselves since there will be no more reproduction (Cincotta, 2015).
The third premise is very notable because social media create unrealistic expectations for relationship dynamics. As asserted by Tsangarides, 2015, in his article, social platforms show the best moments in any relationship. In fact, some people feel discouraged that their relationships are not as romantic as those found online. No one who will post episodes and pictures of their arguments and insecurities in their marriage. According to Tsangarides, 2015, social media only represent photo moments, where no one takes a picture when he/she is sad or mad. At real sense, no one who is perfect, and we all make mistakes. Every relationship differs from the other one, and expectations should be too distinct. Therefore, people must dig deep, reconnect themselves to understand each other and define their desires and needs.
The fourth premise, which is very substantial is that social media has the power to make people jealous and anxious. Consequently, when someone sees how other individuals are living their lives happily, while theirs is in despair, they feel disappointed and jealous. To some extent, people will develop some upsets and pressures when they see that they cannot compete with others. Most of the social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are used by the youngsters to share their ostentatious moments. Young people will want to post photos of their new motors, big house and happy moments. Nevertheless, this is not practical for all individuals. Instead, many are the times when things don’t work. Hence, social media develops jealousy and stress to most of us.
On the other hand, social media is important as it helps people to keep in touch with their friends and relatives who are miles away. Almost every person has problems in keeping up with family members or friends who are abroad. In fact, most of the people breathed a sigh of relief when there was the introduction of Facebook and Twitter as they could search their friends or relatives. Through the social platform, it is easy to share important issues with people who are away from us.
Another important effect of social media is that it enhances the creation of new links from all over the world. Through social media, people can make friends who are nationals of other countries. They can share details, contacts, and even emotions. With time, these people can plan on how to meet, and spend time together physically. The meeting will be a new interpersonal link, which happens as a result of social media interaction. It doesn’t matter how long it will take for the two to meet, but by the end of it, they might even get married. Hence, social media on the other hand still facilitates social interactions.
However, various other methods can be used to enhance interpersonal links other than the use of social media. For instance, people can request for annual leaves, to get home and meet their family or friends. At the same time, people can plan on visiting their loved one where they can have a more practical and real time together. In fact, communications concerning important issues on homes can be forwarded to the respective embassies where people can acquire essential information. Again, making new links with people from other nations is also possible through taking tours and exploration to other countries. When people take vacations from one country to another, they can create new friends who may end up being their lifetime spouses. In fact, when people meet physically in the first place, there will be an actual connection, and they will not have time to edit themselves to look better.
To sum up, social media hinders interpersonal relationship because most of the people are disconnected from reality and connected to the virtue systems. The social platforms are full of imitation and edition, which destroys the real intimacy of any relationship. It hinders people from taking an extra effort of visiting their loved one. In long-run, the intimacy and the emotional links between people diminish, leaving them with no social ties.
Cincotta, K (September 2, 2015). Social media or face to face. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/social-media-or-face-to-face-is-one-better-than-the-other-20150827-gj8uwu.html
Seidman, G (May 28, 2015). How Facebook Affects Our Relationships. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/close-encounters/201505/how-facebook-affects-our-relationships