Love and Social Media

Courtesy of   opr.co.uk

Courtesy of opr.co.uk

Social media is changing everything about the way we live. Some people wake up and update their statuses or check their emails before getting out of bed in the morning. Physical communication has taken a seat second to social media in this generation. We meet our friends through Facebook and lovers on Instagram now. Instead of picking up the phone to call a relative, we send texts. Instead of visiting our loved ones, we use Skype. Dr. Rachna Jain explains four ways social media has changed our relationships in this day and age and why these changes should be recognized. “Social media is changing our relationship styles in several important ways.” said Dr. Jain, she explained that it allows people to communicate faster, social media makes it easy to overestimate the level of intimacy in a relationship, it exposes us to the social media epidemic and effects our self-esteem. We depend on social media for company, entertainment, events, business and more. Dr. Jain examined some of John Cacioppo’s research. “Cacioppo’s findings suggest that if a direct connection of yours is lonely, you are 52% more likely to be lonely,” said Dr. Jain, “if the  connection is a friend of a friend, 25% more lonely. If the connection is 3 degrees out (a friend of a friend of a friend), it’s 15%.” Social media has become a matchmaker for many. A lot of people see it as a potentially useful tool for dating however many feel it is also potentially harmful. On a social network, a person has the ability to portray the person they want to be viewed as through their site as opposed to the person they actually are. We keep our most embarrassing and private information off of our sites and only expose the attractive and interesting aspects of our being. Finding love this way can be really dangerous because the person in the situation may actually be a completely different person then they claim on a social network, physically and intellectually.

Social media has also been known to complicate marriages. “For some couples, the time spent on social networking is excessive. Instead of spending time on household or relationship priorities, too much emphasis is given to sitting around looking at the computer, checking out Facebook or Twitter.” Social media has become dangerous for us of late. 61% of people under the age of 25 55% of people over 25 have to view their Facebook and at least once a day according to statistics on the opposing views website.3 People are losing out on time communicating physically to communicating electronically. The connection between two is more appealing on screen than in person in this day and age.

According to an article in the Huffington post, “Your social media habits could be hurting your marriage, according to a new study out of the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute.”1 Researchers of the institute examined the relationships of 24,000 married people. They studied their use of different media channels and discovered that couples who communicate more often physically and verbally achieve a more satisfying relationship.

Social media has been proven to be a distraction in marriages. “Couples using more than five channels reported a 14 percent drop in marriage satisfaction, according to the Daily Mail.” It creates distance between partners giving both more opportunity and desire for infidelity or neglect. Trust is among one of the most important aspects in a relationship. “Trust is the deliberate and delicate balance between hope, belief and reliance,” wrote inspirational speaker, Jim Acetta in his article entitled “Trust in Relationships.” Partners need to be able to trust their partners when they are away from them in order to have a happy successful relationship. “Connecting with people from your past can cause issues such as a lack of trust and honesty in a relationship.” This causes suspicions for the opposing partner. If doubts are forming even when the two are together physically (via social network), it can be extremely toxic for the relationship. Once in a

TheBenefitsOfSocialMediaAccording to an article in the Huffington post, “Your social media habits could be hurting your marriage, according to a new study out of the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute.” Researchers of the institute examined the relationships of 24,000 married people. They studied their use of different media channels and discovered that couples who communicate more often physically and verbally achieve a more satisfying relationship.

Social media has been proven to be a distraction in marriages. “Couples using more than five channels reported a 14 percent drop in marriage satisfaction, according to the Daily Mail.” It creates distance between partners giving both more opportunity and desire for infidelity or neglect. Trust is among one of the most important aspects in a relationship. “Trust is the deliberate and delicate balance between hope, belief and reliance,” wrote inspirational speaker, Jim Acetta in his article entitled “Trust in Relationships.” Partners need to be able to trust their partners when they are away from them in order to have a happy successful relationship. “Connecting with people from your past can cause issues such as a lack of trust and honesty in a relationship.” This causes suspicions for the opposing partner. If doubts are forming even when the two are together physically (via social network), it can be extremely toxic for the relationship.Once in a committed relationship, the sudden appearances of people from the past in your social network inbox or newsfeed, can be toxic for your relationship.

There are some benefits to social media and intimate relationships. Many complain that being in long term relationships can make one feel as though they no longer have their own identity. “At the same time, some couples find that digital tools facilitate communication and support. A majority of those in couples maintain their own separate email and social media accounts, though a smaller number report sharing accounts and calendars. And fully two-thirds of couples share passwords.”1 A social network profile allows a person to have their own identity to extent. It is a place where they can be seen and heard without their partner beside them.

Social media typically has more of an effect on relationships than the public even realizes. “74% of the adult internet users who report that the internet had an impact on their marriage or partnership say the impact was positive. Still, 20% said the impact was mostly negative, and 4% said it was both good and bad.”1 The majority of marriages are not ended due to incidences occurring  in social media however,  the percentages are increasing rapidly. “A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook,” according to Divorce Online. And more than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Hence the media has drastically transformed the way we connect with people. I have more than enough friends and colleagues who say they could not live without having a cell phone. Recently it has come to my attention that visiting a friend or family member without a phone call ahead of time is not considered “normal” anymore either. The fact that social media makes communicating impersonal, it is more difficult for trust to exist in relationships. Social media has the ability to keep us connected at times but most often isolate us from each other physically. We have come to accept the false perceptions of people from the people they portray themselves to be on social media. And we have become so accustomed to building ourselves on social media that we don’t desire physical communication anymore. Job interviews, job applications, college classes, home visits, in this generation can all be completed through an online website or application. Skype, applications to create online resumes, even college applications are done electronically now.  Social media is a revolution and as technology advances, along with it come new advances for social media. According to an article on webroot.com 54 percent of social network users are addicted to social media and 18 percent view their sites at least once every day.1 I depend on social media now but not because I want to. Even education has become a technologically controlled aspect of society and in order for students to communicate educationally they must be technologically savy.

If media has changed that much about our society, there is no question that it has altered the American perception of love.

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