The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: How Does Social Media Impact Our Relationships
We all know that social media has had a profound impact on the way we communicate and share information. But what about our relationships? How does social media affect the way we interact with others? And what about our emotions? In this blog post, we will explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media and its impact on our relationships and emotions. We will look at both the positive and negative aspects of social media, backed up by data and surveys. So whether you’re a skeptic or a die-hard fan of social media, read on to learn more about how it affects us!
The Good Side of Social Media in Relationships
Our brains have a negativity bias, meaning that we are more likely to remember negative than positive information. Therefore, let’s start with the positive impact of social media on our relationships because there are many of them.
Meeting Like-Minded People
The undisputedly positive aspect of social media in the case of relationships is that it helps people connect with each other. Social media platforms allow you to find like-minded individuals and expand your social circle. For example, if you’re an outdoor type enjoying time hiking, cycling, or just walking in nature, and your “real-life” friends do not share your passion, you can connect with people online who love spending time in nature as well. This is how social media can help you find your tribe and make friends.
Maintaining Distant Relations
Besides helping you find new friends, social media can also help you maintain relationships with people you don’t see often. For example, if you have moved to another city or country for work or study, social media platforms allow you to keep in touch with your family and friends back home. You can share news, photos, and special moments with them, no matter how far away you are. According to Passport Photo Online’s “Scrolling Social Media for Dopamine” study, it’s the top advantage of social media, with 40% of respondents claiming that it helps them stay in touch with distant friends and family.
Boosting Professional Relationships
Social media can also be beneficial for boosting your professional relationships. The Digital Era and social networks, especially LinkedIn, provide us with an unprecedented opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals from all over the world and create valuable relationships. With over 830 million LinkedIn users, you have almost unlimited opportunities to connect with other professionals, learn from them, collaborate, and even get a job.
The Bad & Ugly Side of Social Media in Relationships
A study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School found that people spending more time on social media platforms are likely to experience envy. The study, which was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, analyzed how envy affects social media users. The researchers found that those who feel envy because of what they see on social media are more likely to experience negative emotions, such as loneliness, anxiety, and depression. The aforementioned Passport Photo Online study confirms this claim, as even 68% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that social media have made them jealous of other people’s lives.
Loss of Real-Life Connections
Another negative effect of social media is that it can lead to losing real-life connections. According to a study conducted by the University of Essex, people who use social media platforms are less likely to have close relationships. The study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, analyzed how social media use affects the number of close relationships people have. The researchers found that those who use social media platforms are less likely to see their friends and family in person, leading to the deterioration of real-life relationships.
Hate Speech & Cyberbullying
Unfortunately, social media platforms are also often used to spread hate speech and engage in cyberbullying. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 41% of adults have been harassed online. The study, which was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, analyzed how hate speech and cyberbullying effects social media users. The researchers found that those harassed online are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Social media can have both positive and negative impacts on our relationships. On the one hand, it can help us find new friends and maintain distant relations. On the other hand, it can lead to envy, loss of real-life connections, and hate speech. Therefore, it is important to use social media platforms responsibly and be aware of their potential effects on our relationships.