August 25th, 2017
How has Social Media Affected Relationships?
What would you do if you discovered your significant other was cheating, but it was through social media? What if you found out your friends were posting about you online instead of saying things to your face? Social media is a lot of things. There are many upsides to social media, but many more downsides. What was suppose to bring us together and allow people to communicate has in turn made everyone attached to their phones. People will rarely engage in face to face conversation because they are too busy using their phones. Not only this, but more specifically, it is greatly impacting people's relationships. Everyone, young to old, is being affected mentally. It is causing people to end up hurt and it is causing people to no longer engage with others. They are trapped in the world of their phones. Social media can have a negative impact on its users which can include developmental issues, abuse of others, and possession over others.
Due to the fact that most people spend too much time on their phones and on social media, issues with developing peer relationships and having face to face communication have come up. Social media has changed the way everyone communicates and it is particularly impacting younger people. The technology people have access to and use constantly is changing everyone's ability to communicate face to face with others. This attachment to technology is making it more difficult for young adults as well as adults to feel comfortable speaking directly with others in person and develop interpersonal relationships (Cyr, Berman & Smith, 2015, p. 80). Extensive use of social media and technology has been found to cause depression and anxiety. The constant usage may also cause loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and less time spent exercising. People constantly using their phones will often spend less time with others, which may be another reason for the feeling of depression and loneliness (Cyr et al., 2015, p 81). The constant use of phones is greatly impacting one's ability to communicate well face to face and feel comfortable when communicating. Being on the phone all the time is causing mental issues. This shows that issues are arising because of the use of technology. People still have social skills, but the use of technology is impacting that, as well as their health.
Social media has allowed abusive relationships to continue because it is a connection between the abuser and the abused. Because of technology, the abuser in any relationship now has a way to continue to stay in contact with the victim in the relationship. Before technology, the abused would have an easier chance of getting away from the abusive relationship. Now, with the constant connection, the victim is easier to find and stay in constant contact. This causes the victim to feel trapped (Halligan, Knox & Brinkley, 2013, p. 644). The use of technology has given a new way for people to control and harass their significant other. It allows one to know the whereabouts of the other and gives them the power to control where they go as well as who they may spend time with. Some may make their partner give them access to their social media accounts so they can read all their messages and see who they are talking to and what they are saying (Zweig, Dank, Yahner & Lachman, 2013, p. 1064). This shows that technology and social media has created a gateway for more abuse to occur in a relationship. It is a different kind of abuse and the fact that social media makes everyone so available to everyone else, it makes it harder for the victim to get out of the relationship and avoid the abuser. Technology allows for more control over the significant other and it gives access to just about any information they might need to track down and find their partner. This just shows how negatively technology and social media is impacting relationships because it is making it easier for people to abuse their partners.
Technology and social media is one way for people to have more control and possession over their significant other in a relationship. Though abuse may not be occurring in the relationship, social media is the perfect way for one significant other to monitor and control the other in every way possible. They can demand access to their social media accounts and granted access, they can see who they talk to and what they talk about. They can see where they are and know what they are doing at all times. Having the ability to text them and check in on them all the time gives them that possession over the other. Technology has become a gateway for one to have more control and possession over their partner and manage their life (Zweig et al., 2013). Researchers have noticed that social networking is an issue in relationships to the extent that it will make stronger the feelings of jealousy, possession and insecurity. Social Media allows one to “stalk” others. It gives one access to all of someone’s information (Halligan et al., 2013). If a significant other shows signs of being in constant control and wanting to always know the whereabouts of the other and know who they are talking to at all times, it could be a sign that the relationship may turn abusive. Technology has allowed for relationships to get this controlling and possessive. If it weren’t for social media, people wouldn't have this constant access to everyone's location and the conversations they are having.
By causing developmental issues, abuse and possession, social media has changed the lives of everyone, especially those in friendships and romantic relationships, for the worse. Social media is addictive and has caused everyone to be attached to their phones. It has caused young adults to constantly be on their phones which has impacted their ability to have face to face conversations and have a successful peer relationship. It has been a gateway to abuse and allowed one significant other complete control over the other, allowing them to monitor their whereabouts and who they talk to and spend time with. The creators of social media must have had good intentions in the beginning, but now social media has trapped everyone and taken away people’s privacy and impaired people’s social ability.
Cyr, B., Berman, S., & Smith, M. (2015). The Role of Communication Technology in
Adolescent Relationships and Identity Development. Child & Youth Care Forum, 44(1),
Halligan, C., Knox, D., & Brinkley, J. (2013). Trapped: Technology as a Barrier to Leaving an
Abusive Relationship. College Student Journal, 47(4), 644-648.
Zweig, J., Dank, M., Yahner, J., & Lachman, P. (2013). The Rate of Cyber Dating Abuse Among
Teens and How It Relates to Other Forms of Teen Dating Violence. Journal Of Youth &
Adolescence, 42(7), 1063-1077. doi:10.1007/s10964-013-9922-8