How Facebook and Instagram can equally have both positive and negative effects on three types of Relationships: Familial, Romantic and Occupational
Social Media launched over a decade ago and captivated people from all across the globe. As technology advanced and creativity flowed, Social media evolved and took on a life of its own. Social media has become an integral part of the lives of many. It is now utilized for multiple purposes and has a platform to serve almost every purpose. From watching live breaking news coverage, connecting with strangers who share the same interest to sharing special moments with family and friends in other parts of the world – social media has become an essential source of communication in this digital era (Rajeev M.M. & Jobilal, 2015). When the social networking site, Facebook launched in 2004, it forever changed the way people communicated. With just a click of of a button, Facebook, restructured social practices and traditional networking methods. It enabled people to communicate more frequently and at a faster rate. Facebook users are able to create profiles, share important life events and content and have the ability to link to other applications to widen the size of their audience; making it even easier to communicate with multiple people from different points of the world at a time.
With so much flexibility and easy accessibility it is no surprise that Facebook has grown in popularity. According to the platforms statistics, as of 2016 has reached 1.23 billion active users (Facebook, 2016).
Instagram a similar social networking site also enables the enhancement of interpersonal relationships through similar features. With social media showing no sign of slowing down it would be beneficial to users to engage and embrace the benefits of platforms. Users should also however educate themselves on the ways these platforms can effect their live in a negative way. Our hope is build on previous studies and examine what is now becoming a way of life through objective lenses and further understand the effects on the familial, relational and occupational relationship.
Social Media and Romantic Relationships
Over the decades much time and energy has been put into studying social media and its effects. However, not much study has gone into researching how an integral part of the digital age, social networking sites, can affect romantic relationships (Fox, Osborn & Warber, 2014). According to a 2014 study by the PewResearch center, 66% of adult couples who are in committed relationships are Social media users (APA, 2014). Social media has become a ripple effect that affects many aspects of the life of it's users. With Social media playing a such major role in in society and with new social media platforms emerging daily to serve every purpose, it would be logical to think about the influence that Social media has on these couples and their romantic lives.
The traditional approach of sharing one's romantic status has also changed with the facilitation of Facebook features that enable couples to link their profiles and share with their network that they are an exclusive couple. This diminished the need to share such intimate news to family and friends in-person (Lenhart & Duggan, 2014).
Another issue that may arise from these platforms and romance is the lack of privacy, jealousy and decreasing levels of communication and intimacy (Utz & Beukeboom, 2011). In our study we hope to find a more in depth analysis of the possible how these factors influence the barriers and enhancers of the romantic relationships.
Social Media and Family Relationships
Previous studies have widely inspected the impacts of general Internet use on an individual's general well -being with results finding a correlation between significant internet use leading to a significant decline in family communication and cohesion.
While Facebook and Instagram can be beneficial to families in its ability to facilitate communication with distant relatives it can also be detrimental to the family communication and privacy. There are also some negative effects on the family relationship. According to the APA, users who constantly check their social media networks during family time have expressed feeling disconnected from their family members even while in the same room with them. According to a new study published by the American Psychological Association, 35% of these users who constantly check their social media are less likely to make plans to meet up with their family members and spend in-person time with them (APA, 2017).
Another possible negative effect of these platforms on families is children being exposed to an unhealthy environment or becoming the target of cyberbullying. According to a clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, states that it a benefit of social media is that gives children an opportunity to connect with friends enhancing their communication skills (O'keefe & Pearson, 2011). it is imperative that parents stay vigilant of any of these possible scenarios and take the necessary measure to ensure that the nature of the social media platform being used by their children whether it be Facebook or Instagram is a safe one.
Social Media and Occupational Relationships
Through the ability to connect and network has also influenced the fostering of professional relationships. Through Facebook and Instagram organization are able to create marketing strategies and visualizations to promote their businesses, follow market trends, recruiting and diversifying their candidate pool. We would expect to find in our study that there will be some negative effects of these platforms on occupational relationships. We predict that some of the issues will pertain to privacy, perception, oversharing and the inability to properly balance the internet persona and work life. Online posts on personal views or inappropriate photos shared may be seen in a negative light by employers and co-workers (Robledo, 2015). However, we hope to find that there be a balance of effects on occupational relationships.
The intended purpose of this study is to further examine the negative and positive effects that the social networking sites Facebook and Instagram have on Romantic, Familial and Occupational Relationships. The participants were randomly sampled and asked to fill out a 22 question survey on their interactions, frequency and purpose of use of the previously mentioned social media platforms. We expect that the results of our study will prove that there are equally beneficial effects as they are detrimental on these specific relationships when these Social media platforms are used.
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