Tag Archives: Interpersonal relations

Contradicting articles on the effects of social media

7 Oct

Contradicting articles on the effects of social media

The article Pew: Social networking use doubles among adults, does not weaken relationships by Julie Moos, claims that majority of people who believe that social network sites have weakened ties between individuals are incorrect. The article states that research shows “Americans have more close social ties than they did two years ago. And they are less socially isolated. We found that frequent use of Facebook is associated with having more overall ties.” Many other articles like Social Networks Can Ruin Your Relationships for example, claim otherwise. I know what you are thinking, who do we believe? Do social networks in fact weaken our relationships or not?

One thing to consider when looking at these two contradictory readings is that Julie Moos’s is targeting the older population, while the other article talks more about the younger generation. This could be the difference between the findings. Social media can have different effects on different age groups.

Julie Moos’s article shared findings that show that half of adults (47 percent) report using Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter and other networks, up from 26 percent in 2008. And the average age of a social network user has increased, from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010. “Over half of all adult SNS users are now over the age of 35”. The approach the older generation has taken on social networks is very different than the one we the younger generations have taken. My assumption is that because they grew up without social media and without technology being shoved in their faces, they were able to hold on to certain norms. Therefore allowing them to use social networks for the purpose they were created which is nothing more than to communicate with friends and family.

On the other hand, the younger generation seems to have a different focus when it comes to social networks. Ever heard of the term “facebook famous” or “tweeter famous”? The article Social Networks Can Ruin Your Relationships states that “Social Networks can also cause us to be superficial and lose sight of who our true friends really are. On Facebook, many of us have up to 1000 friends, but all of these people can’t possibly all be our “real” friends.” This is an example of someone who is facebook famous. Kids focus on getting thousands of followers and likes that they post almost anything on the internet. They get lost in the desire of wanting to be popular or “cool” that they no longer use these sites to connect with friends and family but to promote themselves to strangers.

So, the answer to the question “do social networks in fact weaken our relationships or not? Is it depends. It seems as if it positively affects the older population while it has a negative effect on the youth. The older population has a better sense of what is ok and what is not when it comes to social media. As for us, the younger generation, we need to reevaluate the way we approach social networks.
Pew: Social networking use doubles among adults, does not weaken relationships. Julie Moos. Web. Poynter.org. 10/3/13

Social Networks Can Ruin Your Relationship. Web. Athenstalks.com. 10/13/13 http://www.athenstalks.com/social-networks-can-ruin-your-relationships

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