Research proposal on Social Media Effect on Interpersonal Communications


Interpersonal communication helps in developing lasting relationships. Communication concepts have been developed over time. They include, strategies, self-disclosure, stages, relational Dialectics Theory and Reverse Pattern (Burns, 2017). The historical issues surrounding the historical pattern of communication leading to relationships have cultural backings to support them. It is easy for people to find ways of connecting through communication when there is a shared aspect in their lives like history or culture. The existing research has mainly been on the modes of communication that existed before the entry of social media as a form of interpersonal communication. These concepts are often very likely to be applied by the individuals taking part in the communication process. Interpersonal communication is usually among few people who can relate personally (Communication in a Changing World Chapter 6, 2017). There is a bond that brings these people together, for instance, religion, work, education or business and interests. These interactions are usually based on trust and affection because they result in relationships being created.

Literature Review

Several studies have been conducted concerning the role of interpersonal communication in creating long lasting relationships. The interpersonal relationships are developed around the Maslow’s Hierarchy of human needs according to a research conducted by Kathleen A. Valentino (Valentino, 2014). In her research, Valentino established that communication is important to the daily lives of man. Human beings are social beings which means communication is one way of being normal human beings, people socialize this way. According to her research, she further established that the type of people a child is exposed to while growing up determines how they communicating. The interpersonal communication available today has evolved with the increasing popularity of social media in communication between in-groups.

Interpersonal communication was developed as a discipline when it was considered part of the factor that contribute to the development of relationships. Interpersonal relationships also can be used to predict how an individual can terminate a relationship after a disagreement (Roloff, 2011). Communication is usually the primary binding of a relationships. People relate well when they have communication system that they both agree to. The study about how interpersonal relationships work was inspired by the fact that people did not fully understand the dynamics of the private relationships. The study was started by studying the way people relate to each other and the social psychology discipline was also developed around it. The number of times people have tried to explain the dynamics of interpersonal communications with regards to how it helps develop relationships has always come up with different results. 

It has been established that people with good interpersonal communications are more likely to sustain long lasting relationships better. They are people who can understand people better and at the same time compromise once they know how to handle the people within their in-groups. People with good interpersonal communication skills have it easier adding people to their in-groups. It is also very interesting that the research has yet to factor in the role of the use of social media in the interpersonal communications. It is a fairly new method of interpersonal communication. It is not tied to only interpersonal relationships but it has been gaining popularity because it cuts the distance between the people communicating significantly. The history of interpersonal communications with regards to the relationships that it helps forge is still progressing with the newest entry being social media and most recently, the use of photos to communicate through social media platforms like snap chat.

Interpersonal relationship skills are only compromised when people feel threatened and their usual way of communicating is rendered uncertain. There are many ways of ensuring that the study on interpersonal relationships is unbiased. That would include use of questionnaires that is only applicable to the literate populations of people. Previously, researchers have faced the challenge of getting the correct information on how to adequately analyze the data collected when studying interpersonal relationships. It is not easy to find people who are willing to discuss personal relationships for the purposes of a research.

The study by John Drussell on social networking and interpersonal relationships recommends that future studies focus on the use of social media to further find out how much the interpersonal relationships can be considered. The research has it that the use of technology in developing interpersonal relationships is important in making sure that the people who can effectively form relationships based on technologically assisted mediums are included I the research studies. The study could further separate the genders in ways that could effectively show how both men and women relate using their interpersonal relationships (The History of the Interpersonal Communication English Literature Essay, n.d.). There are many people who have taken part in this research projects and the results have been analyzed while most of the research has left the social media aspect uncovered. It is impossible for a research topic to be closed or over researched when new aspects of the subject keep coming up, like communication with social media and technology.

All the research findings have left the gap of studying social media to future researchers on interpersonal relationships, which is the main focus of this research. It is impossible to study research at this time without taking into consideration the effects of social media on the relationship formations in the society today. Interpersonal relationships have to be studied from all perspectives so that when studying interpersonal relationships, scholars will find comprehensive information to use (Drussell, 2012). Interpersonal relationships according to the above mentioned research projects has resulted in the formation. Maintenance and the ending of interpersonal relationships through the effective or ineffective use of interpersonal communication systems (Erozkan, 2013).

Research Questions

  1. How has social media affected the quality of interpersonal relationships?
  2. How has the use of social media opened up the interpersonal relationship scopes?
  3. What are the most common tools for interpersonal communication today with the available technology?


H0 :  The quality of interpersonal relationships has been diluted significantly by the use of social media.

H1:  The quality of interpersonal relationships has been strengthened by the use of social media

Research Methods

The best applicable research method is the questionnaire coupled up with observation. These two methods can further be split into two; the questionnaire can be split into oral interviews or written questions and responses. The observation can be active or passive observation. The passive observation entails looking at the behavior of the interviewees and how they relate to the people they consider personal friends. The active observation entails the researcher studying their own relationships and interactions. There 

Data Analysis methods

The data for this research will include, hypothesis testing, which helps to determine whether the hypothesis is true or not. The results that determine whether the results have happened by chance or not are the ones to be adopted. The hypothesis that is proven true by coincidental occurrences are rejected and the study repeated (Dillard, 2013)

Data Storage

The data will be stored in soft and hard copies for easier future reference. It will also be published on the World Wide Web.


Burns, E. (2017, April 30). Our Everyday Life. Retrieved from Five Concepts of Interpersonal Communication:

Communication in a Changing World Chapter 6. (2017, April 30). Retrieved from Online Learning Centre:

Dillard, J. (2013, December 4). 5 most important methods for statistical Data Analysis. Retrieved from

Drussell, J. (2012). Social Networking and Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills amdng College Freshmen. Minnesota: School of Socila Work.

Erozkan, A. (2013). The Effect of Communication Skills and Interpersonal Problem Solving Skilla on Social Slef-Efficacy. Kocman University.

Roloff, M. E. (2011, September 30). Oxford Bibliographies. Retrieved from Interpersonal Communication:

The History of the Interpersonal Communication English Literature Essay. (n.d.). Retrieved from UNI Assignment :

Valentino, K. A. (2014, September 3). Effective Interpersonal Communication: A Practical Guide to Improve Your Life. Retrieved from Effective Interpersonal Communication:

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