Computer science industry has had rapid developments over the past few decades which has led to an increase in the use of social networks. Currently, social networks are playing a significant role in the existence of human beings. According to research over a million individuals stay connected to them during their day to day activities; actually, it has become a routine. Social media sites allow people to share much information including pictures, ideas, news, events and much more without physically interacting. This paper delves on the impacts both positive and negative caused by the use of social media technology.
Among the negative impacts caused by the social media on families is dived attention and communication which results in breaking down families. Sherry Turkle who happens to be psychologist researched in her book Alone Together about technology on families. (Turkle, 2017) She had research conducted and gathered opinions from both parents and children. The results were overwhelming. Multiple children reported that they had a lonely feeling since their parents were always hooked on their phones or even computers. Children explained how they desired their parents to spend their time interacting and connecting with them. Sherry’s study shows that social media has led to blurred interactions due to its excessive use.
It is normal for human beings to crave attention, relationships, and bonding. The social media may fulfill that desire, but then it strips the ability to see and hear both verbal and nonverbal messages. (Duggan, Lenhart, Lampe, & Ellison, 2015) The zero physical interaction between children and couples starves family communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills, and social cues. The addiction to screens can also be passed down to children since they typically mimic what they are taught. While parents are on phones and computer screens children, on the other hand, can engage in television and video games. Therefore to resolve this, it all starts with parents they should moderate the use of social media especially when their children are around.
Despite the negative impacts of social media, it can still be useful depending on how it is used. Families living apart can stay connected using social media. Technology has invented free calls that can be made even across the world. (Bott, 2017) WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram are among the few sites individuals can use to make video calls and communicate around the globe. Communicating using social media sites can help a family create bonds, interact and connect freely which is a positive impact. Families can easily share pictures, emotions, and even thoughts. Social media also allows distant families to create groups for instance in WhatsApp and Facebook one can create a group and join family group members where they can spend time chatting and interacting with each other privately.
In conclusion, social media sites can be useful depending on how they are used. The critical factor is to use balance and create more time for family’s interpersonal connection for both children and spouse. Children enjoy spending time bonding with their parents, and they love it when they are being listened to. Creating relationships with families minus technology is essential apart from those family’s that live separately due to work or study issues. It all starts with parents; they should create a schedule that promotes a family to spend together. Parents should create events such as game nights and family meals which should be strictly away from smartphones, television, and computers. Physical interactions develop healthy relationships and better communication skills.
Bott, E. (2017). Urban families: conjugal roles and social networks. In Man in Adaptation (pp. 76-104). Routledge.
Turkle, S. (2017). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. Hachette UK.Duggan, M., Lenhart, A., Lampe, C., & Ellison, N. B. (2015). Parents and social media. Pew Research Center, 1-37.
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