Disconnected – how social media harms relationships

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The ever-shifting landscape of online social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has helped us connect with one another and form friendships, meet new acquaintances and even embark on romantic journeys. These connections are ones we would not have been able to before these sites were established.

But now, we can reach out to all of our online friends and many family members and long lost relatives with just a few clicks of the mouse on our favorite social media website. No longer do we have to pick up a telephone to talk to our friends and family; it is much easier for us to connect – now. That is an amazing feeling, because as humans, we yearn for connections and intimate relationships. Though online friendships have the possibility to give us the support and intimacy we need within our lives, these surface-level interactions often fall short of those needs.

The reality of online friendships

Like, tag, tweet, follow. It is easy and convenient to maintain numerous online friendships by logging in to your favorite social media platform. But are these relationships the true, real and interpersonal interactions we so desperately need? It is doubtful that they are.

Why interpersonal relationships are so important

The huge networks found in these online sites allow us to instantly connect to our following, whether friends, family or fans. The immediate connection is addicting, and having instantaneous access to the overflowing support of those in our lives is completely gratifying, at least in the moment.

But neither these connections nor their effect last. The lack of real, physical interaction with loved ones leave a lack of satisfaction that online interaction simply cannot fill. The only way we can bridge this gap of loneliness and unsatisfying social interaction is by having real-life relationships with real, physical and emotional bonds that social media is impotent to match.

How to balance your real and online friendships

These social media platforms have allowed us to communicate with all of our friends both individually and corporately. Having an event? Designing, printing and mailing physical invites can often be a hassle, especially on short notice; but sending invites via social media is a breeze. By creating an event page online and inviting friends, coworkers and family members, you are able to do things much more quickly and efficiently.

Do you have some news to share? Make a post to your friends, acquaintances and family members, all at once. Share your updates on your life, your day or anything else you would like to share easily and effortlessly. These online social media platforms are great for sharing day to day news and updates. In order for these online friendships to flourish and grow, you must connect in more ways than clicks, likes and comments. Phone calls may be a bit outdated, but may be worth the time and effort in order to deepen these bonds of friendship with emotional connection and the mutual support these relationships need in order to last.

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