General Topic Area: Interpersonal Communication & Social Media
Focused Topic Area: The Impact of Social Media on interpersonal relationships
Resource type/publisher: Research Study, Pew Research Center
In this research study, the Pew Research Center took an in-depth look at the association between social media and friendships with a focus on teen friendship. The study noted that 76% of American teens use social media as a means of interacting and conversing with one another. Social media provides a platform for making new friends as well as keeping in touch with old friends. The research further found out that social media connects teens to their friends’ lives and allows them to receive support during tough times (Lenhart).
This research relates to my topic area by showing how communication through social media impacts interpersonal relationships through elaborate statistics. These figures depict the importance of social media in creating and nurturing such relationships. This also relates to the course concept of practical benefits that are experienced through interpersonal relationships.
Link to resource: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-social-media-actually-_b_4867841
Resource type/publisher: News Article, Huffpost
In this article posted by the Huffpost media outlet, Molly Reynolds addresses the impact of social media on social interactions. She makes the case that: although social media has some negative effects on these interactions, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Reynolds mentions that greater and more direct communication without geographical restrictions is a big advantage. It allows us to communicate with more people. Hence, according to her, the negative effects that come with over-indulgence in social media can be overlooked (Reynolds).
The article contributes to my topic area by demonstrating the positive impact social media has on interpersonal communication. More people are connected hence fostering friendships. This relates to the course concept of contact which is one of the six stages in interpersonal relationship development.
Resource type/publisher: Research Study, Statista
Statista, a leading powerhouse in global statistics, presents the number of social media users worldwide. According to their research study, social media had reached a penetration of 45% globally as of January 2019 and is increasingly rising. The research shows that Facebook leads social network usage with 2.4 billion active monthly users. The market penetration in different regions is also addressed (Clement).
This study relates to my topic area by showing the potential social media has in connecting people. Its popularity globally is a testament of its attractiveness to people as a means of social interaction. It also relates to the course theory of the small world phenomenon.
Link to resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL3Trlv2dNs
Resource type/publisher: YouTube Video, The Atlantic
In this YouTube video, The Atlantic explores how social media is changing friendships. Although the presenter agrees that social media platforms allow us to make more friends, she is skeptical of the nature of such friendships. This is given the fact that research has shown that an average person can only maintain 100-200 meaningful relationships. She notes that such meaningful relationships can, at times, go dormant. However, she adds that social media allows the revival of such friendships by offering a way of communicating (The Atlantic).
The information from this video adds more insight into the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships. It shows that through social media, dormant relationships can be renewed afresh through contact. In terms of course concepts, it relates to the concept of deterioration and repair of interpersonal relationships.
Resource type/publisher: Health Article, Healthline
This article by Healthline offers a unique perspective on social media. The argument, in this case, is that social media ruins relationships. This claim is based on the premise that we have limited energy for maintaining meaningful relationships. An individual can only maintain about 150 of such relationships. Hence, by indulging in hundreds or thousands of friendships in social media, we waste the energy needed to maintain meaningful relationships (Chesak).
This article relates to my topic area by explaining that social media can also have negative impacts on interpersonal relationships. The energy used in communicating with many acquaintances can instead be used to communicate to close friends. It also relates to the course concept of involvement in interpersonal relationship development
Resource type/publisher: News Article, Independent
In this news article by the Independent news outlet, the author does not look kindly towards social media. He makes the case that social media gets in the way of real-life friendships by embracing superficial friendships, as he terms them. Due to obsession with socializing online, people have less time to nurture close friendships. This deprives them of the happiness that is associated with close relationships. Although this is mainly the case, the article mentions that 22% of people polled reported having made new and genuine friendships through social media (Knight).
This article contributes to my topic area by addressing and questioning the nature of interpersonal relationships that social media fosters. Most of these friendships through social media are found to lack the closeness and fulfillment needed. This is despite having constant communication. This mostly relates to the concept of intimacy stage in interpersonal relationship development.
Resource type/publisher: Blog Post, Very Well Family
This blog post by Very Well Family adopts a careful attitude towards social media. It is written as a caution guide towards the parents of teenagers. The author reminds these parents that amid the connectivity that social media offers teens, lies the potential for ruining their friendships. The article highlights the negative aspects of social media to teen friendships. These include feeling left out, having online arguments, discouraging face-to-face conversations, and posting of inappropriate content (Gordon).
This article brings to light, the specific ways in which social media impacts friendships with a focus on teens. The communication channels offered by social media can be a great source of pain to teenagers, hence ruining their interpersonal relationships. This relates to the concept of social psychology.
Resource type/publisher: Blog Post, Psychology Today
In this blog by Psychology Today, David Ludden Ph.D. addresses the issue of social media and loneliness. He searches the answer to the question of whether social media deteriorates interpersonal relationships or rather builds them. By citing experts in psychology research, he derives the conclusion that the answer lies in how we use social media. People who apply social skills by actively engaging with friends online are likely to have meaningful friendships online. On the other hand, those who only engage passively are likely to feel lonely despite using social media often (Ludden).
This relates to my topic area by showing how the right communication through social media can enhance interpersonal relationships. It also shows how poor communication skills in social media can lead to more alienation. This relates to the concept of involvement in interpersonal communication by stressing on active engagement.
Chesak, Jeniffer. “Social Media Is Killing Your Friendships” Healthline, 9 Jan. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/how-social-media-is-ruining-relationships#1
Clement, J. “Number of Global Social Media Users 2010-2021” Statista, 14 Aug. 2019, www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/
Gordon, Sherri. “Signs Social Media Is Ruining Teen Friendships.” Verywellfamily, 22 Jan. 2020, www.verywellfamily.com/signs-social-media-is-ruining-teen-friendships-460643.
Knight, Rob. “Social Media is Getting in the Way of Real-Life Friendships, New Study Claims.” Independent, www.independent.co.uk/extras/lifestyle/social-media-superficial-friends-fake-book-a8758246.html
Lenhart, Amanda. “Chapter 4: Social Media and Friendships.” Pew Research Center, 6 Aug. 2015, www.pewresearch.org/internet/2015/08/06/chapter-4-social-media-and-friendships/
Ludden, David. “Does Using Social Media Make You Lonely?” Psychology Today, 24 Jan. 2018, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/talking-apes/201801/does-using-social-media-make-you-lonely
Reynolds, Molly. “Is Social Media Actually Making Us More Social?” Huffpost, 6 Dec. 2017, www.huffpost.com/entry/is-social-media-actually-_b_4867841
The Atlantic. “How the Internet Is Changing Friendship.” YouTube, 8 Jun. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL3Trlv2dNs