How Facebook has changed the way we socialize
If you have been around at all this century, you’ll know what Facebook is. One of the largest social media platforms, along with Messenger, it dominates the social sphere for connecting with others. With the changes in how we communicate to others, especially no longer requiring face-to-face conversations, we need to ask what impact this has. Whether we love it or hate it, what are the benefits to society Facebook brings? What new challenges do we face? Well, here I am to explain the research about it.
Has life really changed because of Facebook
Has our social life changed because of Facebook? Well, it may not have changed as much as we think.
Some of the benefits include more efficient communication. We can communicate small ideas fast to people. We can share our thoughts and see how lots of people respond to it and each other. We can see different interpretations of things from others. It can even be used as a learning tool to see the consequences and causes of failed communication.
But it is not the be all and end all. At a certain point, the relationship needs to come into the real world, to increase the depth of the relationship. It can help people who find it difficult to start conversations, like the socially anxious and lonely, but there is a need to get into the real-world at some point. And the thought of living in a digital bubble doesn’t sound that fun to me.
So, what’s good about it.
From a review about research on Facebook, there are multiple benefits from it.
Facebook enhances people’s ability to connect with others and form positive relationships with peers. Researchers found that there is more one-on-one communication and directed communication in Facebook, through tags and sharing. This is a way that we improve bonding with others and strengthen relationships.
Facebook also encourages long-distance relationships and help to maintain friendships with those who have moved away. Family members can get closer to older relatives who adopt it and could be a way to reduce loneliness in the elderly.
You can also use it to bounce ideas around and shape how you think. With multiple friends to share to, you can look at multiple opinions on the same thing and it can shape our own understandings.
The bad news
Although there are large positives to social media, there are also relationship problems that can occur online.
Many people can be addicted to Facebook, using it more than 4 hours each day, especially in teenagers. This isolates people from reality and can reduce their need for others. Facebook also breeds an atmosphere to hide from negative interactions. This can cause heavy impacts on family relationships and make people anti-social, reigniting their need for Facebook. This leads them to a fall when a negative experience happens that they can’t avoid, because they no longer have meaning friends to turn to.
Additionally, the longer people use Facebook, the more they start to believe that others have a better life than they do. This can make people have bad impressions of others and continue family tensions.
Abuse and bullying can also occur, and it can be constant. Because Facebook doesn’t have an off-switch or an instant-delete button, there can almost be endless amounts of it. And the impacts can be catastrophic, as we have seen this with the death of Dolly Everett. We don’t tolerate this, but it grows because groups of people isolate themselves from reality, and do nasty things without realising the impact.
Remember to stay irl
Facebook is here to stay, but we need to be aware of how we should use it effectively. We still need genuine real-life friendships, and Facebook can help keep them alive and well. But, remember to use Facebook for communication, and not replace it for your life you are living in the real world today.