How Does Social Networking Affect Relationships?

Jun 23, 2014 by



Recently we wrote about Facebook and marriages.

One of our ongoing questions and research has to do with relationships and social media.

Can we genuinely have effective relationships via social networks/media? Specifically, can we have true “community,” our definition being healthy and deepening relationships, deal effectively with conflict resolution, and have honest, genuine, and authentic communication through these technological vehicles?

Indicators are the more we attempt to connect through these social outlets the more lonely we are in today’s society. We are not out to determine a yes or no, but sincerely ask the question. Our generation and even the one that is following us, for the most part, had social media/networking enter our world so it is a new way of connecting for most of us. What about those who are growing up with it as a regular part of their lives?

The debate continues on both sides that specifically in community, conflict resolution, and communication there can be genuine relationship building through these social venues. Others argue that without face-to-face connectivity and dialogue can these issues be served at their best?

We are surprised and even shocked at how many will put things on these sites for the “whole world” to view and comment. People have found out their status has changed because someone close to them has changed their “status.”

How can you see people’s non-verbal responses? What about FaceTime, Google+, Skype, and many more video chats that are being created and offered on a regular basis?

We do believe that we can know more about people and connect with them through these social outlets, but our question is can we determine that the above mentioned areas can reach their best and fullest potential without physically being together? What will these future generations do? How will they handle this? What will become of attempting to communicate and connect through the digital age of technology?

I may know a lot about you but how will I really know you and engage in authentic community with you without the sitting down, seeing each other face-to-face and doing life together? Maybe we are biased and do have a thought, more than we would like to admit, but we honestly wonder where this is going and how relationships will be affected as we only get more technologically advanced?

We became grandparents for the first time this past year and love our FaceTime fix with our granddaughter. Our youngest is off to college, and we are so thankful for the technology that allows us to connect and even see our daughter while talking to her. But for us and our daughter, there is nothing like a hug, a sit down conversation, and having a meal together to really engage and enhance our relationship by being physically next to each other. Our granddaughter recognizes us because of technology, so when we are together she knows who we are, but there is something about being together, squeezing those precious cheeks, holding her, playing with her, talking face-to-face with her.

What will become of relationships and social networking? We believe it has helped us connect in many ways, but will we experience more separation and loneliness or will we always need to accomplish living life together in community (family), conflict resolution, and communication more deeply by holding hands, playing together, and simply being together?

What do you think? Leave us a comment with your thoughts on the social network and relationships. We’d love the dialogue.


Other blogs on this topic: February 26, 2013

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