With the abundance of social media platforms available, it is safe to assume that most of us are on at least two or more of them. It is undeniable that social media has influenced the way we form and maintain relationships with others. Several studies conducted have revealed that social media has been linked to increased levels of jealousy, anxiety and even depression. However, social media can actually have a positive impact on our relationships as well.
Alters our judgements of others
One of the key distinguishing features which social media has is its ability to reflect the number of “likes” we get or the number of connections which we have. At times, we are more concerned about the number of likes that we get than the actual quality of content that we post. The number of likes received can have a huge effect on the mood of some individuals. It may even lead to problems such as depression, adversely affecting our relationship with others. This same in-built feature can also lead to increased feelings of self-consciousness amongst us. Inevitably, you would begin comparing yourself with your peers, colleagues or people around you. This could potentially develop into wrongly perceived feelings of superiority or inferiority towards others.
Seek recognition from others
Another detrimental effect which social media can have on relationships would be the impact it can have on our interaction with others. Often the information we share on social media are carefully curated before they are posted in an attempt to obtain validation from others. This becomes our form of social interaction with others, seeking to build upon our popularity and social capital. In the long run, this constant attempt to seek validation online can potentially ruin our ability to form meaningful relationships with others in reality.
Sustain meaningful connections
However, we are all aware of the wonders social media can bring to our relationships as well. It provides a convenient platform for us to stay connected with our friends and family members. This is especially useful when the other person is halfway across the world. You can simply scroll through the person’s social media and get a quick update on his/her life through the photos and videos uploaded. Through social media, it also provides another avenue for us to reconnect with old friends and keep in touch with them through an alternative means.
Broaden career prospects
From a career perspective, social media platforms such as LinkedIn can serve to be useful in helping us to build connections and a professional network. The creation of a strong online presence on such platforms can greatly increase your employability. This paves the way for you to explore other career pathways and develop new interests or areas of expertise. LinkedIn also functions as a community for individuals to share and find out more about developments in the job market from others.
Social media can serve as a double-edged sword when it comes to the impact it can have on our relationships. If we are able to look beyond the superficiality of social media, it can actually prove to help us foster closer relations with others. At the end of the day, social media is simply a tool that we utilise and it is the way in which we use and interpret the information on it that matters.