Photo Credits: Merrill Private wealth management
Social media brings a high interaction or very low or no interaction between siblings or parents and their children. What about parents to parents? With the many relationships that one develops in their life, the most important is their family. Most of these families think everyone will be sitting around a fire, talking to each other, or even playing board games and not struggling with a social media addiction.
However, a study on media influence conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that kids aged 8-18 spend over 7 hours a day using electronic media.
Most Psychologists are concerned that technology is slowly breaking down family communication by robbing off the family’s attention, communication, and the feeling of safety within the family unit. In “alone together,” Sherry Turkle talks about a study conducted where children reported that they felt their parents were addicted to their phones or computers.
Children desire their parents to spend quality time and interact with them since one-on-one conversations have become very rare. Families now spend time posting pictures, making updates about their lives, and talking to their friends. This has had a serious impact on people’s ability to communicate and form real relationships in life since it causes dissatisfaction, discontent, jealousy, and other negative emotions.
It also offers a safe channel for people in a relationship to cheat on their partners, and it is very easy to forget the blurred line between social media and the real world and young people find themselves struggling to prioritize the right one, which can lead to mental conditions like anxiety and depression.
But if we demonize social media as an evil tool of modernization, we would be unfair since it has also helped many relationships. For example, couples or families who have spent time apart for long periods can still feel close to each other by communicating and interacting via social media. Your interaction with loved ones does not have to be limited since you can follow what’s happening in their lives over social media.
Photo credits: Wave-break media
The memory feature on social media also allows families to re-live amazing family moments through pictures, videos, tags, and check-ins. We also get to follow what’s happening in their lives and reach out to them and offer support and guidance.
Social media also allows family members to see what each other is posting, and this lets them bond over things that they like, which helps them keep close over shared interests, hobbies, and more. While divorce is widespread, children still need stability. They need both parents in their lives, and while parents may not get along on their own, they can still communicate with their kids over social media, which ensures there’s no estrangement.
Though it is no easy task to quantify the positive and negative impacts of social media, especially on relationships since one man’s meat is another man’s poison, let us lookout for what our young children and especially teenagers are doing on the internet.
Author: Brenda Njeri
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