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Social Media and Interpersonal Relationship - Essay Example

6 pages
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Vanderbilt University
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Over the last decade, social media has become a viral internet service across the world. Social media has resulted in the availability of opportunity for people to feel connected to their friends and family. The world has become more connected because of the use of social media than ever before (Griffin, 2009). Hence, this virtual forum of technological advancement plays an essential role in an individual interpersonal interaction. With the continued use of social media primarily by the younger generation, it has resulted to isolating people. In my opinion, the use of social media hinders individual interpersonal relationships.

To understand how a person interpersonal relationship is hindered by the use of social media it is considered on how they frequently use various sites to communicate online. Frequency is an essential variable that assists in understanding the use of social media on a daily basis by individuals to communicate and relating with other people (South, 2014). Frequently use of social media plays a massive role in the interpersonal relationship of an individual. Also, it helps to determine how one is addicted to using social media primarily in the life of young adults. Checking social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is a routine behavior to most young people on the internet since they are always online. According to Jung and Valenzuela (2012), factors to use the internet include to be informed on the current events, to get entertainment, it is a form of peer identity, to have good feelings and for communication.

As advancement in technology continues growing, communication has changed dramatically between individuals. The manner in which people interact online is becoming complicated since the ideal based on interpersonal relationships are mostly influenced by social media (South, 2014). Hence, social media has hindered interpersonal relationship since it has changed the way in which individuals present and perceive themselves. For instance, the popularity of an individual online is measured according to the number of likes and comments a person receives thus most people want to fit in which is going to hinder their interpersonal relationship.

However, the use of social media has increased the chances of connecting and making more friends via the social network. The interaction has changed the way in which individuals meet new people online compared to how they met in reality. Since meeting individuals face-to-face is based mostly on the individual identity they have created online (Jung & Valenzuela, 2012). Face-to-face communication decline in the society has resulted to depriving individuals of their sensory awareness and human contact. Social media has hindered interpersonal relationship through reducing the need for individuals to interact physically and get the necessary psychological social well-being. Thus, the perception that internet offers a sense of connection can be viewed as a backward approach in the interpersonal relationship. Most people are not connected to what is happening in the real world regarding maintaining these relationships.

Social media has hindered an individual interpersonal relationship according to the research carried out by (Shinosky & Gordon, 2012). Internet usage especially social media sites have been validated by factors such as heavy usage, spending more time and the problem of internet consumption. These factors have significantly hindered an individual interpersonal relationship due to internet usage and consumption. The state of usage among the young adults has seen most of them demonstrate a poor form interpersonal relationship. According to Ozkaya and LaRose, (2014), the lack of necessary communication skills is associated with spending most of the time on the social media sites.

Internet dependency is connected to declining interpersonal relationships. The individual is reliant on using social media to the power of the internet. Thus, these people become dependent on using social media and the internet fulfills their need to communicate with other people (Balick, 2014). However, different people motivation to use the internet to satisfy their communication needs is associated with the usage of other people. Thus, the level in which these individuals are dependent is different according to their involvement and motivation. Therefore, people will have a different way in which they will approach the interpersonal relationship. Dependency on the internet is the reason it has hindered most users interpersonal relationship.

The interaction between individuals in an interpersonal relationship can be carried out either verbally, non-verbally or through the social media. However, not all form of communication between individuals can be constructive and lead to a better interpersonal relationship. The satisfaction is determined in the interpersonal relationship by the communication used. Thus, in this case, the use of social media has hindered an individual interpersonal relationship. Most people are not able to create an atmosphere that will lead to pleasant verbal communication due to dependency on social media. Therefore social media is hindering most of the people interpersonal relationships.

Some people have the opinion that social media enhances an individual interpersonal relationship. The primary facet being that through using social media sites individuals will be able to create and maintain relationships. The content that is generated by individuals will assist them to foster a relationship that is more intimate compared to verbal communication. These individuals have emphasized that social media has helped to change the foundation of interpersonal relationship (Chambers, 2013). Also, through the use of social media, it has facilitated a rapid connection between different individuals which have helped to develop a better online relationship. They argue that social media is capable of bringing a contagion effect thus providing individuals in an interpersonal relationship to adapt to online behaviors and attitudes. Therefore, according to my argument that social media will create a hindrance, this suggests that through using internet people can enhance their interpersonal relationships.

Also, another argument is that social media will lead to positive outcomes in an interpersonal relationship. According to Crigger and Douglas (2011), social media provides a platform that enables communication and interaction of different individuals that is different from traditional media. Thus, they see this as a new invention that will help to improve the social interaction of individuals a broad social media platform. The interaction contradicts my opinion of people communicating face-to-face to ensure there is better interpersonal relationship created. Thus, social media has dramatically changed the way in which people communicate around the globe but also it has changed how they relate to the real world with each other.

The objection created by the fact that social media enhances interpersonal relationship is appropriate. However, it is critical to view on the other different aspects that social media causes to its users. The various elements can result to individuals developing a sense of loneliness as a result of dependency on social media to facilitate their communication. Therefore, it is essential to understand that even though social media can enhance an individual interpersonal relationship virtually it does not guarantee satisfaction in the real world. As a result, these individuals will not be able not to monitor the necessary real-world interpersonal relationship and focus on the one created virtually through the social media (South, 2014).

Also, as people get more connected through social media networking it will affect their self-esteem as a result of comparing with others. Therefore, the use of social media will impact an individual interpersonal relationship negatively and will result to these individuals feeling diminished on their social network. Thus, these individuals feel the need to demonstrate a persona that is different from that in their real world. To create a better interpersonal relationship it is essential for people to limit the time they spend on the social media to interact but instead, they should do it in the real world. Hence, it will lead to improvement of personal interaction in the real world to promote a good interpersonal relationship.

In conclusion, the use of social media will significantly hinder individual interpersonal relationships. However, it is difficult for individuals to avoid using social media due to development of advanced technologies. Thus, it is essential for a person to control their usage and dependency of the internet and ensure they also have a better real-world interaction to maintain interpersonal relationships. The controlled use of social media will enable an individual to focus on developing the necessary skills needed to ensure the development of an interpersonal relationship.


Balick, A. (2014). The psychodynamics of social networking: Connected-up instantaneous culture and the self. London: Karnac.

Chambers, D. (2013). Social media and personal relationships: Online intimacies and networked friendship. Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Crigger, B. J., & Douglas, S. P. (2011). Report of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs: professionalism in the use of social media. The Journal of clinical ethics, 22(2), 165-172.

Griffin, E. M. (2009). A first look at communication theory. New York, NY, US: McGraw-Hill.

Jung, N. & Valenzuela, S. (2012). "Social media use for news and individuals' social capital, civic engagement and political participation." Journal of ComputerMediated Communication 17.3 (2012): 319-336

Ozkaya, E., & LaRose, R. (2014). How does online social networking enhance life satisfaction? The relationships among online supportive interaction, affect perceived social support, sense of community, and life satisfaction. Computers in Human Behavior, 30, 69-78.

Shinosky, S., & Gordon, V. (2012). A study of the effects of social media use and addiction on relationship satisfaction. Meta-communicate, 2(1).

South, S. C. (2014). Interpersonal relationships and health: Social and clinical psychological mechanisms. Oxford: New York: Oxford University Press.

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