Social networking might not help your social life after all. This is due to the fact that various studies have reported that presence on social media can quite possibly have a negative effect on your personal and social life outside of the spectrum of technology. For example, a study quoted by Psychology Today reports that high levels of Facebook usage can have a negative impact on personal relationships resulting in outcomes like cheating and breakups.
The negative agents involved in social networking
The prime negative element involved in social networking is perception. Users of social media have been engulfed in the trend of displaying their personal lives in a manner that gets them the most attention possible. This is of course easily coordinated through the use of their smart phones or tablet. This trend results in people revealing too much personal information regarding relationships on social media. In another study by Psychology Today they found that individuals who post frequently regarding their personal lives and relationships are less liked by others.
The second most commonly reported negative impact is anxiety, insecurity and jealousy. Witnessing your partner’s or friend’s interactions with other people, some of which are unknown to you, causes a sense of insecurity in your relationship with them. This is further deepened by the fact that individuals who are avid users of social media tend to seek emotional support from their social media peer group, instead of turning to their partners or relatives in real life.
Ironically, instead of improving communication between individuals, social media networking has increased the gap in communication among family members living in the same space. This is due to the fact that social media addiction is now a real thing. The excessive use of social media when at home conflicts with real life communication between people, essentially creating an unseen barrier. The same applies to the workplace. Excessive use of social media can cause distractions which affect performance at work and ultimately career growth. This probably explains why various companies block social media websites on work computers.
CNBC recently published an article that discussed how social media is leading to divorce as well as unhappiness within wedlock. Although a causal relationship was not established, the study was able to find a positive correlation between the two factors.
There is an upside
There is an upside to social networking, but that depends on the pattern of usage and goals behind usage. The use of social media allows an individual to integrate their social network with that of their partners and friends, hence allowing them to build new connections in real life. Additionally, if social media is used appropriately as a means of communication with close friends rather than a means to kill actual communication, then social media can have a positive desired effect in someone’s personal lives.
Individual experiences with social media differ widely across people of the same demographics as well; this signifies that method of usage is probably to blame even more than the negative elements of social media.