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SOCIAL MEDIA & OUR RELATIONSHIPS

1 March; Author: Niyija

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA HAS AFFECTED OUR RELATIONSHIPS

Social media has become a vice and obsession amongst people in daily life. It has changed our collective perception of one another yet in fragmented and distorted ways. So much so that the way we relate to people online and in real life has shifted and become a complicated disarray of mismatched communication in relationships. While human relations already have been the topic of self help books, poetry, films and sitcom dramas and most of our intimate conversations since the beginning of time, this additional dimension to the condition adds extra strain as we immerse ourselves in the age of social media.

It’s too easy to communicate and too difficult not to.

The amount of time each individual spends on Facebook or Tweeting a day has become something that happens while you are spending time on any other given activity in reality. Multitasking through the working day, weekends and in the evening no matter where you are includes being online and interacting with social avatars. It’s a parallel lifestyle that begs the question of where your priorities and attentions really lie.

  • If you don’t reply, you offend.
    People are aware that we all can access our social media at any given time (and probably do) so that leaves precious little excuse as to why you haven’t responded to them. This ‘peeved’ off reaction filters into your real life relationship with this person. You haven’t been a very good Facebook Friend and now you’re quite likely to deal with the consequences when you see each other again.
  • In the same breath, it’s incredibly hard too not communicate on social networks all the time.
    It’s a human addiction to be in constant digital contact through social networks and this in itself becomes your main way of socialising and keeping in touch with people.

The Reality of Social Media Interaction

Social media seems to fall to the bottom of the ranks in levels of real, deep interaction. It’s predominantly meant to be light hearted and fun and people don’t tend to divulge much about anything of actual emotional value. It’s not the platform for that. Subsequently, people have become more apathetic towards their relationships. When the main interaction is done through a social platform that acts as a vessel for millions of people to chat on, it’s no wonder that bond and feeling of closeness falls away. Importance is placed in strange areas on social networks. It becomes a narcissistic pursuit of trying to reach out with your avatar in ways that often are not appropriate and can lead to a lot of questions in your real life relationships. Facebook is fluff on the surface but using it to open up passages that normally wouldn’t be considered is going to affect your natural relationships too.

“But it’s just Facebook!”

Is it really just Facebook if you’re spending time sending out multiple messages to other people while you’re supposed to spending time with your loved ones? Or is it still just Twitter when you spend most of your time online sending someone tweets that when it comes down to it looks like a whole lot more of your attention is going elsewhere and not to the person you are actually involved with. This raises huge problems in intimate relationships because Facebook and Twitter et cetera, while they’re fluffy and fairly shallow, do open up doors that would never have been a liability to your relationship before. So is Tweeting cheating and is Facebook infidelity? Well, yes if you are spending inordinate amounts of time away from those you love and the content of your chats would be considered inappropriate on the phone or in real life; you are cheating. Social networks could lead to emails, to phone calls and then real life interactions and it does every day. When one in six people in the US who got married last year met online, it’s clear that it’s not just Facebook anymore.

All alone online

Strangely obsessed as people are with social media, they do notice when you’re online a lot at odd hours of say the night or the weekend. Sending your avatar out into the digital streets when you have no place to really go as a person is a message of embarrassing loneliness. Everybody gets lonely from time to time but when it transcends into social media it really does highlight the fact that you really should be able to come up with something else to do on a Friday evening, like read a book or hopefully interact with a real person. A lost and forlorn tweet on the time line of immediacy does not serve to reinforce your identity and your place; rather is slides away as if that statement never existed. Looking to social media for a way to actually make plans for your time is not going to do you any favours in real life.

broken relationship

 

Copied from : www.digitalfire.co.za/blog

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