Facebook And Relationships Essay

1969 words - 8 pages

Romantic Relationships and Facebook Introduction The social media craze hit the United States in the early 2000's. It started with Friendster, which was invented in 2002, and following shortly after that, Myspace in 2003. Facebook was then invented and introduced to Harvard University in 2004 as a networking service to college level students. It was not until 2006, when Facebook became open publicly to all ages, that it became a part of America's daily life. Facebook has become a daily part of life for the majority of people with access to internet around the world. The site has it's many different uses. Some people use it to stay connected with people that would ordinarily be hard to talk to, as they live far away. Others use it to talk to friends, to show off their pictures, or find a way to tell people the highlights of their day. Relationships from the past, whether romantic or platonic, can be rekindled. Advertising has become increasingly popular on it as well. "Facebooking" is something that is done every day. It has become normal to look into other people's lives via pictures and "statuses". People have never been able to do this before and now they cannot stop. It has changed the way we see and have relationships with friends. For the most part, it strengthens some friendships and makes it easier to communicate with those friends. My question is though, does it have the same effect on romantic relationships? Or does Facebook hurt romantic or sexual relationships? Now more than ever, researchers are starting to look at how Facebook affects these relationships. Literature Review It has been said that communication is the key to a successful relationship. With that being said, I do believe that stands true for offline communication. According to L. Williams in the article Digital Intimacy Interference on Social Networking Sites, people spend about fifteen hours a week on Facebook (Wiliams, 2012) . Whether that be talking to a significant other or browsing, or speaking to other friends, it is still time pulled away from face to face communication with a significant other. It is almost impossible to feel the tone and passion through text. There is also no physical contact or body language, things that play a big part in showing people how they feel (Williams, 2012). Scholars of communication Kraut, Patterson, Lundmark, and Kiesler did a study in 1999 to look at how the internet affects the happiness of people offline. What they discovered was that "increased internet use was associated with withdrawal from one's outside friends, and that affected their psychological well being negatively" (Kraut et al, 1999, p.3). That does not necessarily talk about romantic relationships alone, but the same rule would apply. Another reason Facebook can be detrimental to a romantic relationship is by having the need to share all aspects of the relationship online. "Being able to relate to others is a key function of Facebook. Expressing one's relationship...

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