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The Internet And Social Media’s Influence On Relationships

2628 words - 11 pages

The Internet plays many roles in our busy technology driven lives today, without it many streamlined tasks would once again become mundane and bothersome. Since our lives have become so technology driven and Internet based it is no surprise that social media websites have become increasingly popular, first among young adults but eventually across the entire age spectrum. It is estimated that 30% of the world has Internet access and uses it daily. Of this 30% it is estimated that 72% of them use social media or networking sites (Brenner 2013). In the last three years the amount of adult users on Social Media networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Linked-in has more than doubled (Haque 2011). From the ages of 18 to 34 almost one half of users check their Facebook in mere minuets after waking up, and 28 percent do so before even getting out of their bed (Marche 2012). Maggie Jackson writes of this phenomenon in her text, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age. Maggie is worried that with all this technology that the population as a whole is loosing their ability to focus and could possibly be loosing their long-standing personal relationships. All of this Internet usage almost most certainly has had an effect on interpersonal relationships; the absolute fact that at any given moment you can send a quick picture or write a fast phrase that all your friends and family can see is utterly bizarre. There is a great deal of research done on this topic because it is an ever increasing phenomenon because more and more people are getting access to the internet and in turn signing up for social media websites. Has all this technology come at a price? With this huge social media frenzy will there ever be time for strong face-to-face relationships anymore, or would we rather communicate online where we can reach countless people with one simple stroke of the keyboard? Ultimately what effect has dependence on the Internet and social media had on our stable interpersonal relationships that we have been forming ever since we were a child?
With the fast advancement of the Internet in recent years, it hosts more and more diverse and convenient channels for social communication than ever before. Social Media has become more and more prominent in the last ten years. The Internet is fast becoming just a background part of our lives, as you can see in Figure 1 the amount of users of social networking sites across all age groups has grown in a very steep manner (Brenner 2013). It is this fast increase that has some researchers and psychologists worried about the ramifications of such a high percentage of communication being accomplished via social media. Some people at first thought that this use of the Internet for social media may be more of a fad than a staple of our daily lives, but that is proving to be less and less true as these social networking numbers continue to grow. Some also thought this new type of...

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