What Are Cyber Relationships? Essay

1669 words - 7 pages

What are cyber-relationships? They are not only romantic relationships, but normal relationships between friends and family as well. Cyber-relationship addiction occurs when an individual focuses more on their virtual life in social networking sites, texting and chat rooms to the extent that their real-life relationships with family and friends are compromised for online ones.

The main reason is that all of us use mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and etc, to cultivate our friendships and relationships with others (Bargh and Mckenna, 575). We must ask ourselves, “Have we been too caught up with relationships online that we fail to nurture our real-life, face-to-face relationships?” In our ...view middle of the document...

This was measured by the standard tests for the indication of empathy (123). However, this study might be subjected to instrument decay as the method for testing empathy was not mentioned, and might not be completely reliable.

In the context of romantic relationships, it has been proven that social networking websites such as Facebook complicates ties between people. For example, according to Lambert, undergraduates would go to the extent of monitoring their partners secretly on Facebook if they are naturally the type to be jealous. They suspect their partner to be unfaithful because they witness them socializing with their other friends, and then take what they observe out of context. This vicious cycle of surveillance goes on and on, which may end up in broken relationships (14). The source lacks other important information such as statistics to back up his claim.

In Chatfield’s book, he sought research by Nielsen. The report tested on American teenagers in 2010, in order to find out how many text messages they were sending. Based on the bills from more than 60,000 mobile phones users and more than 3,000 customer surveys taken separately, these teenagers, every month, were sending and receiving an astonishing average of 3339 text messages every month - a figure tremendously increasing among females aged from 13 to 17, who averaged even more than 4,000. That calculates to roughly 133 texts in a single day. (39)

However, Bargh and Mckenna argue that greater Internet usage leads to positive psychological and social outcomes, unlike what cyber relationship addiction would suggest. Although studies above have proven that most people spend their time interacting online, the detrimental effects assumed do not exactly hold to be true. Also, the more hours one spends on the Internet, the more time he or she spends face-to-face with their friends and family because the Internet allows an increase of communication.

In terms of the factors that cause and influence cyber relationship addiction, Aboujaoude states that our E-personality is one of these, and competes with our personality in real life. It is a lot easier to create things to our benefit, which we may not possess in real life, such as status and charisma and intelligence. This may not apply to everyone, but it is known that people prefer the online version of themselves. Having an E-personality frees us from our stressful circumstances in real life. It offers therapy that allows us to relax and temporarily forget our problems and ordeals (23). In other cases, previous face-to-face interactions may remind them of bad experiences or past embarrassments, which they are able to push off their minds through online interactions instead (32). However, Aboujaoude does not state his methods of researching this subject. Furthermore, Tyler disagrees with this by stating in his academic journal that psychologists usually describe face-to-face interaction as being of better because of contribution to...

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