The Social Media – Human Relationship Phenomenon

We all love to connect and communicate with others to share our experiences. Whatever may be the occasion, we rely on family and friends to share our emotions. It’s true that communication builds relationships. However, the perception of ‘relationship’ changed rapidly with the increase of social media and other digital channels of communication. Nowadays, we tend to invest more and more of our precious time in our laptops, tablets and mobile phones and create a virtual world of a friends circle. It has become an almost hard-to-do-without aspect in our everyday life.

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Do you at times or at all times feel the need to let everyone know what you are doing at that precise moment? Do you have that sudden urge to vocalize to all and sundry about your sinful indulgence? Just click a pic and upload it on Facebook! There’s no better way. You will not only be the recipient of a host of emotions, i.e., jealousy, envy, some people secretly hating you for indulging in something that they can’t, but also a multitude of ‘likes’ and comments that you do revel in, admit it! Statistics shows how active we are on social media platforms. Facebook had 864 million daily users on average for September 2014 and 703 million mobile daily active users on average for September 2014. As of September 2014, it had 1.35 billion monthly active users. Isn’t it amazing! This amazing rate of online interaction gets astonishing if it includes the other sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, which too account for millions of users.

Is digital communication a positive transition?

Well, it depends on your outlook. However, no one can deny the fact that it’s a great platform where you meet your long lost friends, some people who you would have loved to keep in touch with but was not possible. Remember your friends from school with whom you’ve had your fair share of fun, with whom you’ve shard your lunch boxes, books, pens, secret crushes? Having moved out of school and gone in different directions, you seem to have lost all contact with them. Fear not! You need not turn out your drawers in the hope of finding memorabilia. Just look them up in social media. Bingo! They might be all there!

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The growth of social media circles indeed facilitates better connections. Such connections create a desire to build and maintain real, genuine relationships. You can connect once again, reliving those memories and catching up on the years gone by, it’s a great feeling and totally worth it! Not only that, you can get in touch with family who live miles away in another part of the world, making the world seem smaller and connecting in a very personal way.

Does it really help to build the connection?

Connecting is one thing, but yes, sometimes we tend to get addicted to it so much so that we completely forget about the people around us. It’s easy to select an emotion from the emotion buttons and send it across; however, it’s hard to physically show affection online. Imagine physically hugging someone on Facebook! Yeah right!

And what about the quality time we need to spend with family and friends? Won’t that get affected if we remain glued to our laptops and mobile phones? According to a research, exceeding the time spent with technology leads to a decline in communication with family members. There are other loopholes too. Any guesses? Yes, you got them right. Its privacy and cyber bullying. Once you create a profile on a social media platform, everything goes public. You can’t stop people from misusing your stuff. In fact, cyber bullying has now become increasingly common, especially among teenagers, due to excessive use of technology.

social media-human relationship-phenomenon-medialabs Excess of anything is bad

Social media gets its name for a reason. We connect with a great deal of people there. However, we should remember not to overdo it for it is also important that we socialize in person and spend quality time with friends and family – for the real connection starts there.

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