Social Media and Interpersonal Relationships


SocialMedia and Interpersonal Relationships

SocialMedia and Interpersonal Relationships

Asthe name suggests, social media is a platform with a core objectiveof establishing individual and group networking among people byenabling multiple forms of communication. Maintaining relationshipslargely depends on communication between the parties involved.Traditionally, face to face was the only practical means available toestablish and maintain relationships. With the onset of the WorldWide Web that supports a variety of forms of messages, social mediacontribute the most widely means of communicating and maintaining orenhancing relationships. However, achieving this goal remains awidely debated issue. Thisis because more life threatening incidences have continued to emergewith the development of social media.

Onthe affirmative side, social media forms an effective means ofkeeping in touch with friends once out of school by thoughts andspending time in virtual space. Among teenagers, social interactionthrough media creates a feeling of wellbeing, enhancing theirself-esteem (Drussell, 2012). There are various forms of messagingadopted such as pictures, text messages and video initiatecreativity, making communication more interesting and captivating.Furthermore, adolescents are introduced to different perspective ofarguments, tolerating opinions that they may not agree with andlearning how to express their thoughts without hurting the feelingsof others (Hunduja &amp Patchin, 2008). Youths who have challengesof interacting with their peers due to communication problem can finda solution in social media where they gain the courage to establishpractical relations afterwards. Additionally, social media hascreated an avenue through which new friendships can be establishedfor people who have never met face to face. Giffords (2009) statesthat the basis through which relationship are formed among people whodo not know each other is premised on need for professional support,common interests, and mutual assistance. Apparently, interpersonalrelationships can be enhanced by proper application of social media.

Despitetheir popularity and significant positive impact that they havecontinually offered to members of the society, the negativeinterpersonal relationship harm that social media have to individualsat different levels cannot be under estimated. Drussell (2012) statesthat people who frequent the internet enabled media for socialgratification experience decline in conflict resolution skills, inaddition to substantial drop in ability to communicate in the realworld. They also tend to experience stress, social anxiety, anddepression due to feeling of isolation. Spending too much time in theinternet inhibits a person from interacting with real environmentblocking any opportunities to form practical friendshiprelationships. Additionally, the author states that in a surveyconducted earlier involving various groups of individuals, more than61% of people who participated argued that when communicating throughthe social media they are able to express themselves better than theydoes in face to face communication. While this postulation may betranslated positively, it may also be used to pass venomousideologies to a large number of people. A lot of people are currentlyusing Facebook, twitter, and other platforms to express offensivemessages that do not in any way enhance personal relationships.

Inconclusion, social media is a double edged sword that if appliedinappropriately may hinder interpersonal relationships. Generallyspeaking however, the platform has seen more new relations formed andmany other maintained across geographical distances. In my opinion,it is factual to support the postulation that social media enhanceinterpersonal relationships.


Drussell,J. (2012). Social networking and interpersonal communication andconflict resolution skills among college freshmen. Masterof Social Work Clinical Research Papers. Paper21. Retrieved on June 28, 2016 from

Giffords,E. (2009). The internet and social work: The next generation.Familiesin Society: The

Journalof Contemporary Social Services, 90 (4),413-418.

Hinduja,S., &ampPatchin, J. (2008). Personal information of adolescents onthe internet: A quantitative analysis of MySpace. Journalof Adolescence, 31,125-146.