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How Social Media Affects Relationships: The Positive and Negative Impacts

By on 2020-10-26 10:00:16, 0 Comments

how social media affects relationships

There’s no denying that technology has taken, and is continuously taking, the world by storm. With its constant advancements and growth one cannot argue that it significantly affects its users’ day-to-day life.

Social media platforms, for instance, have become a great part of our lives. These apps have evolved into venues and networks promoting open and meaningful communication. They are the ideal platforms where one can freely express their insights, ideas, hobbies, interests, and more. 

By regularly browsing through social networking sites, we get exposed to various content types. One way or another, things we see on social media affect us personally, which in turn affects how we interact with the people around us. In fact, a study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that 14% of Americans have changed their mind about an issue because of something they saw on social media. Below, we detail how social media affects relationships in our lives. 


Relationship 101

Relationships, of any sort, have one thing in common – love. The ancient Greeks have classified love into seven categories: (1) Eros or the passionate love, (2) Philia or the love of friendship, (3) Storge or the love of family, (4) Agape or the universal love, (5) Ludus or the playful love, (6) Pragma or the romantic love, and (7) Philautia or the self-love.

Whether in platonic or romantic relationships, love is manifested in various ways. Though love is a vital aspect, there are certainly various things that affect or drive a relationship. Regardless, everyone desires to be in a relationship where they feel valued and respected. After all, no matter how some people isolate themselves, every human needs another human’s company. As they say, “no man is an island.”


Benefits of Social Media on Relationships

Social media is not always a bad thing. In fact, it must be doing something incredibly good as more and more users continue to fully embrace it. Here are some social media can have on one’s relationships.

Virtual Connection

The internet defies physical distances and locations by connecting people from anywhere around the world. Imagine what it was like to be in the era before the internet, the computer, and the telephone. If you were in a long distance relationship or your partner worked in another country, you could only mail them a letter to communicate.  

In this digital age, communication has become way more convenient. Through social media platforms, you can effortlessly communicate with a loved one, making long-distance relationships a bit easier.

Create New, Meaningful Relationships

Social media has become not just a platform to nurture current relationships, but also a place to start and create new ones. Nowadays, it’s rare to meet someone you can click with on the streets, in public transport, or at a restaurant. Then, even if you go to certain places to specifically meet new people, like parks and clubs, it requires a lot of effort.

Thanks to social media, it’s easier to meet people who share the same interests. Various social network pages or groups are open for anyone to join, creating a healthy environment for people across the globe to meet. You can also request to follow or friend anyone on social media, and these platforms also give your suggestions of people you should connect with. 

Digital Scrapbook Of Your Life

After an event or vacation, it has become customary to remind a friend or a family to “tag me”. Posting photos and videos online, after all, is one way of immortalizing the shared memories and freezing real-life moments. 

These photos and videos stored on our personal accounts could motivate us to do better in our relationships. Then, when things get rough with a friend or a partner or a family member, looking back at those great memories can magically patch things up.


Drawbacks of Social Media on Relationships

Like any other thing, too much use of social media has its consequences. Before it costs you a relationship, be consciously aware of its negative impacts.

Digital Intimacy

Technology makes it easier for us to connect with people. That ease, however, can seduce and confuse us to think that the digital intimacy we experience is more worth it, neglecting physical intimacy.

Regardless of which types of social networking sites you use, you surely come across people who seem to be on the same wavelength as you. You have to bear in mind, however, that people will never post their whole reality on their online profile. Hence, meeting them and spending time with them in person counts matters the most.

Contagion Effect

Ever wondered how trends tend to rapidly spread on social media? This is referred to as a contagion effect. It’s like a domino effect, a chain reaction that affects people, especially their mental health, more than they admit. The thing is, it’s not only applicable to trends, emotions can be contagious. For instance, loneliness can spread on social networks.

The scary part is if we don’t pay enough attention or address it immediately, all the hate, insecurities, and negativity we see on social media can negatively impact us, and possibly consume us. In return, we pass on these emotions to the people we physically interact with, jeopardizing our relationships with them. 

Quality Time With Others

What feels like just five minutes of scrolling may actually hours be in real life. We’re sometimes too consumed browsing through posts that we lose track of the amount of time we waste. We spend so much time on social media that we forget to spend quality time with the people who are physically around us.


Your smile’s amazing on your new profile picture, but when’s the last time you genuinely laughed at your partner’s jokes? Your family photo during the holidays is lovely, but when is the last time you did something with them? The picture from your out-of-town trip with your friends looks fun, but have you genuinely caught-up with them about your lives? 

Technology and social media are great, but it shouldn’t get in the way of the relationships we have in our lives. Observe and establish some safety precautions to ensure you and your family practices proper technology habits. Too much of anything, even the good stuff, is never healthy. We simply have to learn to balance both our online and offline relationships.

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