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What is the current state of family life? Is social media destroying or enhancing family relationships? Social media has become an important aspect of human culture as a result of technological advancements. According to Wickman, we use social media regularly in our daily lives, which has drawn the bulk of our attention to it (261). Social media is used for networking, socialization, science, gathering knowledge about what is going on in the world, and certain people use it for company. As a result, it has eaten up most of our time as we have become addicted, and this, like all other diseases, is having an effect on family relationships. Therefore, today, in this age of technology and the social media, family relationships are being affected in several unexpected ways and mostly in a negative way.
Social media is a tool that can either make or break family relationships depending on how we use it. Social networking is everywhere, and people are embracing it at a very fast rate (Goodtherapy.org). Most children are connected to this global technology, and this is bringing problems between them and their family because parents want to monitor their activities and this is significantly diminishing the good relationship shared between parents and their children. Therefore, overall, the social media has brought a new risk to positive family ties.
It is true that the social media is adversely affecting family relationships because people have become too addicted to it. Many people spend most of their time on the social media, and this is affecting their family time and relationships (Carbonell, Oberst, and Beranuy 913). During family gatherings, instead of people being attentive on what is being shared or spending quality time with their families, they spend this time on their smartphones or computers, and this has made family life disrupted and very complicated. According to the Williams in their article Quality Time, Redefined, many parents are worrying that the advancement of digital devices and the social media is undermining family life and relationships (New York Times). Parents and even children whose parents are addicted to the social media feel isolated and disengaged from the family. Therefore, the social media draws people away from the real world causing them not to care about the importance of personal relationships with their families and this is adversely affecting today’s family relationships.
Opponents argue that the social media does not affect family relationships in a negative way, but it does in a positive way because it enhances togetherness in families. They further argue that it has made it easy for family members to communicate despite being several miles away without any difficulties. However, we should note that even though the social media has made communication easier for family members, it is taking over family relationships. According to Hertlein, family members who live miles away from their family fail to come to family gatherings because they argue that they will do it through the social media (380). In addition, some of them will even make phone calls and speak to everyone, and they do not show up for the important sessions where family members meet face-to-face and bond (Przybylski and Weinstein 240). Therefore, this negatively affects family relationships because family members use the social media as an excuse for not meeting and bonding with the others, which is an integral part in enhancing family relationships.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that the social media is profoundly affecting family relationships and changing family life in a negative way. People are ever on the social media, and this is growing a divide between family members. Everybody is wrapped in his or her own technology instead of using this time to connect with the rest of the family members, and this is ruining family relationships. As a result, families have become isolated from the world around them, and this is adversely affecting their relationship with each other because of their addiction to social media. In essence, the social media revolution has brought radical changes to family life and family relationships.
Carbonell, Xavier, Ursula Oberst, and Marta Beranuy. "The Cell Phone in the Twenty-FirstCentury: A Risk for Addiction or A Necessary Tool." Principles of Addiction:Comprehensive Addictive Behaviors and Disorders 1 (2013): 901-909. Print.
Goodtherapy.Org Staff. 3 Ways Technology Can Negatively Impact Your Relationships. 19Sept. 2016. Http://Www.Goodtherapy.Org/Blog/3-Ways-Technology-Can-NegativelyImpact-Your-Relationships-0919167. Accessed 8 May. 2017.
Hertlein, Katherine M. "Digital Dwelling: Technology in Couple and FamilyRelationships." Family Relations 61.3 (2012): 374-387. Print.
Przybylski, Andrew K., and Weinstein Netta. "Can You Connect With Me Now? How ThePresence Of Mobile Communication Technology Influences Face-To-Face ConversationQuality." Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 30.3 (2013): 237-246. Print.
Wickman, Leslie. "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology And Less FromEach Other." Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 66.4 (2014): 261-262. Print.
Williams Alex. Quality Time, Redefined. New York Times 29 April. 2011.Http://Www.Nytimes.Com/2011/05/01/Fashion/01FAMILY.Html?Pagewanted=1Accessed 8 May. 2017.
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