Social media communication

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Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. The broad availability and use of technology in numerous areas has revolutionized how we interact with one another more than any other previous development. Social media has persistently and significantly altered communication between individuals, communities, and commercial enterprises. Formerly, businesses relied on traditional electronic media such as television and podcasting to reach their customers, but electronic and paper-based media had many flaws that were all remedied by social media (Sponcil & Gitimu) (2013). Just like any other invention, social media has both positive and negative effects on critical social values such as friendships and relationships between individuals and family members as discussed below.


One of the effects of social media communication is the eradication of trust between family members and partners. Parents sometimes do lose confidence in their children based on what they put on show on social media sites or information they disclose about themselves especially even the parents had no prior idea about the existence of such information until discovering them on social media. When this happens, the kids do lose trust in their parents too because they feel they are being denied their privacy without realizing that with social media there is no privacy. Most breakups between partners are also caused by loss of trust which most of the time emanates from social media communication. An individual may feel cheated on if their partner displays some personal information on social media before disclosing it to the other party. Similarly, many cheating cases are discovered on social media conversation leading to mislay of trust.

Literature Review

Relationship Care Tool

Social media communication platforms such as Facebook help in the practice of relationship maintenance techniques by allowing couples to communicate efficiently. Communication is a significant factor that is necessary for a relationship to be successful. The conversation should be continues and full of confession of commitment and love to keep the relationship stronger. Research shows that couples who display their obligations and love assurances to their partners on Facebook do experience relationship satisfaction. Such comments usually help in making relations successful. Disclosing genuine information about one's partner on Facebook helps too since your friends will have to respect your boundaries when they know about your marital status and that you are happily married. The techniques are beneficial but should be applied with caution they may not make every couple happy but only provide an avenue of expression for those who already experience satisfaction in their relationships (Galvin et al. (2015).

Loss of Face-to-face Conversation between Family Members

General face to face communication between family members and partners is lost due to social media communication. Verbal face to face conversation used to be a very important factor that made relationships stronger since issues were solved amicably. Nowadays this is no longer the case with most families and partners. Now when people talk they tend to so via texts, facebook, twitter and other social media platforms available to them. Currently, when problems occur, children do not run to their parents and relatives for support and reassurance, they prefer seeking consolation from social media. Social media has taken away the ability of parents to guide their kids in their daily life challenges. The preference is brought about by the fact that on social media you do not have to reveal you're a true identity to get the support and comfort you need from other people.

Emergence of unnecessary Secrecy

Unnecessary secrets have been enhanced between family members and partners as a result of social media communication. Secrecy is useful in other aspects of life, but not in relationships, it goes hand in hand with trust and therefore if one is secretive it shows how they do not trust their partners. Some people find it difficult to share the passwords to their smartphones and computers because they are worried about the information their partners might discover on their social media conversations.

Source of Disagreement among Couples

For couples, social media communication is a constant source of disagreement, anxiety, and disconnection. Many complain about how much the other is attached to their phone, or how they do not pay attention. Some individuals get carried away by commenting on other peoples post on social media that they forget everything around them making their loved ones to surfer especially if they are not into social media as much. While independence and self-sufficiency are essential in relationships, married couples should not spend a lot of focus on social media but rather direct such efforts on maintaining their relationships (Parks (2017). Parents also do get so fond of their phones conversing on social media leaving the children feeling abandoned in the house with no one to talk to.

Increase in Imorality Rates

Social media communication has led to the increase of immorality in the family set up. Parents have the responsibility to make sure their children are brought up morally. In this century many families are different from those in the past where mothers would be at home taking care of the children while fathers go to work. The role has changed particularly for those living in the cities; both parents have jobs that take most of their time hence they fail to offer guidance to their children forcing them to search for alternatives (Guerrero et al. (2017). Social media do give such kids an option by providing them with all the information they need. The information is not usually restricted or regulated and therefore the result may be immorality among young boys and girls who may want to do what they have seen other people doing or wear what they have seen their favorite celebrities wearing.

Social Networking

Social networking have a positive influence on families especially parents or guardians and children that are far apart from each for various reasons like, migration, work, education, separation and any other circumstances that may result to them being far away from each other. Through social media, they can continue caring for each other through Skype and other social networking sites hence strengthening their relationship ties through sharing their locations, photos, and videos. They can also have a common topic to talk each other about especially about the videos or any news that is going viral on the internet. Social media communication also provides cheaper means of communication to partners and family members living abroad. International phone calls are always associated with high cost and other challenges such as network and time difference. Social media communication eliminates all these through Facebook, Twitter and other text message platforms that allow persons to be in touch conveniently without necessarily having to pay much. Social media communication does a lot of harm to friendship and relationships, but in this case, it contributes the building of friendships worldwide.

Avenues like Facebook enable people to integrate their social networks with their partners and family members. Those in a relationship can uphold fulfilling relationship by including their partner in their social networks. Facebook offers great convenience for those in relationship to interact with each other’s social contacts, allowing easier integration of friends. Studies show that it is easier to presume who a person is dating or related to by probing the degree to which there friends contacts are integrated on Facebook (Burke & Kraut (2014). This is done by not only checking the number of mutual friends shared but also how much they are dispersed. The study concludes by outlining that Facebook is relevant in identifying healthy relationships.

Channels used for social media communication makes it easy to access new relationships. Different individuals use such channels differently. Some use them to meet new friends while others use them to shortlist those who they wish to develop a serious relationship with after earlier face to face meeting. Traditionally potential partners may go on dates to know each other better, but Facebook provides another alternative by showing peoples’ hobbies and interests making it easy to choose. The same way professionals are encouraged to expand their networks, some media applications such as Tinder allows users to meet new people by exposing them to potential dates which they might not have been so lucky to meet through real day to day means. The app also warrants the users to single out and choose individuals they would like to start friendships with. The selection is always based on different factors such as social status, age group, and hobbies. The problem with such applications is that people using them do not seek commitments or lasting relationships but to enjoy emotionally involved flirting to make them happy.

Many people today focus a lot on social media communication to divert themselves from their life predicaments. Consequently, people have become more unconcerned about their relationships with their family and friends since the use of social media communication has become an outlet for them to leave the real world and problems they face every day. Social networking makes people ignore their obligations and feelings to the people close to them, and whenever there is no internet, it makes them develops anxiety about the responses and updates that wait for them to check out. This has caused some people to lose their jobs putting their families in great danger of financial meltdown. Besides, personal potentiality is no longer exploited as before since during free time we have a tendency of using social media than working on our talent development.

Early exposure to Adult Content on the Websites

Social media is one of the most significant sources that give parents both merits and demerits of having a relationship with their kids. Most adolescents and teens in this era embrace the use of tweeter, Facebook, Instagram, and snap chat. Some teenagers would say that they have an addiction to social media platforms. When teenagers have overprotective parents, they get quite limited to their sources since social networking is everywhere and can be accessed anywhere with ease (Palmer et al. (2016). For example, today’s parents get more concerned about the lack of privacy that comes with these websites hence bringing fear to them about what their kids might get involved with. Due to this, the parents tend to monitor their children’s activity making kids have no privacy which in turn affects their relationships with parents.

Challenges in use of Social Media among the older Parents

Most parents have limited knowledge when it comes to technology. As a result, they do struggle to achieve efficiency and awareness level possessed by their digital- indigenous children concerning new technology. The difference in competence at that point of a child’s life makes it extremely difficult for parents to execute their roles of teaching and guiding their children on how to use social media responsibly. Due to lack of technological insight on the part of parents and guardians, they lack the power and authorities to at least regulate how their offspring’s use the media (Wood (2015). Because of the parents’ anxiety or uneasiness about the use of new social media channels, they may not be ready to share their opinion with the kids regarding the same causing a rift between them. The consequences of such a distance are profound; Families fail to build strong relationships or keep them as they would have.

Source of Online Conflicts

Social media networks operate opposite of our expectations. One may reason that city dweller with hundreds of people if not thousands living closely by may spend less time on social media. But, the reality is that they use social media communication than those residing in the rural areas. The main reasons people in urban areas give for using Facebook and other social media tools are to keep an eye on their partners and keep in touch with others. Keeping tabs on a partner can cause more problems and suffering depending on the information discovered and how it is understood. Studies show that most conflicts by Twitter users are Twitter-related and are associated with increased breakups, infidelity, and divorce. Even though its effects are numerous, the use social media communication plays a significant role in passionate relationships and should be applied conscientiously.

Social Media and the associated Psychological Disorder

Teenagers who have a significant influence on Facebook show most signs of psychological disorders, depression, anxiety and anti-social behaviors and this cause them to react to specific minor issues in case any disagreement with their parents arise. They then stop interacting with their parents or to share their daily activities in school and always causing misunderstanding whenever one party doesn’t express his or her explanation. Over the past few years, many teen fatalities have been as a result of social media communication. Teens take the information they come across online very seriously including negative comments about themselves and their loved ones making them experience mental and psychological disorders.

Cyberbullying Challenges

Cyberbullying is another problem associated with social media communication. The menace occurs in various forms including, distributing or posting depressing, false and harmful contents about another person with the intention of causing shame or humiliation. Cyberbullying is common in social media such as Twitter, snap chat, Facebook, and Instagram. The immediacy availed by social media is available to both friends and strangers. Any comments posted on social media both harmful and personal becomes some records that can be viewed publicly by schools and employers whom may be in need of information about the person for better opportunities (Burke & Kraut (2014). Cyberbullying destroys such online reputations permanently making it difficult to deal with the problem. Again the problem cannot easily be noticed by parents and teachers. Since schools and parents cannot do much about it affected teens usually suffer significant consequences such as; decreased academic performance and withdrawal from activities they used to participate in.

Given the above factors, different strategies can be used to exploit the full benefits of social media communication to strengthen our relationships with friends and family members.

Reducing time spent on social media networks significantly helps in building good relationships with the family members and friends since it will allow us to allocate most of our time to be with them rather than enslaving ourselves to the media platforms .in case where we primarily use social networks for business, it is appropriate to ensure we are getting returns on our time venture and avoid getting lured to our online accounts for latest updates. Parents should also regulate the time their children spend online. By doing this, they get time to engage one on one basis and talk about daily life issues such as how their day was, how the kids are faring in school and any problems they may have. Teenagers are the most vulnerable community members to cyberbullying and internet addiction, so by regulating the time they spend on social media; their chances of experiencing such life-threatening acts are reduced significantly (Guerrero et al. (2017).

Scrutinize your emotions and reactions. This helps in determining when we should be around media devices and when to recoil from them whenever we feel irritated, flustered or angry and we don’t understand why. To devour from the situation, we should take a walk or get engaged with other activities offline enabling us to get a standpoint of our emotions as well as reactions.

There must be a balance between the time spent online and offline. To develop a healthy friendship and relationship with other community members, face to face connections are crucial. Through Face to face communication, one can judge how interested the other party is on the topic they are talking about by interpreting their body language. The same is never the case with other forms of communication, and for that reason, friends and family members should be encouraged to use face to face communication to know how to relate to their loved one better.

Honesty is essential to those who are dating, if one finds something online about their partner, they should talk about it together. For instance, when the relationship is exclusive, but partners are found to be actively and repeatedly taking to their previous partners on Facebook or any others site, they should talk directly and tolerantly as soon as the information is discovered so that the feeling of being betrayed do not develop into a rage.

Research Questions

How does social media message affects friendships and relationships and friendships between families and partners?

Research Methods

From the survey that was conducted answering the question “how social media affect millennial relationships,” a sample of 50 respondents was used for this research. Below is a statistical summary of the survey.

Ownership of Social Media Accounts Findings and Discussions

Fig 1

From the survey that was conducted the respondents who indicated that they own a social media account were 85.6 %(n=41) while 14.6%(n=7) indicated that they do not own any account.

Fig 2

The above graph indicates the age at which respondents were exposed to social media. It is clear that most of the respondents 65.9 %( n=27) were exposed to social media when they were of around age 12-15 years.


















Table 1



Upload photos




Share my opinion


Get informed (news, friends' updates)


Make new friends


Share my opinion


Table 2

Table 1 and table 2 indicates the different platforms used and the reason for using the stated platform respectively. It is clear that most of the respondent use Facebook and the major reasons for the use of the stated platforms is to upload photos and communication.

Below is a graph showing the primary sources of communication used by the different respondents that took part in the survey.


Fig 3

Fig 4

From the graph above it is true to say that majority of the respondents 87.2 %(n=25) use their social media platforms daily. Respondents who use their platforms 4-6 weeks were only 10.3 %(n=4) and those who least use the social media platforms were only 2.6%(n=1).


Below is a chart and a graph showing the relationship between chats and the impact it has on friends/colleagues. More than three quarters of the individuals (78%,n=39) indicated that they have been in a group chat as compared to the remaining 22%(n=11) who have never been in a group chat. Of the respondents that have been in a group chat, most of them (77.7%,n=33) indicated that the chat had a positive impact on friends/colleagues. Only 3.7 %(n=1) experienced a negative impact and 14.6%(n=5) indicated they experienced neither a positive nor a negative impact of a group chat on friends/colleagues

Fig 5

Fig 6


Below is a graph indicating the belief “if social media allows people to communicate more (in terms of quantity) with friends compared to any other type of communication? (I.e. phone call, post, face to face etc.)”. Clearly most of the respondents (87.%,n=34) indicated that social media is their major means of communication. Only 3.7%(n=1) stated otherwise.

Fig 7


Table 3 below is an indication of how different respondents share different information through social media platforms. It clear enough that most individuals are likely to share DAILY UPDATES (79.4%,n=18). It is also clear that more than half of the respondents (66.7%,n=14) would share information on things that their friends did and themselves did not like. A percentage of 47.2 %(n=13) is unlikely to share their personal information.


























Table 3


Fig 8

The chart above displays how different respondents feel while communicating with their friends through social media platforms. Majority of the respondents (74%,n=20) feel a more connected to their friends through online communication. Only 26%(n=7) respondents stated that they do not feel connected to their friends through online communication. From this it True to say that most individuals feel connected to their friends through online communication.


Fig 9

It is evident that social media has had a constructive influence on friendship. This is displayed by high percentage of 79.5%. Only a few respondents (5.1%) disagree. The rest are undecided whether there has been positive impact or not.

The chart below displays the relationship that exists between social media and making friend=ship with strangers. Clearly more than half of the respondents (64%,n=25) stated that social media has enhanced relationship with strangers and eventually ended up becoming friends.

About 36%(n=14) stated otherwise.

Fig 10


The respondents that were in a relationship 59.2%(n=16) indicated that their relationship has been sustained through social media. Only 14.8%(n=4) stated that they were unable to sustain their relationship through social media.


The respondents who took part in this survey 69.2 %(n=27) communicate with their family members via social media platforms. The rest (30.8% n=12) use other means to communicate with their family members. From the bar graph above majority of the respondents (74.4%,n=19) felt that social media has brought them closer to their family members. Only 10.3 %(n=4) felt otherwise while rest(15.3%,n=6) were undecided.

Besides social media having numerous merits there has been demerits too as indicated by the high percentage of conflicts that arise from online communication. This is shown by the 82.1 %(n=32).

Conclusion of the Study

From the above study, it can be noted that social media has profound impacts on the relationship and friendship among the partners and friends since it serves as the medium through which communication between partners and among families can be carried out. Some of these impacts as discussed above include, the enabling of a continued caring for each other through Skype and other social networking sites hence strengthening family’s relationship ties through sharing their locations, photos, and videos on online media platforms and platforms such as Facebook help in the practice of relationship maintenance techniques by allowing couples to communicate efficiently.

However, there exist several negative influences due to the use of social media such as source of disagreement among couples, loss of the face-t-face conversation between family members and cyberbullying which is another problem associated with social media communication. The menace occurs in various forms including, distributing or posting depressing, false and harmful contents about another person with the intention of causing shame or humiliation.

Work Cited

Sponcil, M., & Gitimu, P. (2013). Use of social media by college students: Relationship to communication and self-concept. Journal of Technology Research, 4, 1.

Burke, M., & Kraut, R. E. (2014, April). Growing closer on facebook: changes in tie strength through social network site use. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 4187-4196). ACM.

Galvin, K. M., Braithwaite, D. O., & Bylund, C. L. (2015). Family Communication: Cohesion and Change (Subscription). Routledge.

Wood, J. T. (2015). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. Nelson Education.

Guerrero, L. K., Andersen, P. A., & Afifi, W. A. (2017). Close encounters: Communication in relationships. Sage Publications.

Parks, M. R. (2017). Personal relationships and personal networks. Routledge.

Palmer, A. D., Newsom, J. T., & Rook, K. S. (2016). How does difficulty communicating affect the social relationships of older adults? An exploration using data from a national survey. Journal of communication disorders, 62, 131-146.

May 17, 2023
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