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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Social media changes the game of dating and relationships

Nowadays, social media use has become a common practice among young adults.

In fact, according to a Pew Research poll, 92 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 use social networking sites.

However, studies from publications such as Psychology Today are showing that although sites like Facebook and Twitter appear to be increasing communication, there are actually dangers associated with this increased use.

Couples compete for face-to-face time with technology. EZRA MARGONO/THE STATESMAN
Couples compete for face-to-face time with technology. EZRA MARGONO/THE STATESMAN

The danger most people are concerned about involves the relationship and personal issues that are developing due to the decrease in face-to-face interaction.

According to Psychology Today, interactions online are completely different than the interactions one would have if he or she were physically with another person. It creates a sense of social isolation and there can be vast incidents of miscommunication.

In terms of relationships, many are not afraid to confront their significant other using text messages because they will not have to see the other person’s reaction.

This “emotional invisibility,” as Psychology Today refers to it as, can result in miscommunication and more confrontation due to the fact many people misconstrue what is transmitted through messaging.

Ultimately, it is nearly impossible to show genuine empathy and sensitivity through a text message.

Dr. Craig Malkin, a clinical psychologist, wrote an article for “The Huffington Post” claiming  social networking increases our fear of intimacy because it is being used as a substitute for actual communication.

It is stretching beyond social networking to other technological devices such as video games and distracting websites such as Reddit or Youtube.

People are not seeing the point of going out and talking with their friends when they can just be sitting at home, allowed to escape from the world.

Eventually, people become uncomfortable with the idea of face-to-face interaction because they become so used to not having consequences regarding their behavior.

However, some people believe that messaging really does not harm relationships whatsoever.

In fact, a Pew Research poll recently showed that 80 percent of Internet users participate in voluntary organizations, compared with 56 percent of non-Internet users.

Some believe this debunks the argument that those who use social media are more reluctant to leave their homes and interact with people out in the “real world.”

In 2010, Pew researchers reviewed an SNS survey whose results showed that the average users of social networking sites are the ones less isolated in society and more politically aware, and sites such as Facebook provide people with the opportunity to reconnect with lost acquaintances and reignite a relationship.

The effect that technology has on relationships is clearly mixed.

Nevertheless, what all experts seem to agree on is that everything in moderation is a positive thing.

Social media and other technology will only be the downfall of those who let it control their lives.

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