Effects of social media still unknown

The world is more interconnected now than ever before. With the invention of the Internet, ideas and communication can travel from one side of the world to the other in seconds.

The advent of the Internet has had both positive and adverse effects on friendships and relationships because of the introduction of social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Our generation is one that now relies on social networking and texting as primary forms of communication, differing significantly from previous generations.

Editorial Board

Andrew Krietz
Katie Harrington
Alex McClung opinion Write
Samantha Radecki staff representative
Omari Sankofa II minority representative
Michael Koury staff writer

Last week, an article in The State News chronicled the many effects social networking can have on relationships, both positive and negative. Researchers still are studying the effects of making one’s personal life so public, but many have concluded that the increased time a student spends on social networking websites can have a detrimental effect on one’s study habits and performance in school.

Many students effectively waste time monitoring the actions of their friends inside and outside of the classroom rather than being actively involved in class conversations or finishing homework assignments.

Although conclusive research still is being conducted on how it affects relationships and friendships, most couples and friends can offer personal experiences about how it has helped or hurt them.

In many long-distance relationships, social media websites have been beneficial to couples because it allows them to communicate frequently despite their physical distance.

Many MSU students are involved in long-distance relationships. Programs such as Skype and ooVoo allow these couples to video chat each other at no cost. This can help keep couples close to each other and in constant communication even though they are not near each other.

But social media also can act as a catalyst in deteriorating relationships. Social networking websites allow users to constantly monitor the actions of their friends and significant others. Trivial arguments between couples can arise because of things posted on these types of websites, such as pictures and status updates.

It also is possible for friends to get into arguments because of things said on Facebook or Twitter. Often, people will get caught in lies because what they posted on a social networking website differs from what they have told friends. Although such arguments seem petty, they happen constantly and can negatively affect relationships and friendships.

But social media still is new, and it is difficult to tell whether or not it will continue to grow or decrease in popularity in the coming years. This generation still is adapting to the benefits and disadvantages that social media cause, and whether the pros will outweigh the cons is something that will be determined with time.

Ultimately, social media websites are a new norm in communication for the entire world. Whether they have a positive or negative effect on relationships or friendships depends on the person or pair.

These types of websites can be viewed as a double-edged sword; users are able to monitor the actions of others and find out more about the people they’re friends with, but in order to do so, most users have to forfeit their own privacy.

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