The Internet and social networks have changed our way of relating both positively and negatively. One of the most important and basic human needs for well-being is to be able to have contact with another person, to relate to others and thus feel that we belong to a group.
What we need to be very clear about is that the way we communicate has changed significantly. We could say that the two most outstanding characteristics in today’s social interaction are immediacy and accessibility. Due to the Internet and instant messaging applications we have gained a very valuable element for our day-to-day life, time. Thanks to the Internet, communication has become easy, simple and direct.
Next, we will see the main positive and negative points generated by social networks in how we relate to others:
Advantages and disadvantages of social networks
The arrival of the Internet in our lives has meant a brutal change in many facets of our daily lives. In how we shop, in our studies, in our leisure time, in how we inform ourselves, but also in the way we relate to others.
Although even today interrelations between people are still more valued in their face-to-face aspect, online relationships are affecting the links we establish with other people let’s see the good and bad that this type of relationship offers.
On the positive
These are the main advantages of social networks.
1. Establishing new relationships
It is frequent that shame and shyness, lack of time, or even laziness that gives the initial effort to start a new social relationship, are some of the reasons that can lead us to track down and find other like-minded people through social networks. You can get an excellent connection with another person, and the usual will be this virtual relationship will become a face-to-face , is passed from 2.0 to 1.0.
2. Maintain contact with existing relationships
Today, thanks to social networks, we can keep up with what friends, family and acquaintances are doing. It is a simple and very easy way to know about others and to share our moments with others through social networks.
3. Finding friends again
Through the search engines that facilitate social networks we can recover some old friendships that one day could be lost along the way of life .
We would be able to say then that today the tools provided by the Internet (social networks, e-mail, chats and all applications) have managed to promote and consolidate the interrelationships of people:
- The ones that already existed.
- The ones that just started.
- The future ones.
In the negative
Among the disadvantages of social networks we find the following.
1. Can isolate us
The paradox is that social networks allow us to communicate at any time of day with anyone, even if they are far away from us, but on the other hand they can also isolate us from the person next to us. It brings you closer to the one who is far away, and distances you from the one who is near .
Therefore, we do not recommend using social networks in situations where we should be interacting with the people next to us.
2. We get cheated
We have to keep in mind that you can find profiles of people who are fake and/or lying.
3. Facilitates the cowardice of bad people
Occasionally you may find that there are anonymous profiles where bad people hide to insult, criticize, belittle and humiliate. These toxic people express and spread their envy and frustration. They do not empathize, ignoring the damage they can do . It is true that social networks can facilitate this type of behaviour because they feel protected, something that they would not do in the face of others.
4. Facilitates unhealthy self-esteem
As we well know in psychology on the subject of self-esteem the most vulnerable are adolescents, social networks can promote the erroneous idea that depending on the number of followers and “I like it” I should feel more or less valued.
They encourage too much impulsiveness and therefore too little patience in the face of uncertainty.
6. Lack of caution
You can more easily say what you wouldn’t do in person. In addition, there is the disadvantage of the lack of nuance of non-verbal language .
7. They are addictive
Because of their attractiveness and speed they can become addictive.
8. They facilitate intimidation and harassment
Toxic, aggressive, jealous, bad people can ultimately harass and harm more easily thanks to anonymity .
As we have seen throughout this article, not everything is bad. The positive side of new technologies would be how they can help us solve problems and find people , for example.
I therefore recommend that you don’t avoid social networks, as you might stop benefiting from the feedback and support you receive from sharing publications online. On the other hand, remember, if you are a parent, that according to the American Psychological Association, when parents behave as if they fear the Internet and social networks, they can convey to children the message that the world is a place to be feared.