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How Social Media Sites Affect Family Communication

We live in an age of digital information. The rise of social media websites have literally changed the world, all the way from the professional to personal level (what business or teenager doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter?). However, these sites affect families in both good and bad ways. Below, there are some pros and cons to the social media boom, explaining how they affect the average family communication.

On one hand, social media sites are a great way to stay connected with family members you may not live close to. Messaging and profile sites allow you to stay updated on your loved one’s lives, especially when you live states away. Social media sites allow you to be there (just not physically) when your niece or nephew are born, or enjoy the beautiful view of your sibling’s vacation when they travel to France for the summer. These types of sites also help you keep a steady stream of communication with your family in times of crisis (injuries, illness, etc.). It helps you keep your family close.

On the other end of the spectrum, social media sites have a way of making communication with people in your day-to-day life impersonal. “Text me later.” “Message me online.” How many times have you said this to a family member because you didn’t feel like actually standing there and talking to them; you think you’re killing two birds with one stone, but in fact, you’re creating a unnecessary space and deteriorating the value of face-to-face conversations. It tends to make things feel incredibly impersonal.

Privacy is also a double-edged sword of the social media empire. While there are some things that you may want to be in the public eye, whether it be for support on a personal issue or business venture, but there are some you do not. Social media networks are a battleground of family feuds, ranging all the way from kids complaining about their parents’ rules to siblings arguing ideologies and opinions on why abortion is or isn’t bad. It takes less than two minutes for the entire world to know what’s going on in your household now, which can be scary.

Social media sites affect family communication in both good and bad ways. In the end, it usually boils down to the basic principle that too much of anything is bad for you