Monday, September 1, 2014

Social media is harming our relationships

Technology has influenced the way individuals communicate, often times leading to isolation and depression

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have taken the world by storm. Social networks have not only connected the world in ways never thought possible, but they have also divided friends.

Hyper-social — Today’s generation stays constantly connected via interactive sites. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Hyper-social — Today’s generation stays constantly connected via interactive sites. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

No doubt social networks have done great things, and I have seen firsthand how these amazing feats of technology have transformed lives. Social media has shaped society in ways that we could never have imagined 15 years ago.

I have often said to others that anything can be misused. The Bible, the infallible word of God, was misused by Satan to tempt Jesus to stumble. Facebook is no exception.

According to Brian Jung of the Houston Chronicle, many have found Facebook to be a place of bullying.

“The immediacy provided by social media is available to predators as well as friends,” Jung said. “Kids especially are vulnerable to the practice of cyberbullying in which the perpetrators, anonymously or even posing as people their victims trust, terrorize individuals in front of their peers. The devastation of these online attacks can leave deep mental scars.”

Throughout the news, we see perpetual cases of young teens being bullied and verbally assaulted on Facebook.

Or take the opposite extreme, where a teenage girl commits suicide. According to Michael Walsh of New York Daily News, this was the case of 17-year-old Aishwarya Dahiwal.

“An Indian college student reportedly hanged herself … after her parents forbid her from using Facebook,” Walsh wrote. “The dead body of Aishwarya S. Dahiwal, 17, of Parbhani in West India, was found in her bedroom the next morning with a suicide note, India Real Time reported.”

Her note read, “Is Facebook so bad? I cannot stay in a home with such restrictions as I can’t live without Facebook.”

Facebook has contributed much to our society, opening opportunities of communication that were otherwise impossible, but more and more people are finding that the costs of having a Facebook profile are surprisingly expensive.

My solution to this seemingly endless epidemic? Do not delete your profile or throw technology out the window. Like my parents said as I grew up, everything in moderation. Balance out those Facebook rants that you think people read and grow some solid relationships with people around you.

Technology is an ever-expanding journey of human invention, discovering how far we can explore into the complexities of our own biology and the depths of our universe. Yet let us remember that, along with technologies like social media, we must remember who we are: Humans created by God with a desire to grow and nurture deep and meaningful relationships.

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