3 ways in which social networks destroy our relationships.
A reflection on social networks and the happiness we are leaving by the wayside.
Social networks are a reality and have changed the way we communicate with each other. Not only do we pay a great deal of attention to our presence on these networks, but we also delegate to them the channel of communication with friends we don't see often.
Social networks have also changed the travel experience. It is no longer just the incipient (and annoying) presence of selfie sticks alone. The experience of traveling, always associated with seeing monuments, cultures and cities with one's own eyes seems to be obsolete: many tourists are now limited to seeing reality through smartphone screens.. Immortalizing the moment through a gadget seems to be more important than discovering it for yourself, with the senses with which Mother Nature has endowed us. It's travel 2.0, and I'm not talking about walking down Google Street.
Life behind a screen
It's a real shame and many psychologists warn that living life through constant exposure to social networks can lead to quite a few problems in terms of the way we relate to other people. And not only because of the obvious difficulty of engaging in conversations and "friendships" through the networks, but also because of self-esteem problems. but also because of the self-esteem problems associated with this dependence on the cell phone.. A dependency that, by the way, is called nomophobia.
We spend more time thinking about how other people perceive us than living our own adventures and experiences. All day long, we are always looking to check if we have new notifications on social networks, instead of doing activities that we enjoy and that allow us to meet other people with whom we can be fulfilled in real life. We need to feel connected with other people, because it is one of the necessary elements to feel happy, be healthy and live longer, but... are we doing it right?
The 3 ways in which social networks destroy our relationships
We need to regain the ability to relate to each other without the need for a screen. Social networks can help us keep in touch with friends who live far away, but it should only be that: a support.
Let's review some of the ways in which new technologies and social networks can undermine the quality of our personal relationships in real life... and some tips to improve the situation.
1. Do you feel like you're missing something? The FOMO syndrome
What is it that really attracts us to social networks? Sharing moments. In the form of a photo, video, status, joke... but sharing moments with others. But although this sounds very nice, the truth is that many people live so dependent on social networks that they end up missing those unique moments, in the eagerness to take a picture or to explain it to their contacts.
We are denying ourselves the possibility of experiencing happiness and special moments just because of the narcissistic need to show the public how happy we are or what an interesting life we have. or what an interesting life we have. In addition, we live subject to positive reinforcement, in the form of likes and comments, which exacerbates the problem.
This is one of the problems, but it is not the only one. In fact, there is already talk of the existence of the FOMO syndrome, whose sufferers have the bad feeling of "missing out on something". It is a situation of permanent anguish, which prevents us from enjoying day-to-day life and personal relationships in the flesh.
More about FOMO syndrome: "FOMO syndrome: feeling that other people's lives are more interesting".
2. Addiction and self-absorption: Nomophobia
There is a fine line between pleasure and addictive behavior. When we start using social networks, unconsciously, we may use them as a form of addiction, we may use it as a way to get validation from our contacts.This can cause us to enter into a negative dynamic.
The brain regions that regulate the sensation of pleasure reward us positively in the face of novelty, and it goes without saying that social networks bombard us with thousands of purely topical news: new posts, new images, new news, with every passing second.
It is ironic that a tool that has been designed to connect us with other people makes us feel isolated and obsessed with by the image we are offering. Addiction to social networks also goes hand in hand with anxiety and, in severe cases, depressive symptoms.
When we spend a few days of vacation at the beach, our main motivation should be to enjoy those moments of relaxation, and not to be aware of the source of pleasure generated by social networks through the photos and comments we post.
3. Social networks and happy social relationships: can they coexist?
Recent research has shown that the mere presence of a smartphone in the context of a conversation between two people (face-to-face) interferes with the feeling of intimacy, connection and the quality of the relationship.connection and the quality of communication. Almost nothing.
We are social beings and we need to be in contact with other people. When we interact with someone in real life, we understand their emotions and feelings and exchange other information beyond the strictly verbal. If technological devices get our conversations, we are likely to become desensitized and our ability to empathize with other people, little by little, dwindles, and thus our ability to genuinely connect with others. Although social networks were intended to connect us with one another, they may be taking us away from perceiving the needs and thoughts of the people close to us, and this jeopardizes the quality of communication and, ultimately, social and family relationships.
Social networks and happiness
Actually, we should try to make a very simple reflection: does being permanently connected to social networks make us live magical moments? Your answer will probably be no. We must learn to live in the moment without the intermediation of public exposure. Let us not make of our life a kind of Truman Show.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)