Social Reasons Part 2: The Perceived Negatives?
Social media also aids relationships by maintaining memories through permanence. Online posts are typically time stamped and saved onto servers indefinitely. Obviously, negative memories or moments are captured in time as well. This permanence could of course damage relationships. A few issues include the following:
- Posting pictures of yourself or someone else that could cause someone to lose a job.
- Having a private conversation on a public space. Oops.
- Quickly responding to someone in a fit of rage.
- Photos with exes stirring revolting feelings.
Some studies have shown that Facebook “users can manipulate profile information to create an online identity different from their actual identity.” But this is something we already do offline. We have public and private identities for home, school, work, friends and more. This is called identity management1 and it happens regardless of having an internet connection.
Social media won’t change personality. Though I think it enhances it. If a person becomes jealous easily and sees his or her significant other “checking-in” with others on Facebook, then yes, it might enhance jealousy, but I don’t see it creating new personality traits. As Josh Rose said, “The Internet doesn’t steal our humanity, it reflects it.”
Stupid people will be stupid online, angry people will be angry. Friends will share memories. New romances will form and break. Debaters will debate and activists will- sit in their chairs and share graphics, or sometimes schedule real events.
1 Looking Out Looking In (2011)