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The first premise asserts that social media and technology creates a barrier between individuals. Individuals must form a connection or a bond in order to form a relationship over time. There are also relationships, such as between family members that form throughout time through time spent with one another. Technology and social media does not support these types of relationships. Instead, it creates barriers and hinders these relationships whether existing or newly formed. As Dr. Michael Stadter states in his book, Psychoanalysis Online, technology is a presence that can alter subjective and intersubjective space in a variety of ways and can be a third object between relationships and people”.
Individuals are often more concerned with their phones and their social media, than they are about other individuals. Dr. Michael Stadter goes on in his book to discuss how his patients have spoken about feeling a sense of freedom to open up once they place their smart phone down and are able to truly connect and release their feelings without having to be correct or portray the best image.
If an individual is not free to be his or herself without inhibitions and barriers, they cannot truly form interpersonal relationships. The second premise asserts that the absence of face to face interaction hinders communication. A study was conducted and the results were as follows, “the frequency of back and-forth conversations on Facebook was correlated with lower agreeableness” (Ivcevic & Ambady, 2013). The more back and forth conversations on social media showed that individuals are more willing to disagree online, rather than have positive agreeable conversations, as individuals do in person.
Rather than reaching agreements, and discovering constructive negotiations, individuals are more likely to stick to their opinions on social media.
They are therefore unable to communicate effectively, and ultimately unable to build constructive beneficial relationships. Face to face interactions serve various purposes, which include building bonds, reading body language, seeing facial expressions, and getting to know another individual. The lack thereof, therefor inhibits and hinders communication. The third premise asserts that technology distracts and blinds individuals from effective communication. “Upon a discussion with another professional/client/co-worker, the art of listening assists to avoid misinformation, provide clarity for tasks, and engender a positive connection with the person to whom one is speaking” (Holt, n.d.). With so many distractions on social media, and computer devices, whether it be advertisements, news stories, e-mails, notifications, or games, an individual is unable to listen and communicate completely.
With attention shared among so many areas, one is unable to give their full attention to any one individual. Without the ability of making a personal connection, free of distraction, effective communication cannot be achieved. Social media is full of notifications and friend requests and event notifications. With the ever changing world and the rapid pace of technology, it is difficult to achieve interpersonal relationships and effective communication. Social media and technology create a barrier between individuals and allow the people to use filters and political correctness as well as internet memes and social groups to support their opinions and egos. The absence of face to face interaction hinders communication because of the absence of true interaction, body language, facial expressions, and active listening skills. Technology distracts and blinds individuals from effective communication with the never ending stream of many things occurring and popping up all at the same time. Therefore, it is indeed evident that social media hinders interpersonal relationships.
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