Natasha Koifman, President of NKPR, wrote this article published by Huffington Post Canada, where she stated all of the reasons she thought that social media had a positive impact on our personal relationships. She argues that one third of all marrying couples have met each other online and that “we no linger rely on friend’s introductions or blind dates”. She goes on to talk about how social media sites like LinkedIn helps individuals build a professional network and can help you improve your career. She believes Twitter is the best way to reach out to a company for customer service and she said that Tinder allows for a, “no-strings-attached flirting experience.” Koifman expresses that the bottom line of social media is that it’s a form of expression and influences how we share our personalities.
I think that Koifman proposed some very good arguments as to why social media is helpful to an individual to connect with others. But at what cost? How strong are relationships that you may develop online? Social media allows people to express themselves but it can skew the way someone sees them. You can edit and crop and use privacy settings to almost live a double, or even a triple life if you wanted to. I’m not saying everyone uses social media dishonestly, but with things like a ‘Finsta’ on the rise, who’s to say that something like that isn’t a good expression of personality or just a place for someone to air out dirty laundry and, in some cases, cyberbullying? Sure social media is good to stay connected in theory, but is the slight deterioration of face-to-face interaction taking a toll on how we view reality and connection?
There’s a lot of questions you can ask about just how much social media may be affecting interpersonal communication. But I believe it is such a new phenomena, that we wont know of any negative affects until they have already become omnipresent. Not to have a pessimistic view, but we probably wont miss any of the ‘old ways’ of communicating once we become so saturated with digital social media intake.