Human Relationships and Social Network – By Valentina Coppola

In today’s world, the access to the Internet is really easy where we don’t really need to be in front of a computer to go on a virtual adventure. If we are out, we still have a numerous list of options to choose from so we can surf the Internet. Tablets, smartphones, iPhones are just a few examples. We certainly spend a lot of our time online. Almost everyone I know is in the social network, like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and much more, in every part of the world. You feel like there isn’t a moment of the day that people don’t use this new way to communicate.

Being in the social network is a useful way to keep in touch with people who live aboard, it helps you gain fast connection with family and friends, and it helps you build up your social skills without having to leave your comfy sofa. It’s also a good way to communicate for business and work related matters. With every day passing by, you can hear of new improvements in the technological world, which allows users from around the globe to share and transmit important information. It’s so instant to reach a friend that you feel like you’re in the same room while in reality you may be oceans apart!

While these aspects are positive for us in our private lives and in business, we also need to be aware of the downsides… at least as far as our social relationships go. Social networks are changing our interpersonal relationships and the expression of feelings….How?

Facebook, the most popular social networking in the world, connects people who have lost their contacts long before and it helps build new friendships. With just a click of a button and you can be in contact with everybody you want. When you sign in, you’ll find that you have an infinite number of friends, but how many of them are “real” friends? How many of them have we spent time with? Needless to say, many of us can’t live without it even if we know deep down inside that many of these so called friends are mere acquaintances. We feel the urge to share thoughts, events, and pictures of our artistically garnished restaurant plate whenever we go on an outing. It’s like a “window to the world”.

I find that the biggest mistake we make is how easily we confuse digital intimacy for true intimacy. This virtual world makes us feel like we’re free to express our feelings; positive or negative. While it tends to bring people together, it also separates people with computer screens. We surely run the risk of alienating the “real” people who are with us on a daily basis in pursuit of intimacy with our virtual friends. The Internet offers the possibility to create a new identity (with false information) or to shed the light on certain aspects of yourself while hiding others making you partially share who you really are.

Another negative thing about regularly being in the social network is that it can create problems between couples. Jealousy and the obsessive need to control your partner’s virtual world undermine his/her privacy. Couples don’t spend as much time together as they used to before this technological invasion. I remember when men were seen enjoying the moment with the love of their lives while their women felt deliciously lost in their gazes. This was before Candy Crush and Royal Revolt 2 became more important than our significant other. The other day I was surprised to hear a woman complaining on a talk show about how her soulmate (supposedly) is “unreasonably” annoyed bacause she is playing on her phone after a long day at work. The saddest part was how astonished she looked for his inability to understand her so-called needs.

Moreover, it can also be dangerous for young people who use the social network to change their real ages and chat with older strangers whom in most cases don’t have good intentions. They seem to take the ugly truth that this world is filled with predators very lightly.

I can understand that some people may feel lonely and insecure, so virtual reality becomes the best way to try to create a relationship with others where face to face human contact doesn’t exist. Writing is so easy… nobody can see them which gives them a false feeling of freedom. One, two, three and more hours (sometimes the whole day) is spent in front a screen making them feel happy. However, when they turn off the laptop, they feel more lonely and isolated than ever. False instant gratification… That’s what is!

Whether social network has a positive or negative effect on people depends on the way it is used. Internet addiction creates unhappiness, dissatisfaction and loneliness. Being “social” in the social network is profoundly different from how it is in real life. It’s important to be careful.

Don’t be a “Facebook addict.” In order for you to be blessed with a rich and meaningful life, you’ll need to be hugged, talked to face to face, and taken by the hand. Look around you… your genuine source of joy might have been there all along J


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