Posted by: Dana Nicholson | April 11, 2011

Social Media: The Love/Hate Relationship

How many of us have ever reconnected with someone from our past thanks to Facebook?  How many of us have ever learned something new because of Twitter?  How many of us have ever had a post blow up in our faces because we didn’t think it all the way through? Chances are we all have done at least one of these things that somehow affected our lives.  We all have seen “The Social Network” and we know that Facebook was designed to connect people.  The social media phenomenon has changed the way people create and maintain relationships with others, as well as businesses and products.  It has created a much easier way to spread information to the masses, which one would think would be a good thing.  Most of the time it is, but there are the cases when social media is used for evil, not good.

Sites like Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter make it much easier for kids to become victims of bullying.  The new trend “cyber bullying” makes it easier for children to receive hurtful messages while in their own home, in which case comments can be even harsher since there is no face-to-face contact.  “Facebook depression” occurs when children spend too much time on social media sites and show classic signs of depression.  Also, the concept of “sexting” in which a message with sexual implications is sent electronically has become much more prevalent.  It has become much easier for sexual predators to find their way into our homes through digital avenues using social media.

When I Googled "social media effects" this image came up.

On a more grown-up scale, improper social media use can lead to professional suicide.  There have been many instances where jobs have been lost over a status update, blog post, or a tweet.  Tweeting about how much you hate your job is probably not the best idea when you are CEO of your company.  In the case of college students, we are well aware that potential employers dig into our backgrounds, which include all our social media uses.  They can see things that are private, and even see things that we have deleted off our pages.  With such a competitive workforce that we are about to enter it is important that we realize that what we post is accessible to the whole world, which could either work in our favor or not.

All in all, social media is a part of our daily lives, and many of us would call ourselves “addicted” to our outlet of choice.  It has broadened our networks, technical skills, and communication skills.  Social media has changed the journalism and communication fields and has brought people together that may never have met before.  I think some people forget one of the key words in social media is the word “social”.  Yes it can be used professionally, but it was originally created as a social tool.  As long as we can find the happy medium between the good and the bad effects of social media, then we should have the perfect relationship with it.  Sometimes we love it, sometimes we hate it, but either way it is here to stay.


  1. I think some really good points were brought up about how children’s lives as well as adults lives are changed by social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. I had never heard of depression from Facebook, it would be interesting to hear more about it. I think it is also interesting to look at movies and TV shows in general and see how much social media is playing into those. I think it’s interesting that social media still hasn’t made the jump into popular TV dramas. It’s such a big part of everyone’s lives one would think it would be in the shows we all watch as well. That would be something else interesting to look into.

  2. I really like this post because everything you said is so true! I think cyber bullying is a really interesting concept because it happens for the same reason that we get all of the benefits of social media. It’s so much easier to communicate online and reconnect with each other on Facebook, but then it’s so much easier to go out of your way to put someone else down. It’s easier to make someone feel excluded with photo albums, statuses, quizzes, or whatever. I remember in high school my friends would tell me about all of the latest “Myspace drama” going on. It’s just a whole other dimension that teens have to deal with as part of high school now.

    Also, finding the perfect relationship is definitely key with social media! For me, it has taken a while, but I think I know how to use social media pretty well. Slowly but surely, I learned what is alright to put up on Facebook and how to find people who are interested in the same things as me on Twitter. I use them both professionally, and that’s where I’m most addicted to my social media networks! It’s crazy how useful Facebook and Twitter really can be, but only if you use them correctly. Anyway, great blog post! It really got me thinking!

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