Ever since social media sites came into vogue, there have been numerous arguments, pro and con, about how these sites are the cause of the breakdown of relationships, and Facebook has been named as the number one perpetrator.
As a Facebook newbie, it’s much too soon for me to evaluate the issue but it’s not too soon to give my overall first impressions based on the things I’ve seen.
There’s no question in my mind that Facebook does attract the lonely, the introverts, the shy ones, the people pleasers who are afraid to say what they think for fear of being judged, and the people who have so much anger that it spills over into their posts.
I have watched some people get so immersed in their Facebook relationships that they take the place of real life relationships. Some of these people are so caught up in this virtual reality that their gratitude for the Likes they receive are out of proportion to how they would act with real life friends in face-to-face encounters.
If you have an addictive personality, the overuse of Facebook can definitely lend itself to the breakdown of a relationship in much the same way that any addiction can contribute to it. It can’t cause a person to become an addict but it can make the addiction very difficult to control in much the same way that gambling does.
As in most things in life, balance is the key. For people who are bedridden and who have no family or friends, this site can be a powerful connection to the outside world and a positive force in their lives. It can be the difference between giving up, being depressed, and disconnected from humanity; it can be their salvation.
But, for people who do have the means to leave the house and engage in social interactions, it’s a poor substitute for relationships in the real world.
If your mental and emotional energies are being expended on your virtual friends, that doesn’t leave much for the people in your life. It can also be so very much easier to live in a virtual world where you have control over the delete key than to live in the real world where there are no filters between what you say and what you wish you hadn’t said.
My impression of Facebook so far is that if you can balance your real life with your virtual life, it can be a positive experience.