How Facebook Effects Relationships

Topics: Facebook, Interpersonal relationship, Criticism of Facebook Pages: 5 (1679 words) Published: December 11, 2010

Facebook is a popular web page where anybody can create a free account, similar to an email address. The site allows anybody to add friends, post pictures, and let all their friends know what their doing on an hourly basis. At the beginning, the page appeared to be a great way to keep in touch with people who lived two minutes to two hours to two thousand miles away. The site allows all who have accounts to add friends, some who are suggested by the page itself, and keep in touch through quick, easy Internet access. But is the web site actually helping or hurting the relationships we form everyday? There are many benefits to Facebook. Facebook is the quick, easy way to keep up to date with events that happen every day. Once a person creates an account, they can add their friends and therefore look at the page that is created by that person and see their posts. When a person “posts” something it means that they are writing anything they want for all their friends to see, from song lyrics, to what their plans are for the day, to angry outbursts with a lot of curse words associated. The posts pop on the community wall so a person doesn’t have to go to each individual’s page to see their plans. This feature is beneficial because it allows a friend to discover plans and therefore work with, or around them to be able to see or communicate with that person without having to go through to hassle of keeping in touch every hour or having to send a text to twenty of your friends about what you’re doing that day. Another benefit of Facebook is it allows a person to keep in touch even through long distances. For example, if a person lives across the country, it is difficult to coordinate the time difference, and therefore makes it hard to have phone conversation or text repeatedly back and forth unless it is at a set time that is consensual for both parties. Facebook allows people to keep in touch on each person’s own time through wall posts, and messages, this is especially helpful in families who have ventured off to different areas of the world. Finally, the site is helpful by keeping loved ones in touch. Just as it does with families, Facebook allows person A to say something to person B on their own time but it also lends a hand in reminding loved ones how much they miss or care about each other publicly. As stated by Andrew Sabatini in his article Effects of MySpace and Facebook, “These websites provide a new way for couples communicate and help eliminate geographical boundaries. Both sites allow one member of the couple to get brownie points, through gifts and comments, and get them out of the dog house.” (Sabatini) The option for a boyfriend of bringing surprise flowers to his girlfriend when she’s with all her friends is eliminated when the two are separated by hours due to college or job choice or a family vacation. Facebook allows the man to publicly display his affection (though it won’t always work) to his girlfriend through words of endearment and the thought that he doesn’t mind letting everyone know how much he cares for his significant other. Although there are many benefits of Facebook, the site can also create a lot of tension. In the film Catfish, a documentary directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, a 24-year-old photographer begins talking to a family after becoming intrigued with an 8-year-old child painter prodigy. As the main character Yaniv "Nev" Schulman creates a stronger bond with the family he starts to talk to the young prodigy’s older sister via text, phone calls, and of course, Facebook. Without ever meeting his soon-to-be girlfriend, Nev discovers her appearance, her friends, events, and whereabouts through Facebook. However, when Nev travels to visit the family and girl he has been communicating with for months he learns that all is not what he expected. The location where she has said to be staying is not being occupied by anyone, and the mail he has sent her is still located in the...

Cited: Catfish. Dir. Henry Joost and Areil Schulman. Perf. Navid Schulman. Rouge Films, 2010. Film.
Parr, Ben. "Study: Facebook Increases Jealousy in Relationships." Social Media News and Web Tips –
Mashable – The Social Media Guide. 9th Aug. 2009. Web. 27 Oct. 2010.
Sabatini, Andrew. “Effects of Myspace and Facebook on Relationships.”
Fisher, Lauren. “What effect does Facebook have on Relationships?”
Hines, Twanna A. “Is Facebook Helping or Hurting Your Love Life?”
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