shopify traffic stats

Is Social Media Negatively Impacting Your Family?

How is social media impacting your family?

In one report, 55% of parents reported their twelve-year-old children were active on Facebook. 76% of these same parents admitted they helped their child gain access to Facebook. We may be more comfortable with social media, but it is important to evaluate the impact it has on your family.

Social media impacts the entire family, including adults.

According to a recent study, 15% of couples studied felt social media was dangerous to their marriage.

Today, we are taking a closer look at the impact social media may have on the family.

Family Time

Has family time disappeared? What was once filled with sitting around the dinner table laughing and sharing stories has turned into spending time online. Even when you go on outings together, you bring your electronic devices, so you can update the world on what you are doing.

Quality family time is important for building strong relationships within the family. If you are spending more time on social media than with your family, it can negatively impact your family.

To make sure you are successfully spending time with family, engage in activities as a group that do not allow cell phones or other distractions. Making the time together meaningful is key. Activities that encourage you to listen to one another and tend to the needs of your group.

Communication

It is true that social media has created a decline in how we interact with one another. Many family members prefer to text rather than call. They prefer to send messages through social media. If this sounds familiar, then it may be possible your family has been negatively impacted by social media.

Face-to-face interactions can build self-esteem. It can also help us express what we are trying to say through body language. Without in-person interactions, it is easy to become anti-social. People can misinterpret what you are trying to say.

Communication within a family is essential in preventing and resolving conflicts. If you find your family members messaging you on how they feel, what they want or do not want more than discussing them in person, then social media could be impacting your family relationships.

You can teach the rest of your family how to communicate better by requiring in-person interactions, especially when it comes to conflicts.

Arguments

Fighting through social media is a very bad idea. It only makes things worse. It can lead to bullying behaviors and gets other people involved in your private matters.

So, why do so many people choose this method? Maybe because it is sometimes easier to state true feelings when you are not facing someone in person. Arguing online may feel safer.

However, social media is not the right outlet for arguments. You can not fully express yourself online verbally or physically. Arguing through social media creates miscommunication and increases negativity. If you love someone, you will argue with them the right way, with respect and in person.

Sleep Patterns

According to reports, one in five people does not get enough sleep because of social media.

Sleep is one of the most important ways you and your family can remain healthy and balanced emotionally and physically. Unfortunately, many stay up late checking out what is happening on social media.

The light from the technological device triggers your eyes to stay awake. Your brain thinks the light is daylight and prevents you from falling asleep. This interrupts your circadian rhythm, leading to health problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and over-eating.

Lack of sleep also leads to poor moods, which can then lead to fighting within your family.

Anxiety When Not Using Social Media

If your family feels anxious when you discuss not using technology for a day, then social media is having a significant impact. Not being able to function without social media can mean your family members could possibly suffer from an addiction.

Addiction to social media is more common than you think.

Social Media Today reports 18 percent of social media users state they cannot go more than a few hours without social media. This is a big problem. If this is the case with your family members, it is time to get help before the addiction becomes even more severe.

Distorted Connections

Communicating with people on social media can give you a false sense of community. It allows you to feel close to people you do not even know. Too much inaccurate information is shared on social media. The information that is not shared would be useful in determining whether you should be friends with someone online.

Online predators are eager to make a connection with you or your children on social media.

Reports show that 82% of online sex crimes begin through online social networking through social media sites where predators find it easy to gain information about their prey.

Do not let this happen to your family members. Online predators can quickly turn into to real-world threats. Participate in family classes that teach you how to be safe online. Check each other’s social media sites often. Report anything you feel is unusual or threatening.

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Comparing your life to those on social media can be quite damaging. People post only the good things that happen in their lives. They share the things about their lives that make them look and feel good. They do not want everyone on social media to read about the negative aspects of their lives.

The social comparison theory says we base our self-worth on how we live up to others. This theory is only amplified when it comes to social media.

Talk with your family about how they feel after browsing social media posts of “friends” online. Most people claim they feel worse after browsing Facebook or Twitter posts. Why? Because the posts they read online are all geared towards the positive, which can make some people feel inadequate.

The best way to determine if social media is impacting your family is to pay close attention to all of your actions. Have a family meeting and discuss the points listed in this article. Encourage honesty and put together a plan, together, to avoid social media negatively impacting your family.


Chris Massman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Agoura Hills, CA. She graduated Phillips Graduate Institute with a Master of Arts in Psychology in 2014 and received her Chemical Dependency Specialty in 2014. Today, she practices Congnitive-behavioral therapy to help individuals, couples, and families identify and overcome a variety of unique challenges.