How Social Media Strengthens Social Connections

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While it has become popular to bemoan the rise of social media in recent years as the death of “real” relationships and interactions, social media actually serves to bring us together in ways that simply used to be impossible. There have been distractions from face to face communication for years, from television to video games to books. Overall, social media has brought issues to light that would have previously slid under the radar, especially in regards to social justice movements like Black Lives Matter. One need only look to the Arab Spring to see what social media can do for people and movements that would have little ability to organize or mobilize otherwise.

As Zeynep Tufekci notes in Social Media’s Small, Positive Role in Human Relationships, “texting, Facebook-status updates, and Twitter conversations are not displacing face-to-face socializing — on average, they are making them stronger. Social media is enhancing human connectivity as people can converse in ways that were once not possible.” This is certainly visible in movements like the Arab Spring and Black Lives matter, which may not have been possible (especially the Arab Spring) before the advent of social media. I know this has been the case for me in terms of learning different viewpoints, while I might not have been able to understand those movements, due to social media I now have an opportunity to do so. Ultimately I think social media has positively impacted my relationship with people not only in my direct social circle, but also around the world.

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2 thoughts on “How Social Media Strengthens Social Connections

  1. This was a great refreshing read – personally, I get so fed up with social media sometimes because I perceive it as distracting or an excuse for not truly keeping in touch with people. But this was an excellent reminder of all the benefits social media brings to us and the connective power it has!

  2. You bring up a great point regarding the social change that can arise with the help of social media. Now that we are able to access any information with just the click of a button we have the ability to obtain information faster than ever before. This in turn can catalyze large scale change. Perhaps the reason so many people criticize social media as being the result of weak “real”relationships is because we do not often account for the benefits of social media.

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