Effects of Social Media on the Family dynamic

Effects of Social Media on the Family dynamic

Aug 2014

Sitting on the table, emails and phone calls command one side of the table whilst Angry Birds and Facebook on the other; this widespread vignette is easily recognizable to many in the modern day, it is a family outing.



Day after day, we get more and more immune to the number of people seated beside us at the dinner table. Physically, it may be your nearest and dearest family members and their several electronic devices but with the influx of Instagram and Snapchat applications, your meal is being attended by a lot more people than you are probably comfortable with. From Instgramming meals, to short clips on Snapchat, social media has eliminated the concept of intimacy, privacy and secrecy and in turn, with its ease of communication, family memories – heartening or unfortunate – become the talk of the town in no time.


On a growing family dynamic, social media seems to be doing more good than bad these days. Opting for a day behind a screen rather than an outdoor adventure, it seems our children seem to be losing their sense of ‘silent fluency’, what a Wall Street Journal article renders the competence to comprehend social cues such as body language, tone and expressions that lack within e-mails, texts and Facebook messages. With parents trying to read between the mixed emotions of their children, dialogue between the parent and the child seldom diminishes and relationships begin to falter.


Nonetheless, whilst social media has often been villainized by parents as an instrument amongst the youth, it seems to be affecting the elder members of the  family circle too. Just over a decade ago, work affairs were to be dealt with at the work place, but with laptops and smart phones, for many the boundaries are blurred between balancing quality time with your family members or running to the office in the middle of the night to finish off some work.


Social media tends to act as a protection barrier. It helps people of all ages communicate with ease, convey their opinions and keep in immediate contact with one another. Whilst of course, there are many advantages of social media including the ability to converse with friends and families across the oceans, allow individuals to fight for their freedoms and for people of similar interests to come together, nowadays there is a saddening escalation of psychological and emotional damage among youth pertaining to their access to messaging forums where online predators roam. Nowadays, the numbers of online stalking has increased over in-person stalking and the barrier of information communication is so razor-thin that publicizing your opinion often lands individuals in hot water.


Nonetheless, in a family, social media certainly is a valuable tool in making sure your loved ones are safe and sound, updated on the latest news and eases day-to-day life. It has its positives and negatives and in a world encompassed by social media in almost every aspect, balance is vital and appreciation of its fine line is key.