Can We Surf the Web for Real Friends?

I remember the days where all I could do to communicate with my friends was to call them or meet up somewhere. Then came the days of America online instant messenger, with dial up connection, and once you were on, no one could use the phone. Today we have dozens of different outlet’s to interact with our peers and family members; including home phone, cell phone, work phone, Facebook, text messaging, Twitter, Instagram, and much more. Psychologists today are researching if this new era of communication is benefitting or hurting modern teenagers. Some say that the values of friendship have remained the same and technology has only changed how individuals can become acquainted. Others express that people today are losing the sense and meaning of the human voice, which can really impact their relationships. I believe that social networking can be fun and innocent to get away from reality for a little bit. For individuals with low self esteem and not the greatest social skills, sites such as Facebook can really help them build relationships without the pressure of face to face contact. However, it can also go the opposite way when someone becomes too obsessed with the site. A person who only cares about how they appear to their followers will hide their negative characteristics and never build a real friendship through that. I truly agree with Holly Schiffrin in the way she explains that social networking can help build and maintain relationships but definitely not be a sufficient substitute for communicating in person. Keeping up a good balance of interacting face to face as well as through other, not so personal medium’s, is healthy and normal.

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