How is social media affecting family relationships?
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Reflection: How does social media affect Family?

The premise of this scoop.it feed is to investigate the ways in which social media affects Family. In this scoop.it, the Family unit is not exclusive to the relationship between parents and children (immediate), but it also encompasses the relationship between grandparents and extended family abroad.

Marlin Gutierrez's insight:

     How does social media affect families? Far too often we make presumptions about how social media is a detriment to the family unit. Let's be honest, social media has its benefits and can improve relationships abundantly. However, in terms of the family unit, we tend to think that the more time spent [not talking to each other] can only negatively impact any sort of relationship that exists. After researching my question online, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my first assumption was not only wrong, but there was a growing trend in which families are using social media to enhance their relationships.

 

    NY Times published an article that concluded that Facebook can indeed complicate already estranged relationships. How's that so? Well, researchers found that people who are already estranged from family members (whatever the reason) often feel more estranged when intimate stories or photographs of their estranged families are shared online without their involvement. For example, one interviewer recounted feeling hurt when she could not share the experiences of her grandchildren in the physical and was reduced to viewing photographs of them on Facebook, while other people were experiencing moments with the family she was cut off from (by her daughter). In this instance, social media can create a sense of resentment for families.

 

     According to the Technorati article, forty-four percent of adults who travel are accompanied by their children or grandchildren, respectively (Technorati). Consequently they are more inclined to find family-centered destinations where the entire family can go and enjoy. Parents are utilizing their access to travel destinations via social media networking in order to find the best family travel deals and destinations. They are relying on the assistance and feedback from other family’s experiences to make decisions regarding their own family travel plans. Social media allows them the ability to share experiences with people all over the world.

 

     Social media also allows families who have military spouses or loved ones who are stationed across the world to remain in contact through sites like Facebook and Skype. Often soldiers can share intimate moments with their spouses or children through video share or through Facebook uploads. However, according to the USA Today article, social media technology only acts as a magnifying glass to family situations. Suffice it to say, if you are already experiencing disconnect in your family unit, social media will likely not improve those bonds for military families. In contrast, if your family unit is strong without the use of social media, then you will likely experience a improvement due to social media (USA Today).

 

     The elder generation has surprisingly benefited more from social media then one could expect. They are investing time in their retirement age –learning the internet and putting that knowledge to good use. According to the AARP article, the retired community is relying heavily on the use of Facebook to share family photographs or connect with friends who they haven’t seen in years. Senior citizens are also using social media applications like SKYPE to connect with their families around the world-- specifically their growing grandchildren. Having this technology has improved the family unit by keeping the elder generation in the forefront.

 

     The final two sources included in this project focused on the relationship between children and parents in the era of social media. For example, one article details the ways in which families use social media sites like Facebook to create an online support system for their ailing children. Facebook allows them to share their tragedies and experiences with people across the world. In return they receive an abundance of prayers, support and even sympathy cards from strangers. These strangers provide a sense of strength for families. They are able to do all of this via the use of social media. Social media allows them to keep their family members, in foreign places, abreast with the happenings of their beloved ones. Therefore, it is working to improve familial relationships.

 

     Finally, the article written by the pediatric doctors suggests that social media can indeed lead to a path of cyber bullying and “Facebook depression” if parents allow it. It is the responsibility of the parents to remain informed about the social media sites that their children are using and create an online relationship with them that can carry offline as well. A great suggestion was the “family-online use plan” which encourages parents to set parameters for online usage with their children. Under the terms of a family-online use plan, children are responsible for attending weekly family meetings and open their social media sites for monitoring by their parents.

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Social Media Can Offer Families Coping With Tragedy Unlimited Support | wltx.com

Social Media Can Offer Families Coping With Tragedy Unlimited Support | wltx.com | How is social media affecting family relationships? | Scoop.it
Marlin Gutierrez's insight:

A bit of a departurre from the normal conversation we typically have regarding social media and its affect on the family unit. This particular article discuesses the ways in which social media provides comfort and love to families across the world. We find that many families who are experiencing tragedy or coping with illnesses within their families, use platforms such as Facebook to create groups and fan pages where people can leave them words of encouragement and prayers. They create a sense of a family support system that can reach well into 10s of thousands of  "family members." Also, these facebook groups allow actual family members, who are not actually in the immediate area, an opportunity to keep informed about the latest news regarding a sick family member. "My objective since my first post was to put the reader literally as close 'in' her hospital room as possible without of course being there physically" (WLTX).

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The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families

The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families | How is social media affecting family relationships? | Scoop.it
Marlin Gutierrez's insight:

Much of the discussion about familial relationships and how they function in the age of social media revolves around the topic of how much parents are able to relate to their children's obsession with the "online world." Consequently such awareness requires a commitment from parents to actually make an attempt to learn the ways in which social media is used today in order to create an online connection with their own families. This article, written by medical doctors, says that "The end result is often a knowledge and technical skill gap between parents and youth, which creates a disconnect in how these parents and youth participate in online world together." Furthermore, the disconnect could result in a shift in offline behavior. Therefore, this article encourages families to create what is called a "family-online use plan" which consists on family meetings to discuss online topics and online activity monitoring.

 

 

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Facebook Complicates Family Estrangements

Facebook Complicates Family Estrangements | How is social media affecting family relationships? | Scoop.it
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media can add to the pain of family estrangements because they provide a peek into private lives and a reminder of what has been lost.
Marlin Gutierrez's insight:

Often when we reflect on the ways in which social media influences our social relationships, we seemingly find examples of ways it has improved them for the better. This article takes a shockingly different approach and investigates the impairment that social media causes families and how it separates them more than unites them. In a heartwrenching interview within this NYTimes article, relatives give accounts of very pivotal and life changing moments in their children, siblings etc. that they were privvy through discoveries on social media platforms. “You’re watching other people enjoying your daughter and the grandchild you’re supposed to have, and you’re left out in the cold,” Mary said. “I have to watch pictures of my grandson — that I didn’t get — on my daughter’s sister-in-law’s page” (NYT). Could you imagine finding out your son or daughter is expecting their first child by way of Facebook or Twitter?  "Facebook Complicates Family Estrangements" gives a separate outlook on the ways in which we drive people away from us using social media tools like Facebook (whose premise is about uniting people worldwide).

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Social Media Powers Family Travel Trends

Social Media Powers Family Travel Trends | How is social media affecting family relationships? | Scoop.it
Family Travel engages Social Media to become the fastest growing segment of travel.
Marlin Gutierrez's insight:

According to this article, families admit that social media has proactively influenced their likelihood of taking family vacations. Parents, specifically moms, like to connect with other moms and hear their experiences about travel destinations. The fastest way for them to communicate is through social media. Parents also use social media to connect with tourist attractions to find out the things they have to offer for the grandparents, children and even for mom and dad. "As families travel more, and engage in Social Media to share information and ask for what they need, the family travel market may well lead the industry in growth and innovation (Technorati).

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Families Stay Connected Through Facebook, Social Media, Internet - AARP Bulletin

Families Stay Connected Through Facebook, Social Media, Internet - AARP Bulletin | How is social media affecting family relationships? | Scoop.it
Using Facebook, grandparents stay involved in the lives of grandchildren who live far away. AARP has tips on safe use of social media and the Internet.
Marlin Gutierrez's insight:

Old age is no longer being met with fear of loneliness and old memories. In fact, according to this AARP article, more than 70 percent of people over the age of 45 are utilizing social media. What does this mean? Well, people are finding ways to remain in touch with their families well into their elder years through social media. " Online users ages 50-64 make up the FASTEST-GROWING group of SOCIAL MEDIA users, according to a 2010 report by the Pew Research Center" (AARP). Facebook is popular among seniors, as well as SKYPE, which they often use to keep up with their grandkids who live in distant places. 

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Social media allow military families a deeper connection

Social media allow military families a deeper connection | How is social media affecting family relationships? | Scoop.it
Tools like Facebook can ease servicemembers' transition from deployment to face-to-face family life.
Marlin Gutierrez's insight:

In our globalized world -- where technology has become the cornerstone for jobs and economics. People are forced to rely on social media, now more than ever, to attempt to stay connected to their family, friends and/or loved ones. USA Today composed a neutral article discussing the impacts social media has on military families who rely on social media and various technological advancements to stay abreast with their deployed family members. Researchers surveyed 8,000 military family participants and gathered interesting data regarding the impact social media has on military family units. "For the families that are strong to begin with, this technology is probably a tremendous help to them" (USA). It appears that social media is only a magnifying glass for the quality of family life we have without it.

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