Social media gives us the freedom to communicate with our loved ones online whenever and wherever we want. However, this freedom comes at a cost: blinded by our seemingly happy digital life, we often do not realize how social media threaten and cause problems in our real-life relationships.
A new research from Kaspersky Lab shows that one-third of people communicate less face to face with their loved ones, while 21% of parents admit that relationships with their children have been negatively affected because they have seen them in a humiliating social media.
With the tendency of people to post photos of themselves or others under the influence of alcohol, wearing something revealing or even completely naked in order to attract more "likes", it is obvious that social media can damage our offline relationships. However, while we would expect parents to disapprove of their children's online behavior, the opposite often happens. More than a fifth of parents admit that their relationship with their children deteriorated after exposing themselves to degrading conditions on social media. In contrast, only 14% of parents said they were annoyed by their children's online behavior. In addition, about one in five (16%) also stated that their relationship with their spouse or partner has been negatively affected because they have seen him or her in a humiliating state on social media.
Relationships with family, friends and colleagues change as people communicate less face to face as a result of social media. A significant percentage of people (1 at 3) admitted that they now communicate less with parents (31%), children (33%), partners (23%) and friends (35% and communicate with them through social media.
Dr. Astrid Carolus, Media Psychologist at the University of Würzburg comments: "Surveys show that today's online digital communication complements real-life communication. We live in a globalized and extreme mobile devices world that creates distance between partners and family members. Digital communication is an opportunity to bridge the gaps of modern life, which exist because we live in different cities or countries. However, digital communication cannot replace face-to-face communication - at least not always and not completely. "Digital communication is less rich in terms of the sensory channels it affects, causing 'reduced' organoleptic quality."
Despite the fact that people communicate less face to face, about half of the respondents believe that the quality of their relationships is not harmed at all and is even better as a result of online connection with their loved ones. Dr. Astrid Carolus warns that although the quality of our relationships seems to be improving, people may not always evaluate their online communication objectively: "Under certain circumstances they perceive it online and communicating them as "super-personal communication" and may therefore misinterpret and interpret messages social media. We feel very close, we turn against the rather negative, focusing on the possible positive intentions behind a message, and we over-interpret. "
The survey found that, although social media can help ease communication channels and bridging time and geographical obstacles, they do not always make people happy. They can strengthen relationships, but also make people feel uncomfortable and frustrated as they constantly compare their lives to that of others. "Likes" and social validation leads people to share more and more private information on social media platforms, putting not only themselves, but also their friends, family and colleagues at risk. The reality of losing a life of digital memories, including photos and interactions, can make it difficult to abandon social media.
To protect themselves and their relationships, people need to be more careful and strengthen their technological knowledge about information they share online in social media. This will not only help to mitigate the risks of the online world, but also to avoid damaging relationships in the real world. To help people keep their memories secure, regardless of the length of their social media journey, Kaspersky Lab is developing a new application. FFForget will allow people to back up all their memories from their social networks by keeping them in a secure and encrypted storage.
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