Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
Most people use the social media accounts to keep in touch with friends and family. It’s very useful, especially when you live abroad. However it is believed that the social media doesn’t have only a good influence on people relations.
For a few years the media has been posting articles about decreasing relations between people, who are believed to prefer spend their free time online than with their friends or acquaintances. On the other hand, you can observe during meetings, that people use their phones instead of communicating. Have we started living in era, where it is easier to send an emoji then say the words “ Hi, how are you? “. We are aware that others create their images in social media by posting perfect pictures and being part of many groups. In spite of that, under the surface of thousand friends on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram there are people who truly feel lonely.
Recently the American University in Pittsburgh did research, where 1.787 adults in age 19 – 32 were studied using 11 types of social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Vine and LinkedIn. The research showed a very interesting and simultaneously disturbing issue. People who visit social media websites at least 58 times per week, experience loneliness more often than those who spend their leisure time visiting nine times social media accounts per week.
58 visits per week seem to be a lot, but according to one of the questioned people it is even more than that. As he or she said “A play around with Twitter combined with some Instagram snooping and my WhatsApp groups make for a rip-roaring day filled with thrills, intrigue and gossip, without actually moving anywhere further than the toilet and fridge”.
It may appear worrying, however I don’t know any person who doesn’t spend a day in that way at least once. Professor Brian Primack from Pittsburgh University questioned the social media. He claimed that, social media apparently helps us to build relations in business or friendships and they allow us to not feel alone. However if it is true, why do we hear stories about spending time alone on Friday night?
It’s happening now. You go to a party, you meet many people who you don’t care about. Meeting with your friends, you hear about their perfect life, perfect jobs and careers. The truth is hidden deep down, perhaps they are looking for attention, for one more “like” on social media accounts. The reason is that, for most people true relations with other humans has changed to collecting “likes” on Facebook.
It is thought that social media reflects mostly on children. I was born in a generation, where I spent my free time in a playground. Unfortunately we cannot say that about teenagers, who spend their leisure time in front of computers, sharing pictures on Facebook or Instagram.
Although, it seems that the problem especially arises when you move to another country. Having no friends encourages us to spend our time online even more often. On the one hand social media helps us to learn about the new culture of the country we just moved to. As an expat, you can easily shape your life in the new community you just started to live in. Through social media accounts, you can find with no difficulties some meetings, where you can enjoy the company of new people. Although as it was mentioned before, you might end up with your phone in your hands and being surrounded by people you don’t care about. On the other hand social media builds an emotional wall between people. Certainly you can argue with opinion about bad influence of social media. Living abroad is difficult and social media may help you to meet your new friends but are you sure you can call those people friends?
Despite that fact, social media helps us to make a new friends, still it’s very time-consuming and a research shows that behind likes and shares on Facebook or Instagram there are lonely people who are not able to build true relations with another person in this fake world of perfect life.