Here at Polariswe love the internet and everything about it! Including social networking sites. But we had to ask ourselves, what are the effects on our social well being?

Social networking is an excellent online tool used all over the world by millions of people for communication. You can use it to keep in touch with friends that move far away, reconnect with long lost relatives and even find jobs.

Twitter, facebook and linkedin are all major social networks. Twitter deals with more than 400 million tweets a day, linked in users come to a total of 238 million and facebook has 1.15 billion users.

Although social media has benefited us tremendously, with these statistics and people spending more and more hours a day on social networking sites it’s no wonder people are concerned of the effects. We are so used to being in constant contact with people through the net that we take for granted just how easy connection now is. People could be depending on the internet so much that they find it hard to build REAL relationships.

In the Public Library of Science ONE psychological research indicated contact via social media could have a negative effect on our happiness. People portraying glorified versions of themselves through profiles can cause others looking on to feel inadequate and can start to compare their levels of success/achievements.

In this respect it’s easy to see why people may think social media might be the cause of depression, anxiety and shyness. However I do believe other factors outside of the internet world are more likely to be the cause.

With that in mind over all I think social networks are great and that this research should remind us that while social networking can certainly be more convenient, building and making relationships in person is very important too!

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