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The appearance of social networking sites has changed the life of people and their relations. Nowadays, millions of users post their messages, pictures, videos, and music on Facebook. A new medium for communication has opened wide opportunities for building relationships with people all around the globe. The multimedia content of the site allows sharing thoughts and ideas in numerous creative ways. Users can communicate freely with other individuals and companies to find workers and employers.
Facebook plays an important role in the development of intimate relations. People tend to exchange messages on the site before calling on the mobile, or meeting in person. Nevertheless, the excessive use of Facebook can have a harmful effect on relationships between relatives and close friends. While people connect to their buddies on the site, they disconnect from their surroundings. Although Facebook is a powerful tool for building relationships with users all around the world, real-life communication with relatives and friends should be promoted because social networking sites can disconnect people from their surroundings.
Facebook in Business Relations
Social networking sites bring all people close together. Users from all over the world can communicate freely, share their thoughts, ideas, images, and videos. The appearance of Facebook has changed the traditional relations between employers and workers. Nowadays, people can connect to their superiors on the site and exchange messages with them in an informal way. When everybody is “friends”, the margins between social statuses and job titles are blurring.
Many employees feel more confident expressing their thoughts in writing. They have time to choose what they want to say, and they do not feel nervous facing their bosses. Facebook allows them to send messages at any given moment with a wide variety of multimedia content to support their ideas. The exchange of messages on the site is much more convenient than in email services and makes communication between workers and employees fast and efficient. The research by Scott et al. showed that “that language use had no impact on attractiveness, but users who used correct language were seen as more intelligent, competent, and employable” (562). Therefore, Facebook users with good command of English have higher chances to get hired.
Facebook gives individual entrepreneurs and big companies a variety of methods to build relationships with their customers. They can create official pages and communities to share all recent news about their products and communicate with consumers. The platform of the site allows posting detailed overviews of various items and services with the support of images, videos, and sound examples.
The abundance of available information and attention to customer feedback on Facebook support strong relationships between companies and consumers. Facebook allows defining certain trends in the relationships between organizations and individuals. According to McCorkindale, “more than half of Facebook’s 900 million active users in the U.S. consist of the Millennial generation (ages 13 to 29)” (66). They are more willing to cooperate with small companies and search primarily for benefits and discounts in their relations with organizations.
Facebook in Intimate Relations
The appearance of social networking sites has changed the nature of interpersonal relations. Nowadays all members of society use communication technologies extensively in the building of new relationships. Social networking sites, instant messaging services, and mobile phones have created a hierarchy of relations. Young people use all electronic means of communication on all stages of intimate relations. Research by Yang et al. “revealed a sequence of media use tied to stages of relationship development − from Facebook in early stages to instant messaging and then cell phones as a relationship progressed” (5). Therefore, Facebook plays an important role in the building of intimate relations between young people.
The variety of information posted on user pages allows learning many facts about a person even prior to the communication. People can choose their interlocutors from thousands of Facebook members using the facts from their profiles. In the meantime, social networking sites provide anonymity needed at the beginning of the relations. Some Facebook users disclose their real identities only after a certain period of online communication. They want to be sure about the people they are going to meet in person.
Facebook present a perfect opportunity to build relations with people abroad, learn about their cultures and traditions, and find common interests. Social networking sites create solid grounds for the development of international and intercultural relations. People who cannot meet each other every day in real life because of the distance between their countries are able to communicate on Facebook. The site allows them to know each other better before their meeting in person. Nevertheless, these capabilities of Facebook might have a harmful effect on the people’s relations with their relatives and friends in their common surroundings.
Facebook in Family Relations
The positive role of social networking sites in the relations between relatives is hard to ignore. People are able to send messages, voice recordings, and videos on Facebook to their parents, siblings, and spouses from any place around the globe when they are unable to meet them in person. Nevertheless, communication in social networking sites has its dangers. People spend a lot of time on Facebook, reading news, watching funny videos, and writing on timelines of other users. They find a multitude of friends from other countries with similar interests and exchange posts and motivators. Facebook provides team games for users to entertain themselves in their free time and long working hours.
People have so much fun on the site they often forget about their real life and relations. This is a growing issue, especially among young people. The excessive use of social networking sites harms the development of communicational skills. People get used to communicating by reposts, motivators, and pictures. They start to experience difficulties in speaking with their relatives and friends in person and return to Facebook. This situation can lead to a break in relations between parents and children. According to Steiner-Adair and Barker, “not only do chronic tech distractions have deep and lasting effects, but children desperately need parents to provide what tech cannot: close, significant interactions with the adults in their lives” (2). Therefore, social activists and authorities should promote real-life communication through various activities with relatives and friends to keep strong the relationships in the society.
Facebook plays a prominent role in the building of relationships in the modern society. Employers and workers can communicate freely and exchange their thought and ideas outside the margins of their job titles. Companies and individual entrepreneurs have numerous ways to build strong relations with their customers on social networking sites. Organizations can evaluate their employees analyzing their accounts on Facebook. Communication on social networking sites is an important stage of building intimate relations among young people. Users can write to their friends and relatives from any place in the world. Nevertheless, Facebook might disconnect people from their siblings and spouses.
McCorkindale, Tina, et al. “How Millennials Are Engaging and Building Relationships with Organizations on Facebook.” The Journal of Social Media in Society, vol. 2, no. 1, 2013, pp. 66-87.
Scott, Graham G., et al. “It’s not What You Say, It’s How You Say It: Language Use on Facebook Impacts Employability but not Attractiveness.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, vol. 17, no.8, 2014, pp. 562-566.
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Steiner-Adair, Catherine, and Teresa H. Barker. The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. Harper Business, 2013.
Yang, Chia-chen, et al. “From Facebook to Cell Calls: Layers of Electronic Intimacy in College Students’ Interpersonal Relationships.” New Media & Society, vol. 16, no.1, 2014, pp. 5-23.