Social networking on the Internet can have negative effects on any relationship. Specifically, Facebook, as the largest and most well known networking site, offers the biggest potential for creating relationship problems. The site has no inherent evil attached to it. However, its design makes plenty of room for abuses that can lead to negative influences on relationships.
Private information becomes public.
While Facebook has safeguards available to protect privacy, most users fail to adequately use these. For many people, the allure of Facebook is the ability to track friends and be tracked by them. Making use of too many privacy options limits freedom to give and get desirable information. Problems arise when someone decides to vent to friends about difficulties with a significant other on their Facebook wall. Not only does the whole world see it, so does the person being slammed. Making this type of material public raises the stakes in what may have been only a minor disagreement.
Facebook can become a vast portal for negative rumors.
For those who enjoy gossip, Facebook is the mother lode. It can be used both collect and disburse rumors. This happens rapidly and on a wide scale. Reputations can be sullied in an instant. Once the rumors start to roll, efforts to stem the tide only bring more people into the circle of those who know about it. When those in a relationship have doubts about their partner, this type of rumor mill can be devastating to the relationship.
Making personal connections is the idea that has led to the success of Facebook.
This same ability to make friendly connections can enable the opportunity for more. In part, Facebook is about fantasy. Even when connecting with old friends and family, lofty goals of restarting the friendships of the past rarely ever live up to the expectations. However, this same sort of fantasy translates to people who are met online. This can produce the feeling that there is something better on the other end of the computer cable than what is at home. Private conversations and chat can pull heavily on the emotions and affections and erode the personal relationship in the real world. In extreme cases, partners have been abandoned for the hope of better times with the new found “love.”
Becoming and remaining connected on Facebook requires a considerable time investment.
People who do not become entangled in Internet relationship issues can still become addicted to the process of social networking. Hours can spin off of the clock. Additionally, Facebook offers games, causes, and entertainment features to siphon away time that could be invested in strengthening a relationship. Partners can become jealous of the computer as the other man or woman competing for their partner’s attention and affection.
Facebook can offer unscrupulous people opportunities to post pictures that do not reflect the truth.
Digital modification of pictures is easily within the skill level of most computer users. The majority of these activities are just harmless fun. However, images of people can be adjust to put them in odd places and with other partners in compromising situations. If these images are put on Facebook as being true, it can be hard to prove the innocence of the one being defamed.