Does Social Media Harm Our Relationships?
Trevor Crow, LMFT
This question has been posed often lately as all of us spend more time on our smart phones, searching the web, posting on Facebook and texting our friends. Are we spending less time with actual people and more time in cyberspace? Is this negatively rewiring our brains?
It will take time and research to fully answer those questions. But what I can respond with is social media has increased connection; and I personally consume and need it. This came into stark focus on the night of Superstorm Sandy.
For all the negative press social media has received from bullying to highjacking our kid’s attention spans, I was so appreciative of the information I was able to receive on the night of the storm through Facebook postings by the Fairfield Police Department, Fairfield Patch and my observant friends.
My only means of communication on that night was via my iphone. The power was out, I don’t own a radio inside my house and all other forms of communication were silenced. Having the ability to check in on Facebook, see what was happening, where the flooding was occurring, where power was out was soothing for me. One posting by a friend, a photo of the full moon with the statement that the storm was over gave me such relief!
It was a night that threw us all into a rattled state as trees slammed into homes and water deluged our beautiful shoreline. Being able to communicate was like a lifeline for me that evening.
I have personally thanked Chief McNamara for the Fairfield Police Department’s Facebook updates on my radio show Keeping Connected with Trevor Crow, WDJZ 1530 AM. The photos and the updates throughout the storm were invaluable. The FPD continues to keep Fairfield residents informed on what to do and where to find help as we get back to normal.
We need to create a whole social media award ceremony equipped with a red carpet and paparazzi. Creative, socially important and relevant information should be lauded and appreciated by our community. I nominate Fairfield Police Department as the first recipient of the award.
The question of whether social media is bad, negatively rewiring our brains and taking up our attention may be eventually proved true by science in the coming years. But, for this therapist, I was so appreciative for the connection and the communication during a time of stress and fear that I have far greater respect for social media today than I did just two weeks ago.