When it comes to forming relationships, social media can be a great outlet with which to meet and get to know someone.
But, if not used carefully, social media relationships can also lead to very dangerous circumstances.
This subject reminds me of an episode of “South Park.” The episode poked fun at people who enjoyed playing “World of Warcraft,” a computer gaming program. In the episode, Cartman, Stan and all of their other friends were trying desperately to defeat another gamer who had been playing “WoW” for over a year and a half straight.
The gamer was a rather obese man.
The reason I thought about this episode when discussing social media relationships is because I highly doubt those young boys realized they were gaming against someone who was old enough to be their parents.
My point is that you never know who is on the other side of the computer screen.
There have been countless situations when young men and women have become victims of physical and sexual assault because of relationships they formed on MySpace, Facebook and other popular social media platforms.
One thing you can do to avoid situations such as this is to not let people you don’t know or people you don’t have mutual friends with become friends with you or follow you on social media. Typically, I do not accept a friend request from a stranger unless I have 75 or more mutual friends with that person.
It is also a good idea to investigate a person’s profile prior to accepting his or her friend request. If you really look, you will find that it is quite easy to determine a real profile from a faux profile.
Not only does social media affect the beginning of a relationship, but it can affect a relationship that was formed before the rise of social media.
“Although many people said they feel amused or better connected to other people when they use social media, nearly a third said that they actually feel lonely when they look at their social media feed,” Sophie Curtis wrote in an article for The Telegraph.
Some people use social media as a way to feel approval from their peers or to compare themselves to their peers. I have seen friends, strangers and have even found myself get so jealous of how many likes or comments our social media friends receive on a day-to-day basis.
I hear someone say, “can you believe she got that many likes on that picture?” at least once a day, whether it be from my own mouth or someone else’s.
This kind of jealousy isn’t healthy. And it is especially unhealthy when trying to form a closer bond with someone.
Everyone should take a look at their Facebook profiles, Instagram, Twitter accounts and other social media outlets and review who follows them and whom they follow.
More than likely you will find more than 10 people you are friends with or follow whom you have never seen in your entire life. Get rid of them. You will also find profiles that make you fume with jealousy. Get rid of those, too.
A social media cleanse is something that everyone can use once in a while to help keep them out of both physical and emotional harm.
As I said before, social media sites are a great thing, but if not used carefully, they can do more harm than good. So, next time, think twice before you accept that friend request and think three times before you begin to get jealous of someone’s post on social media.