Do online relationships hurt adolescent relationships?
•The internet has been a source of degradation to the adolescents’ psychological wellbeing because of the exposure to immoral acts.
• Young people spend too much time on the internet such that they give higher preference to online relationships than they do give to real relationships.
• Gender is a critical aspect in online relationships because female adolescents tend to have more friends both on the internet and in real life while male adolescents tend to give more attention to relationships in the offline mode than they give to real life relationships.
• Adolescents who spend majority of their time on the internet tend to have lower esteem because they do not know how to communicate with people from a real aspect of life.
• Real life communication and online communication are two different aspects of communication such that they tend to integrate the online communication skills into a real world, which is entirely different (Psychology ISSUE 8, 133).
• Online relationships enhance offline relationships because low esteemed adolescents are able to acquire communications kills from such online relationships, which they can apply into the real world.
• Online relationships enable the teens to meet different types of people with varied behavior, which gives them a first hand account of how things or communications is done on a face to face basis.
• A specific activity done online influences the effect of the internet because if a teen is involved in immoral activities the result will be immoral behavior, which he or she will apply in the real world. However if it is appositive activity then it will result in positive behavior applied in the real world.
• Internet cultivates intimate disclosure and trust because an adolescent discloses personal things because of security created by lack of physical presence on the benefit of privacy provided by the internet.
• Online relationships increase the self-esteem of adolescents as the individual creates more friends on the internet, which gives him or her courage to pursue offline relationships.
• Online relationships success give the individual the courage to pursue the same success in offline relationships as the individual has adequate self-esteem from the online relationships. (Psychology ISSUE 8, 133).
Social aspect of an adolescent’s life determines the psychological wellbeing of an individual. People are made to coexist with others thus when the social life aspect of an individual more so an adolescent influences how he develops in the preceding years of his or her life. In addition, the relationships in part determine the successes in an individual’s life because of self-esteem, which influences personal judgment and decision making abilities.
Online relationships hurt the psychological development of adolescents. The ability to make friends or the inability to make friends influences in the real world influences the decisions made by an individual and their reaction to the outcomes of such decisions. The internet is full of different people most of whom are pretentious about their identities because they want to use others for their own selfish gains. Thus when an adolescent individual makes the choice of getting involved in internet relationships, they risk being involved in frauds or having relationships of all sorts with people with false identities. The presence of such people with false identities creates a fictional world because they lack the true aspects of their lives and dwell on false information to attract potential prey. In addition, the fake identity does not represent a true picture of an individual in a real world (Psychology ISSUE 8, 135).
Hence, adolescents base their offline relationships with identities that are not real. However online relationships help adolescents open up to having relationships with people in a real world by the setting provided for by online relationships. Online relationships foster psychological development by instilling knowledge about how people behave in certain circumstances. Psychologically, adolescents who have online relationships are able to explore the possibilities of meeting and interacting with new and diverse people who exhibit unique character traits. Thus when an adolescent individual has an offline they are able to put into use their experiences from the internet in dealing with various types of people exhibiting similar traits as from the online relationships(Psychology ISSUE 8, 138). . Moreover, the online relationships develop the self-esteem of an individual because an adolescent might have more online friends than the offline friends. Hence, the online friends are able to influence how an individual relates and carries himself in a real social setting.
Gender is another aspect that influences the success of an online relationship because of the current social and societal trends on judging people by their gender. Despite both genders, male and female, spending equal time on the internet female internet users have greater friends with whom they communicate on an offline mode. Whereas male users have tendency to use computers for entertainment purposes which results in more time spent online chatting with friends. This affects their offline relationships. Research shows that male adolescents spend more time online for entertainment purposes such that they have ample time to forge online relationships with people online. However female adolescents have more friends online that their male counterparts because on the internet most of the users are in search of sexual favors or prey for female victims hence the higher number of female users who are exposed to sexual abuse, violence and other forms of abuse. Female adolescents become susceptible to emotional trauma because at times they are open and trust those that they meet who might be under false pretences to Male adolescents showed that they have a high regard for their face-to-face relationships in comparison with girls who view such relationships as identical to online relationships(Psychology ISSUE 8, 141).
The online relationships affect the social and emotional development of individual adolescents. This is where adolescents are able to foster relationships with new people. Thus when an individual adolescent strikes up a conversation online with a new person they are enhancing their social skills such that they can be able to converse with people in an offline mode. However, an adolescent might be exposed to internet abuse in the internet, which might result in emotional trauma. Thus such an individual detest from having relationships with people even on an offline or face to face setting as a measure to avoid identical emotional trauma caused by relationships with people. Moreover, such an aspect determines how such individuals relate with people for the rest of their lives. They avoid the presence of people and opt for isolation because they do not trust people on whatever level, which results in loneliness or shattered self-esteem. Shattered self-esteem means that these individuals eventually become isolated from society and show signs of hostility when among people because they do not have the requisite social skills to deal with people (Psychology ISSUE 8, 145).
The online relationships affect how adolescents relate in the real or offline mode. Some relationships in the online mode are based on fictional perceptions about other people. In addition, how people relate on an online platform differs in entirety from an offline or real social settings. On an online platform, people depict themselves as fictional characters to make more friends or become attractive to other people. An online mode of communication features open communication or at times hidden communication. Thus, an adolescent in an offline mode may choose to hide his real identity because his initial communication was via the internet such that he bases his on character on a fictitious character. This is a clear illustration of the effects of the internet. Moreover, an individual might have learnt from the internet to base his relationships on openness and truth. His actual relationships on an offline mode might be identical to those that he had online (Psychology ISSUE 8, 148).
In conclusion, the internet has had irreversible psychological effects on both male and female adolescents. It affects they way they relate in the real world, which in entirety is different from a real social setting. Some show signs of hostility and others are receptive of advances from other people. This can be all attributed to the growth or demoralization of self-esteem because of experiences with online relationships. Thus, an individual relationship in adolescents online determines how an individual will relate with others in the real world. Societal and peer perceptions of online relationships determines or dictates the decision by adolescents to have online relationships. Such relationships rte used to gauge social status of an adolescent among his peers, whereas adolescents with friends on an offline mode are judged differently among their peers in comparison with those who have friends on an offline mode who are regarded of highly among their peers.
Psychology ISSUE 8: Do online relationships hurt adolescent relationships? 134-152