How Social Networking Affects Family Unit

In the contemporary world, the family unit increasingly faces various challenges that necessitate it to redefine itself to remain a relevant in society.  Apart from issues such as increasing incidences of single-parent families and work commitments that limit family time together, technology poses a new threat to effective functioning of family systems. Specifically, increasing popularity of social media as the means through which individuals communicate and connect with other people reduces the time the family engages in activities that help to develop values and social skills in children. Although social media may offer opportunities for families living apart to communicate and keep in touch, its increasing replacement of family time affects the extent to which limits the role of the family as a foundation for members to develop skills needed to function fully in social systems external to the family.

Social media has increasingly become a core part of how people, especially teens and youths, spend time, meet new friends, and communicate. For instance, in a national survey in the United States, Common Sense Media (2012) found out that 90 percent of 13- to 17-year olds have used social media in their lives, the most popular activities on such media being texting (87%), visiting social media networks (83%), and e-mailing (77%) (p. 9). The use of social media has risen to become a chronic engagement for teenagers with the Common Sense Media (2012) survey indicating, for instance, that as much as 4% of the teenagers use twitter more than 10 times a day (p. 19). A larger percentage could be using Facebook which is far more popular (68%) compared to twitter (6%) within such a demographic (Common Sense Media, 2012, p. 18). Although the use of social media is associated with several benefits, it also poses “a whole host of control problems for the household, problems of regulation and boundary maintenance” (Ito et al., 2010, p. 151). Proceed to part 2

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