Being able to keep family matters private is what most of us grew up knowing. However, this day and age, more people are sharing and posting information about their personal lives on to social media sites such as Facebook with friends and family. Years ago, friends and family had little clue as to where people went and things people did, but now with a push of a button, our lives are put out in the public eye. Keeping things private are a thing of the past and children growing up today are being taught that it is okay to show what our private lives look like, but are not realizing the consequences. Today, in the era of social media, relationships in many families have changed. Social media affects family relationships in a number of unexpected and sometimes negative ways.
Looking at the positive, children and parents now have a great tool of communication. Teenagers who would usually have a difficult time talking to their parents in the past, now have social networks that provide an opportunity for communication. However, some children are using gadgets including cell phones and tablets in order to talk to their loved ones through social media, instead of having a conversation with them in person. One out of five people admitted they know what certain family members are doing by checking online instead of asking them personally (Macleighob, 2012). Growing up without forming these personal connections with family and friends become more difficult as an adult.
As a parent, sometimes it is easier to just give a child a tablet and ignore the negative outcomes. However, the result is that children tend to spend more and more time looking at social media and playing with electronic gadgets and less time building personal relationships with loved ones and companionship with friends. A study on media influence by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that young people from the age of 8 to 18 years old tend to spend about seven hours a day using entertainment media, which makes a total of approximately 50 hours per week.