Building Relationships Through Social Media

Social media- everyone uses it. Is it keeping us more or less connected with people than we think it is?

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Building Relationships Through Social Media

Lily Harrison, Staff Writer

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When you look at your phone and see that 200 people liked your photo and you got 90 comments you feel a rush of joy. But who are these people liking your picture, are they your friends or just your friends through social media? 

Today, many people build relationships through social media instead of in person. It can lead to frustrating and awkward situations. People can talk to each other everyday and then when they see each other in person, they do not make eye contact and avoid talking.

Olathe North Sophomore Tara Franco has 4,370 followers on her Instagram. When asked if she was friends with half of her followers she said “I don’t know half of them. I only follow like 300 people back so I know that some of them are Olathe students but a lot of them I don’t personally know.”

Relationships today aren’t what they used to be. Many people “snap” back and forth and never actually hanging out. It’s the same thing with friendships. Many have a ton of “friends” added on Snapchat or people who follow them on Instagram that they do not know in real life. Your followers do not equal how many friends you have.

Olathe North Freshman Preston Martinez has a total of 1,269 Instagram followers, but he stated he only knows about one-fourth of them.

“I feel like it’s easier talking to someone over social media because it isn’t awkward, but talking in person has a more personal touch that you can’t get from social media,” says Martinez.

Being a teenager is awkward enough as it is but some get the stress of meeting someone new and about a million thoughts run through their minds. They think, What if I don’t know what to say? What if my face turns red? What if they dont like me? It’s all “what if’s.” 

Getting a like on instagram or a retweet on twitter produces dopamine, which is a chemical that’s associated with pleasure. When people like your content you share it’s a little like taking a drug because getting likes and snapchats from people can be addictive according to businessinsider.com. 

The next time you make a new internet friend, say “hi” to them in the hallway or eat lunch with them. This person could be one of your best friends and not just a Snapchat best friend, a real one. If you never greet them then you will never know what would have happened.