1. People & Relationships

Ways Social Networking Ruins Friendship

How Facebook Makes Friendship Harder

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Social networking has really changed the way we keep in touch and communicate with our friends, but not all of it is positive. We can actually get burned out on friends, become tired of hearing about their bad (and good) days, and fail to get the face-to-face time that's required to keep a friendship strong. As you read some of these ways that social networking can ruin a friendship, make a note to avoid them going forward to ensure your friendship is as healthy as it can be.

1. Facebook and Twitter Provide Us With Too Many Updates From Our Friends

As much as we adore our friends, hearing frequently about the details of their life (like what they ate, when they are having a bad day, or how wonderful their spouse is), may just give you information overload. We care about the goings on in our friends lives, but too many updates can add an overwhelming element to our already packed day. Besides that, sometimes hearing repeatedly about how good, or even, how rotten your friend's life is can turn you off the idea of hanging out with them more frequently.

2. Game Requests

Games are fun, and many of us play them online, but sometimes repeated game requests when you log in to a site are an annoyance. The subtle hint of irritation you feel at deleting several requests from a friend can progress into irritation at your friend for any communication they send. You might not mean to get annoyed with your friend, but it will happen naturally. To help combat this, turn off or block game requests, or just tell your friend you're not interested so they get the hint and stop sending you messages.

3. Less to Say in Person

Twitter and Facebook are just two ways we can keep in touch with friends. But instant messages or communication on each other's walls may make you feel like you're already in touch with your pal and don't need to spend time hanging out. What's worse, if you do see each other, you might not have anything to talk about. Too much and too frequent communication takes away that "getting caught up" feeling when you see a friend in person.

4. False Sense of What's Going On in Your Friend's Life

Your friend may use social networking to help vent their frustrations, and as a result, you might believe that things are going really rotten for them. Or, perhaps the opposite is true. Your friend may be maintaining a positive outlook online, but in actuality things are bleak right now for them. In seeing their updates, you might feel like you're all caught up in what's really happening in their lives.

This can mean that instead of scheduling that get-together lunch you always have, you skip it. Or that when you chat with your friend on the phone, you act as if you know exactly what's going on with them instead of asking (or waiting for) them to tell you themselves.

5. Lack of In-Depth Conversation

One of the great things about friendship is seeing the world from a friend's viewpoint. It offers a wonderful chance for conversation and expanding your knowledge and opinions of the world. But Facebook and Twitter can take that away from friendships, especially when a friend posts a link to something that needs a real conversation in order to be understood properly. You might be able to "like" a post, but that doesn't mean you and a friend are actually talking about it. What's worse, if you do try and give your opinion, it can come off sounding crude and blunt because you don't have the venue to explain yourself properly.

Differing opinions are good in a friendship, but only if the two of you are able to discuss things in a reasonable manner. If your friend is constantly posting links about a hot-button subject for you, you'll find yourself having an online argument or you'll begin avoiding them all-together. Either way, it doesn't help your friendship.

6. Balance Social Networking With Other Forms of Communication

While social networking has helped us communicate more frequently and in a different way with our friends, you need to be careful to have balance. Pay close attention to little resentments you begin to feel over a friendship because of things posted or said online. You might need to pull back from a site if you feel it is adding negativity to your friendship. Always remember that seeing and interacting with a friend in person cannot be replaced.

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