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Why Social Media Isn’t Killing Our Social Lives

2nd Year English Literature student, Rhiannon Ford, talks about long-distance relationships and how social media is the key to keeping them alive…

Many people these days are quick to criticise the modern age’s reliance on technology and social media, claiming that we are losing our social skills, and relationships are breaking down due to constant envy and narcissism.

But for those like me who are in long distance relationships, we have no choice but to rely on technology to be with our loved ones. My boyfriend and I close the 250 kilometres separating us through Skype and Messenger, and connect through sharing YouTube videos and playing co-op games. Without this, it would be impossible for us to be together. It’s been suggested to me before that we shouldn’t rely on social media to communicate, we could send hand written letters, but thenI would have to wait a few days just to hear my boyfriend say,“I love you”. Honestly, I’m not up for waiting that long. Why use a slow and archaic method of communication when it would literally be faster for me to catch a train to Yorkshire to tell him in person.

Not only does social media keep you in contact with your significant others, it also keeps you in contact with your friends who live all around the country. One of my favourite things to do is Skype all my Yorkshire friends on a Sunday evening. You can’t feel alone when there’s 9 of you tormenting each other, looking back at photographs from the rare times that we are all together and planning our next group trips.

It seems to be a growing trend to reject social media, which is fine for personal endeavour, but when articles constantly tell you that social media is a bad thing that should never have been invented, it invalidated your very real long-distance relationships and friendships. It’s almost like they feel that relationships only count if there is physical contact, which is utterly untrue, as any asexual person would tell you. Most people who are critical of them often don’t realise how essential it is for some,because they have very few relationships or friendships outside of their area. Those who are lucky enough to see their loved ones everyday don’t understand what it’s like to spend months away from friends, lovers and family, with only a screen as proof that our relationships exist.

It’s ok to rely on social media, and it’s ok to not rely on social media, but it’s not ok to invalidate those you feel differently.

About Taz Usher

English Language undergraduate and Entertainment Editor for the Spark Newspaper.

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