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Social media a marriage killer in China: Experts

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Beijing: While social media was designed to bring people together, it can sometimes drive them apart — more Chinese people are switching their status from married to single and social media could be responsible, say experts.

A report by the ministry of civil affairs in June found that 3.637 million couples divorced in 2014, up by 3.9 percent from the previous year, Xinhua reported.

Statistics from the ministry show the country has been witnessing a continuous rise in divorces since 2002.

Su, a white collar worker from Shanghai, was stunned and furious after discovering her husband’s secret romances online.

She found he viewed dating websites, and was in touch with many girlfriends on different social networks. Some relationships were more than a decade old, long before they got married.

“Since we have a child, I will not consider divorcing. But our relationship is dead,” she told Xinhua.

A man, requesting anonymity, said he uses social networks to look for dates while on business trips.

Yu Kun, a Beijing-based psychologist, said among all extramarital affairs of his clients, about half of them were initiated through the internet.

But most experts said social media generally only affects relationships that were already strained.

In some cases, social networking apps can be a tool in dismantling an already fragile marriage, according to Chen Yiyun, an expert from the marriage and family research institute under the All-China Women’s Federation.

Social media is never the root cause of divorce, said Han Junmei, a commentator on www.workercn.com.

“Incompatibility undermines marriages and social networks just increases the possibility of breaking up,” she wrote.

Social media is not the only factor behind the rising divorce rate. The younger generation’s attitude toward marriage has also changed.

“In the past, people were more conservative and saw it as a shame to get divorced,” marriage consultant Shu Xin said.

“Nowadays, people care more about the quality of marriage and are more willing to break social norms for the sake of happiness.”

(IANS)

 

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Social Media Can Affect Teenagers’ Real Life Relationships

The increased screen time could also convert to more problems offline, the findings showed

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Social Media can potentially affect teenager's real life relationships too. Pixabay
  • Social media can severely affect the relationship of teenagers
  • Many teenagers are victims of online bullying
  • More time online can cause problems offline too

Even as effects of social media use on mental well-being is hotly debated, a new study says that spending too much time online can create problems in real life relationship of teenagers and vice versa.

Social Media can potentially damage teenagers' real life relationships. Wikimedia Commons
Social Media can potentially damage teenagers’ real life relationships. Wikimedia Commons

Results of a survey conducted by Professor Candice Odgers of University of California, Irvine and her colleagues showed teenagers from low-income families reported more physical fights, face-to-face arguments and trouble at school that spilt over from social media.

On the other hand, the researchers found that adolescents from economically disadvantaged households are also more likely to be bullied and victimised in cyberspace.

“The majority of young people appear to be doing well in the digital age, and many are thriving with the new opportunities that electronic media provides. But those who are already struggling offline need our help online too,” Odgers said.

Also Read: Social Media Giant, Facebook Introduces Ad Performance Measurement Solutions

Many teenagers are victims of cyberbullying. Pixabay
Many teenagers are victims of cyberbullying. Pixabay

In a commentary published in the journal Nature, Odgers argued that while smartphones should not be seen as universally bad, vulnerable teenagers experience greater negative effects of life online.

“What we’re seeing now may be the emergence of a new kind of digital divide, in which differences in online experiences are amplifying risks among already vulnerable adolescents,” said Odgers, who is also a fellow in Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Child & Brain Development programme.

For the last 10 years, Odgers has been tracking adolescents’ mental health and their use of smartphones.

In her survey of North Carolina schoolchildren, 48 percent of 11-year-olds said they owned a mobile phone as did eighty-five percent of 14-year-olds.

Also Read: Social Media in India: Understanding The Dynamics of ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’

The study showed that teenagers from families with a household income of less than $35,000 per year spent three more hours a day on screen media watching TV and online videos than teenagers in families with an annual income of more than $100,000.

More time online can cause problems in real life. Pixabay
More time online can cause problems in real life. Pixabay

The increased screen time could also convert to more problems offline, the findings showed.

“The evidence so far suggests that smartphones may serve as mirrors reflecting problems teens already have. Those from low-income families said that social media experiences more frequently spilt over into real life, causing more offline fights and problems at school,” Odgers said. IANS