Negative Effects of Social Media on Family Relationships

Published: Updated: 7 mins read
negative effects of social media on family relationships

Between the internet, social media, and other technologies, today’s youth is exposed to more than ever before. It can be hard to know how much impact these increased pressures can have on their relationships with friends and family.

Negative interactions between families can affect both children and parents. One study found that children who reported negative reactions to their parents had more social media posts that portrayed anger or sadness over time. Youth can also feel like there is never enough time for family social interactions because of technology.

Sometimes can be challenging to balance the need for privacy with the pressures of staying connected with the family. Social networking sites can affect many different aspects of human life, including work, education, friendships, relationships, and more. These changes may not be apparent right away, but they can have lasting effects.


Social media usage is one of the most popular online activities. In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025.


Is there a negative impact of social media on family relationships today?

Social media have deeply impacted family relationships in recent years. The internet has changed the way people stay in touch with their family members, and it’s also changed the way they communicate.

The negative impact on family relationships is apparent when we look at the University of Maryland’s research. This study found that people who spend more time on social media sites are less satisfied with their lives and less likely to feel like they get enough downtime.

Therefore, the answer to this question is yes, there is a negative impact of social media on family relationships.

Now, let’s explore the top five negative effects of social media on family relationships.

Top 5 negative effects of social media on family relationships

Here are the top five negative effects that social media has on family relationships.

1. Family communication

When family members maintain a healthy communication, the family collective will be more open and more beneficial. Communication within a family can be classified as either formal or informal as each has its unique advantages and drawbacks.

It is essential to maintain healthy communication among family members to improve the emotional well-being of all members. The openness of family communication is vital for emotional health, and it is important that everyone has their voice heard at the table.

It also helps people to understand how they are feeling by getting feedback from others in the family.

Social media interaction can be detrimental to interpersonal relationships because there are no proper human interactions within the family collective. A person’s emotions can be reflected digitally instead of personally, leading to misunderstandings and upset feelings.

2. Social Media Addiction

Social media addiction in families is a growing problem across the world. Social media platforms have become a primary source of communication, and many people feel compelled to check their phones multiple times a day. In some cases, this addiction can be detrimental to family relationships.

To combat this growing problem, individuals need to put controls that will limit their time on social media. This can be done by limiting screen time or not checking social media when in the company of family members. Children should also be monitored so they do not spend too much time on these sites because it can contribute to internet addiction and cyberbullying.

The bad effects of social media on family relationships can be seen when parents feel like they are not spending enough time with their children. The time that parents spend on social media is the time taken away from their children and their spouse. They also can’t see how far their children grow up without pictures. Children also may feel that they are not getting attention from their parents because they are too busy talking to other people on social media all day long.

3. Marriage relationships

Social media has changed how we interact with each other. Multiple types of research have shown that increased usage of social media has had a negative effect on marriages and relationships.

Increased levels of social media usage have led to more problems in the relationship, including infidelity, conflicts, jealousy, and eventually divorce.

Too much screen time: Some couples find themselves plugged into their devices rather than interacting with each other.

Such careless behavior also contributes to having distressed children in the family.

4. Mental health

Social media can have a negative impact on family mental health if it is used excessively.

Excessive use of social media can lead to decreased life satisfaction, reduced sense of security, and reduced satisfaction with personal daily routines. Social media can also lead to increased mood changes and have a bad impact on mood.

These feelings can negatively affect your mood and worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.

One of them is isolation. Social media can make it seem like everyone out there has a better life than you do, and this can make you feel isolated from your peers. The lack of a real-life connection can also lead to the feeling of isolation from your offline life.

To avoid these negative consequences, it’s important to think about how much time you spend on social media and what kinds of content you post. Think about how much time you spend scrolling through Instagram or Twitter, or Facebook. What do you see? What does it make you feel? These are all things worth questioning.


Students who use social media for more than 2 hours daily are considerably more likely to rate their mental health as fair or poor than occasional users.

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5. Distress among youth

The increase in social media use has created a new way of connecting with friends and family. The use of smartphones, email, and texting has increased this trend. However, social media can have an adverse effect on children who are not emotionally developed enough to handle the stress of having their every move scrutinized.

Social media can have a positive or negative effect on youth, depending on how it’s used. Not all social media use is good. Children are using it for negative posts, impulse control, and even addiction.

Some youth turn to social media as a coping mechanism when they feel negative emotions like sadness or anger; some go on it for impulse control; some go on it as an escape from reality, and others go on it because they can’t find any other way to fit in with society since they’re introverted or don’t like crowds.

One study finds that social media posts are part of how many young people are experiencing life. These posts are driving their interactions with others and with different aspects of life.

For many, these posts shape how they interact with each other at times and define their social circle. Youths of today feel that the internet and social media have changed their sense of what is real and fake.

Let’s not forget the positive impact of social media on family relationships

Family relationships have been affected by the rise of social media. This includes both positive and negative impacts. It is important to note that while some families may benefit from using social media, others could experience problems if they choose to utilize them.

It has changed the way we communicate profoundly and has expanded our social circles, given us access to information anywhere at any time, and facilitated the spread of modern revolutions.

The positive aspects of social media are mostly related to its ability to connect people even when they’re apart. With the use of mobile phones, people can share their experiences with their family and friends in real-time.

Social media has many positive effects on family relationships. It allows for better communication, and more sharing of experiences, and it makes it easier for relatives to stay connected regardless of where they are located in the world.

BONUS: Check these 33 cheap things to do instead of social media.

Tips on how to maintain a healthy balance between family relationships and social networking

As we explored most of the negative aspects of social media’s impact on family relationships, let me share some valuable tips on maintaining a healthy balance between social networking and family relationships.

1. One needs to be careful about spending too much time on social media and the internet because it can lead to isolation from others and over-exposure to certain things that can potentially harm one’s health.

2. Use social media to obtain helpful information, not just scroll through other people’s daily lives.

3. Spend more time with your family than on your smartphone

4. Have a good balance between social networking and real-life communication

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