Relationships can be strengthened by apps

While social media apps can be addictive, it is critical to realize that many social connections arise from them

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Relationships can be strengthened by apps

LAUREN PETTIT

LAUREN PETTIT

LAUREN PETTIT

HALEY BRICKWEDEL, Evergreen Columnist

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Social media platforms, networks used to share and create content, are growing all over the world. There are well known social media sites, Instagram being one of many networks that young adults use daily. There are even individuals who are addicted to social media, who spend hours every day on these apps. 

Instagram is an app that is utilized as a visual platform. A user posts pictures to share with and update others. The user takes pictures to post with quick and savvy captions. The caption can be short or long depending on what the user wants to put online, along with hashtags and locations. There is also an option for the Instagram user to tag others in posts, and share posts with one another. Users can connect to other users with similar likes, as well as users in the same area. The last important feature on Instagram is the direct message. The direct message function gives the user a chance to share posts with another user. These could be posts that they find funny or relatable. 

Instagram is used by so many people every day. However, there is a specific age group that Instagram is marketed towards. 

A Pew Research Center study in 2019 found that 67 percent of 18-29 year old internet users use Instagram. Instagram alone has one billion monthly active users, according to Instagram Info Center. With so many young people online, there are millions of opportunities to have many possible interactions.

With so many people spending time on Instagram, it can come as no surprise that the app is utilized to make and keep connections. 

However, people have started to wonder, is this a good place to start and build relationships, whether they are friendships or dating relationships? To answer this question it seemed fitting to ask individuals from 18 to 29 years of age who use the Instagram app. 

“Before coming to WSU, I was able to find my roommate through Instagram. Many times people post their social media on the roommate finder,” said Trinity Wood, a sophomore medical science major.

 She said she met her roommate through Instagram. Trinity said social media is a way to get to know who someone is and communicate with friends who live far away. 

On the other side, not all users are looking to cultivate new relationships through the app. 

“I have connected with old friends, like a girl from my old elementary school,” said Zoe Ruchti, a sophomore kinesiology major. 

Zoe said she had not met anyone new through Instagram. However, she likes using it to keep up to date with her friends. 

Trinity and Zoe had one thing in common: they both use social media to maintain connections. They use the Instagram app to keep connected to the friendships that they have formed outside of social media and prior to attending WSU. In that way there is potential for Instagram to be used in more ways than just a photo sharing site. The app can be utilized to make connections with people in the same area code, different states and even different countries. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Social media is used to make connections, as well as maintain connections. Though it can be an addiction for many, it has a chance to build communities and create new relationships, whether those relationships are familial, platonic or romantic. The Instagram app gives young adults the chance to make connections that they may not necessarily find on their own.