The Effects of Cyberculture on the Family

The Effects of Social Networking on the Family
Moira Galea
University of Malta

There are different ways how we can communicate online. Social Networking Sites aim to build online communities of people sharing common interests. Social Networking Sites have become increasingly common, in recent years, for a variety of purposes. There are various advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of these sites. Most important is their effect on communication, especially within the family. This is a new reality faced by the members of the family today. A set of measures must be adopted to protect our children from the hazards that may be encountered online. We can help people to use these sites more effectively and to an advantage.

In recent years, Social Networking online has become ever more popular.   Adults, youth and children are now not only computer literate, but they engage most of their free time online. This reflects the situation of families here in Malta. Today, a high percentage of youth and adults communicate regularly online, by means of Social Networking Sites. Even though, children may be underage to create their own accounts, they too seem to be users of common Social Network Sites such as Facebook.

In this paper, I shall attempt to look more closely at the most common Social Network Sites being used and their effects on the family, in particular on communication. I shall interview five families to get a clearer image of what is happening on our islands, and analyze their response in the context of existing literature. I shall consult studies and articles that are available online, including Church documents to support Christian views, and try to propose an exhaustive guide that will help members of the family to use Social Networking Sites safely and effectively.

Online Communication
With the availability of internet in most of our households, communication with the outside world has taken many...