How to Create Meaningful Relationships IRL in the Age of Social Media

Don’t let the title fool you—we’ve got zero beef with social media. We love it for its ability to expose us to like-minded internet friends, introduce us to the unknown, and keep in touch with our closest friends and family.

Yet sometimes, as we’re hitting refresh and on our social feeds for the 17th time before bed, we can’t help but wonder if all this “social” stimulation is isolating us more than it’s bringing us together. Are we gathering followers, friends, likes, and comments but losing touch with our humanity?

Will a Facebook like ever replace an in-person compliment? Will a kind comment on Instagram ever substitute a heartfelt dinner conversation? We posed these questions to Fran Walfish, PsyD, Beverly Hills–based family and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, and co-star of Sex Box on We TV, and the answer was a hard no.

Read on for Walfish’s take on how to put down the phone and cultivate your IRL relationships.