Today’s world has seen the most aspect of life being taken over by social media. It has become something that most of the people (if not everyone) has chosen to adapt to make their life more fun and interesting. With this in mind, social media can be defined by many as computer-mediated websites and applications (technologies) that provide a platform that allows for creation and sharing of various kinds of information and interacts with one another (Baym).
The information shared will always take the form of expressions, ideas, and other career interests. Examples of social media platforms include Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and snapchat among others. It is therefore clear that social media plays a crucial role in today’s societies; they have an impact on the people and the activities they indulge, this paper is going to make claims about the role of social media in the current world basing on how social media has hurt people’s communication skills, how it has made people be less emphatic towards each other and how it has hurt people’s relationships.
To begin with, social media has influenced and hurt people’s communication skills, with the development of various social media platforms like Facebook and twitter, the manner in which people communicate has taken drastic change over time (Bertoncin et al). This is because social networks do not limit people on how they should communicate. There is no specific language that is strictly used; this gives people the freedom to say and write what they want. This aspect of being free to share what someone wants without restriction is the element that has brought about harm to the communication skills of a person. It is essential to understand what communications skills are before talking about how individuals have been affected by influence from social media.
Various sources define communication skills as the ability to express oneself or share information and ideas effectively. Even though there are specific positive skills that people learn from social media, the negatives tend to be more impactful compared to the later (Fuchs). Therefore, it can be said that most people who use either Facebook twitter, Instagram and snapchat have had their abilities to share information and thought impaired (Bertoncin et al). Reason being the communication process has been distorted by the influence of people they communicate with.
To be more precise in tackling this matter of communication impairment, the use of Facebook messenger in particular to communicate has brought about the impoverishment of language. Using this platform to communicate require quick responses for one to keep the pace with those that they are sharing information with. Therefore, it has encouraged the use of shortened words to satisfy what has been mentioned above; to deliver their responses quickly. Such kind of information would mean that what is shared will be less effective that it’s intended conventional meaning. This kind of impairment of language is associated with the use of abbreviations (such as dunno, m2, lmao, and lol among others) and slangs, a language pattern that is only conversant to a particular group of people within the society. It should be noted that such communication behaviors will always temper with the formality of people in addressing people of a higher rank than them. This has become a scourge that has caught up with the younger generation who find it hard to maintain a good interpersonal skill in real life.
Apart from that, there is the aspect of social media encouraging the use of inappropriate languages. What people say when they direct message each other on Facebook messenger, Instagram or Twitter can be termed as inappropriate in some certain ways. As stated earlier, there are no limits to what someone can say when communicating to another person (Bertoncin et al). Therefore, the use of vulgar can be more rampant and this will affect how one will communicate with the rest of the people they associate with.
Secondly, another effect that is associated with social media influence is that it has made people become less emphatic of each other in the sense that there are no interpersonal interactions between people (Fuchs). Although these platforms can help in establishing initial contact through the formation of groups that aid in uniting people, they have greatly encouraged the non-verbal communication. It is a bigger problem because the facts that people prefer non-verbal communication over interpersonal relationships and interactions. This has had a negative impact on the ability of the people to establish contact with other people because they lack the courage to initiate and maintain a conversation. In general, this can be said to affect the expectations (the expected reaction and emotional aspect) people have when they want to either meet new people or those who have been part of their life but disappeared for a while. Currently, a significant percentage of people would ideally prefer staying at home and check on other people through Facebook, twitter, Instagram or snapchat (Pater et al). There is no aspect of people getting together and hanging out anymore.
There is no real-life experience of interacting and sharing a meal and fun anymore. In fact, this has been made worse by the fact that the social media websites have introduced video calls, sending of images and ’emojis’ which portray a variety of feelings. People have become fond of the social media that they have forgotten that there is a life beyond using devices to communicate. They have forgotten the value of interpersonal interactions and this has led to what has come to be commonly known as ‘social media depression.’ This is where people are experiencing difficulties in their lives but they hide behind the keyboard and pretend everything is fine (Pater et al).
People are suffering at the expense of social media because everyone seems to be happy on their facebook and twitter pages but to be honest they are at their worst. And the fact that everyone is busy concentrating on making their pages look more attractive does not mean that they don’t need a friend to talk to besides those on social media platforms. The lack of interpersonal interactions is what drives people to become emphatic of each other. It is like they don’t have time for each other anymore.
Lastly, social media has also major played a role in influencing people’s r relationships. By stating relationships, focus shifts to the interpersonal (intimate) relationships between couples. The even though it has both positive and negative effects, the paper will focus on the negative side; how it hurts the people. Social media define the current generation where about 85% of the people use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and snap chats. This means that they will involve the public in parts of their private lives by sharing some of the moments in the form of pictures, videos or even words to their loved ones. The power of social media cannot be undermined for the part it plays in relationships. It generally influences how we eat, dress, and interact with other people. Humans have a tendency of living a life by emulating what other people do and this is what is making most relationships to fail. Most relationships have come to an end due to one of the partners in a couple has many expectations from the other simply because they want to live a high life like that of what people post on social media. People fake life while other assumes they are living right something that creates a perception that they can to live that way. At the end of the day, they pile too much pressure on their partners who find it unbearable and quit.
As it is known, social media platforms are sealed with privacy policies which protect people from accessing other people’s information. People definitely need privacy, but when it is used to conceal evils people commit it becomes a nuisance. There are rampant cases of cheating that have been brought by social media. People will always interact but some will be tempted to venture into new relationships with people who seem to be’ good’ for them. And in the event, they end up cheating on their partners just because they can’t access their private account on Facebook or twitter or Instagram. Research conducted shows that many people have left their real-life partners to be with people they met on social media platforms.
In conclusion, social media will always have an influence on the people who use it. In as much as it defines the current generation, it also tends to interfere with how people take on life. People’s communication skills are becoming poor and poor each day, the old-time interpersonal relationships are fading away and people’s relationships are suffering in the hands of the likes of Facebook, twitter, Instagram and snapchat. Focusing on limiting time spent on social media is the only way to monitor and control the negatives mentioned above.