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Social Media: Positive and Negative Effects

Today, it is all too easy to create an idealized online persona that individuals project in their virtual interactions with others. For some people, this might mean decreased social anxiety or shyness, allowing them to communicate with more people they would have felt comfortable with within the offline world. Some might even feel more confident in their romantic lives, with 39% of Americans reporting they found their other half online as of 2017 (Shashkevich, 2019). Furthermore, the ease of communication and organization online can make it easier for schoolchildren to connect and facilitate education (Akram, 2018). Overall, there are many possible advantages to the technological advantages of today.

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Nevertheless, there are numerous spheres in which social media and constant Internet access have a detrimental effect. In-person social interactions require detection and interpretation of body language and invisible cues (Capozzi & Ristic, 2018). However, the increasing popularity of online communication for younger generations does not allow for the required social skills to develop. While instant messaging has the advantage of being, as suggested by the name, instant, it does not allow for the personal connection that is nurtured by offline interactions.

Other online communication platforms, such as Snapchat or Instagram that allow instant photographs, mostly selfies, to be sent along with the text message, attempt to mimic the face-to-face interactions. Similarly, one would expect video-calling platforms, such as Zoom or Skype, to be comparable with offline interaction. However, the major vital difference between an online platform and real-life situations is the ability one has to consider their response, to react in a more controlled way. Therefore, when they are exposed to such communication during early development, they might suffer from undeveloped real-life social skills in the future.

References

Akram, W. (2018). A Study on Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media on Society. International Journal of Computer Sciences and Engineering, 5(10), 347-354.

Capozzi, F. & Ristic, J. (2018). How attention gates social interaction. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1426(1).

Shashkevich, A. (2019). Meeting online has become the most popular way U.S. couples connect, Stanford sociologist finds. Stanford News. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Social Media: Positive and Negative Effects." November 16, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-media-positive-and-negative-effects/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Social Media: Positive and Negative Effects'. 16 November.

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