The widespread use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and WhatsApp has changed the way people communicate. These platforms facilitate communication, collaboration, content sharing, and interaction. However, they are detrimental to effective communication between people. Social media has negative effects on real-life communication because it decreases the number of face-to-face interactions, alters the nature, quality, and scope of communication, and weakens language skills.
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Social media decreases the number of face-to-face interactions because it is based on virtual communication (Duck and McMahan 43). In contemporary society, people prefer to interact online rather than in person because it is easier and faster. In that regard, they have become more antisocial because of the tendency to spend a lot of time on computers and smartphones. Social media also alters the nature and scope of communication. One of the emerging trends with regard to communication and social media is a lack of interest in talking to one another when people are together (Duck and McMahan 47). In many instances, people focus on interacting with their online friends because it is considered more fun than talking in person. Social media weak communication skills because online interactions do not require the application of interaction aspects such as body language, the other person’s reactions, voice tone, and feelings (Rasmussen 68). In many cases, messages can be misinterpreted as the aforementioned aspects of communication are absent. Social websites also alter the quality of communication because they exclude certain cues of non-verbal communication. Interaction is non-verbal, and therefore, it excludes key aspects of effective communication such as intonations and facial expressions (Sahlin 47). People use smileys and emoticons to express their emotions.
Social media has created a quicker and more effective means of communication. However, it has led to the widespread use of slang and informal language in communication. Many people are finding it challenging to converse effectively in real-life situations because of the effects of excessive use of informal language (Rasmussen 57). In that regard, people’s speech capabilities have weakened. Other effects include a lack of professionalism and the absence of etiquette during communication (Sahlin 83). Research has shown that people who use social media in excess show signs of the loss of manners in real-life communication. The lack of emotional expression in online communication affects the quality of face-to-face interactions. The excessive use of social media makes people seem distant and unresponsive during face-to-face interactions.
In conclusion, social media has substituted real-life communication with virtual communication that is devoid of human connection and interaction. The speed, effectiveness, and ease of access to social media platforms are the main factors that have led to the catastrophic effects of online communication, which is experienced in contemporary society. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter lower the quality of communication, decrease the need for real-life communication, weaken people’s communication skills, and render communication ineffective. Important aspects, such as body language, intonations, and physical feedback, are absent in online communication.
Duck, Steve, and David McMahan. Communication in Everyday Life: A survey of Communication. SAGE Publications, 2013.
Rasmussen, Terje. (2014). Personal Media and Everyday Life: A Networked Life. Palgrave McMillan, 2014.
Sahlin, John. Social Media and the Transformation of Interaction in Society. IGI Global, 2015.
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