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Social Media And Human Interaction

Is Social Media A Part Of The Problem?

Many of us are so caught up in the social media world that we never stop to think about the impact it is having on a wider scale. We all know that it has changed society to a point, but not many people really look at the affect on basic human interaction. Will face-to-face communication diminish as social media becomes more prominent?

social media communication
Source: fminhas.com

This is a question that intrigues researchers since the rise of social media platforms in the last decade, and whilst people are clearly still in love with the art of communication, there is strong evidence to support the claims that social media is harming people’s ability to interact competently in an offline situation, which is a very worrying prospect going forward in a culture that likes to embrace the theory of evolution.

With this said, studies on the social competency of young people who spend a great deal of time on social media platforms are conflicting, and there is always a way in research to make sure that you end up with the statistics that suit your bias.

An example of the above is a study carried out by the National Institute of Health who found that young people with strong face-to-face relationships, may be those who use social media as an alternative and additional platform to interact with their friends and acquaintances. This is a pretty obvious statement considering it was the conclusion of a piece of research, and it does not take into account the positives that social media holds for introverted characters of whom struggle to feel comfortable in a physical setting.

Despite these positive elements of social media, it has played a part in many people’s inability to hold down a coherent conversation. This is very dangerous for society as a whole because if Forbes magazine is to be trusted, then only 7% of communication is based on the verbal word, which means that over 90% of communication relies heavily on body language, eye contact, and tone of voice.

Technology has ensured that these are being taken away from basic communication, and now we have to play a guessing game when reading a text message or a Facebook post. This is an unfortunate reality for all of us now, because social media, and texting has become the most efficient way of communication, with efficient being the key word in society now.

social media communication
Source: womenshealthmag.com
Efficiency is crucial in the system we live in today, and if you as a person are not efficient then you become a problem. This is all part of capitalist mentality, which has led to a culture of high modernity. This attitude sees big corporations making huge amounts of money, whilst dehumanising all aspects of the work place. Whilst it goes against all the positive aspect of human nature, human beings can easily be indoctrinated and influenced into an ideology, and social media fits into the capitalist mentality perfectly.

Big businesses are using social media more and more, and their presence can be felt across all platforms, so not only is communication between peers being dumbed down, but also social outings such as shopping are being given the same treatment, as it can all be done over the Internet, and communication between a customer and a company can now efficiently be held online.

Social Media is good in its roots. Twitter for example seeks to offer a space where free speech is encouraged, but if you are to scroll down a feed, half the posts are from corporations trying to sell their products. Of course there are still positives to take from social media, as you don’t have to follow any of these companies, but the one thing we cannot escape from is the decline of human interaction on a basic level.

Even without the research, the evidence is there, just look around. Technology has taken over as the number one source of communication, and it will never change now. Hopefully society can seek the positive elements of social media, and utilise those instead of continuing down this avenue of dehumanised interaction, and over consumption.

Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Social Media And Human Interaction Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 Rating: 5
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