Social Media Harms Social Skill

June 19, 2017

Ever since social media was introduced, people have been negatively affected by it. Although people can stay connected to their friends when they are apart, meet new people, and know current events from all around the world; however this leads to more disconnection from the world than ever: commitment to friendships is weak, children are less attentive to their family, and people are losing their traditional communication skills.

Social media makes people feel connected to those they talk to, yet it takes away the essential parts that make the connection. In Johann Harl’s Huffington Post article “Has The Internet Brought Us Together?Or Pulled Us Apart?” claims that social media is: “?a way of having a “friend” but not having any of the commitments and duties of friendship… where we pretend we are together, when in reality we are alone.” Social media excludes body language, attitude, or any indicators other than plain text. This gives people a sense of disconnection from the people they are communicating with because we rely on these cues to decode what is meant when someone says something. It gives them a false incentive that makes them feel unobligated from committing to the promises they make in a friendship. On the internet we only acknowledge the information available on our screens. We don’t see the person we communicate with.

In addition to people missing essential parts of connection, children are less attentive with their family and instead talking to their friends on social media. According to Robert Weiss’s Huffington Post article, “Closer Together or Further Apart? Digital Devices and the New Generation Gap,” in today’s world “the divide is more about the fact that young people neither see nor hear their elders because, from a communications standpoint, the two generations are not in the same room.” Social media is affecting new generations of people to be less connected with older generations like their parents. Children love being with their friends and since social media made it to be in their reach, they emphasize spending time alone on social media rather than spending time with their family. It’s causing an imbalance between having family time and being with friends. It is causing a separation between children and family.

Furthermore, social media is negatively affecting growing teenager’s communication skills. Rachel Ehmke states in her Child Mind Institute article “How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers” that social media “puts everybody in a nonverbal disabled context, where body language, facial expression, and even the smallest kinds of vocal reactions are rendered invisible.” Teenagers that primarily communicate through social media are more likely to not render nonverbal communication languages that are used when face to face. They aren’t adapted to traditional communication. This means they won’t be able to comprehend the languages through face to face communication. If they can’t comprehend the entire meaning of a conversation in advance, then they have an undeveloped skill of communication. Social media is causing new generations to lose an essential skill set that is needed in their adult lives.

Social media plays a large part in many people’s lives, though there should be a certain limitations to how much we should use it. It’s been negatively affecting people’s perception of friendship, the connection children have with their families, and growing teenager’s practice of socializing. So, if we learn to adopt new ways to reach a balance over the usage of social media, then we can stop the lasting issue from becoming as out of hand as it is now.

Young Joon, Ha

Glen A.Wilson High School 9th Grade

<Young Joon, Ha Glen A. Wilson HS 9th grade>