Effects of Social Media on Communication Skills

By Prof. Chetan R. Bhamare

M.A., B. Ed. English

RJSPM-ACS College, Pune

The emergence of social media has created a new avenue for facilitating daily information and communication needs. As technology grows and expands our range of communication, social media is becoming a vital tool for daily social interaction. It creates opportunity for people to interact with each other in a way that is both helpful and essential to socially motivate people. The rapid fire quick communication style that captivates the millennials and other generation has shifted our conversations from ‘face-to-face’ instances to ‘through –the-screen’ ones.

Social Media is described as the collection of online communication channels dedicated to community based input, interaction, content sharing and collaboration. Some of the commonly known communication websites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. With the help of this websites people can share memories, reconnect with friends, plan events, and communicate almost instantaneously. The social media has positive as well as negative impacts on communication skills.

Social networks have become the central facilitator for daily communication with peers, family and acquaintances. It is affecting our relationships and decreases the quality of inter-personal communication. Another impairment of communication skills caused by the extensive use of social media platform is the impoverishment of language. Using messengers’ people often use shortened versions of words in order to type and deliver their messages as quickly as possible. Shortened versions like “k”, “ttyl”, “ur”, “der”, “gr8”,”cu”,”tc” and so on completely ruins the grammar and syntax. It also develops the use of slang terms and sometimes people tend to forget that they are neglecting the beauty of language when they are online busy with the social media.

Social media and online communication is believed to be having adverse effect on social skills and communication among adolescents. Long ago, the time when social media did not exist and social communication and interaction were the only way of communication.  In the era of technology, social media interactions now dominates both online and offline conversations. In a society where interacting and over-sharing is the norm, you are probably more likely to speak to friends and family through electronic devices than face-to-face. Often at events or parties, guests are attached to their smart phones twitting or texting, but no one is truly engaging or interacting with the people around them. As more generations are born into the social age, social media will continue to be the favored communication form among young people. However, this shift may begin to affect their ability to properly communicate in person with peers.

“Communication is constantly evolving, some people are used to seeing their friend’s online avatar as if the face”. There is a greater desire to share with other people you barely know, than actually hanging out with friends and making memories. At the end of the day, nothing can replace face-to-face conversation and interaction. Despite the explosion of online endorsements and social media dialogue between individuals and brands, researchers have found word-of-mouth exchanges and in-depth conversations are still most influential.

Whether or not people want to accept it, social media has several negative impacts on their daily lives. We cannot deny the fact that social platform is very helpful providing news, gossips, and to keep in touch with friends and family, but we cannot afford it to become the focal point of our lives. The access that people have on the internet and social media specifically has become too easy. It has made the language lazy and thus resulting people uninterested in meeting others in person, which eliminates any chance of deep and meaningful conversation. People have started losing their ability to communicate efficiently, which is a testament, to what kind of total control social media has over their lives. Overall, social media can be beneficial if used wisely and in the proper proportion. So, it is easy to conclude that the negative impact of social media far outweigh any benefits that they may provide to society at this juncture.

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