Social Media’s Impact On Face To Face Communication In America

1339 words - 5 pages

It has been argued that the strength of one’s society is based upon the social rules it embraces. These rules while sometimes simple and easily identified can at other times be complicated with unwritten presupposed conditions that strong social communities rely upon as their principle governing conduct. This conduct can be exemplified in the way its citizens communicate ideas, interact with one another, accept personal responsibility for their actions, and participate in the community as a whole. Social media’s lack of face-to-face contact is leading to the collapse of these social rules and consequently to the decline of social skills in America today.
In the last twenty-five years, advancements in technology combined with the unbridled growth of social media, has dramatically altered not only the methods used to communicate but the linguistics as well. The meteoric rise in the use of new media sources have resulted in the creation of a type of shorthand English. With today’s social media, abbreviations such as LOL, OMG, BRB, and ROFL are easily recognizable by its followers yet remain a mystery to those not connected. The preference of the younger generation for social media such as texting, Twitter, and Facebook over face–to-face communication has not only had an effect on communication skills, but has also led to a further disconnect with the adult population. Twenty years ago, when a family went out to dinner it was considered family time; an opportunity for all the family members to get caught up with what was going on in each other’s life. Today, watching that same family outing, one is much more likely to see each of them sitting at the same table, looking down at a smart phone texting, and very little if any conversation taking place. While expressing his concerns regarding young people’s reliance on texting and social media sites when communicating with adults, Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University states," Many kids say they prefer not to talk face to face,ʺ and "that choice might damage young people’s communication skills for years to comeʺ (Clemmitt 2). Being able to read body language and recognize the emotional reactions of the other party during face-to-face interaction is a major factor in effective interpersonal communication skills. Removing these abilities from the communication toolbox puts one in the position to be unable to determine if the desired message has been adequately and even more important, accurately communicated. Rosen says, “Furthermore, without enough practice observing how people communicate through tone and gesture, it becomes difficult to accurately read face-to-face conversations that do take place” (Clemmitt2). This breakdown in communication skills leads to misunderstandings and confusion, and possible confrontations.
Social media’s lack of face-to-face communication also leads to a degree of anonymity. History is filled with examples of vitriolic speech...

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