Has the Use of Social Media Affected Our Communications Skills?

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The majority of people from junior high, high school, college, young adults and adults ranging to 65-years-old indulge in social media and the use of their cell phones on a daily basis. People have found comfort in communicating through this digital second party. Americans spend close to 23 hours a week texting, accessing social media accounts and other communication resources. This has, in result, put a strain on our communication skills in our everyday lives.

Will face-to-face communication diminish because of all these new social technologies? There is no way to tell because the use of face-to-face communication will still hold some relevance in the political, corporate and even parts of the eduction sectors. However, due to the increase in “these social technologies” we will lack the proper skills and even ability to hold a conversation during interpersonal communication. Students for example have become dependent on cell phones and social platforms where they have learned this specific language. A language that was meant to be used only in the world of technology and has now been merged in research papers, speeches and even during interviews. Students and those of the younger generation have not been guided on how to separate the two languages and have failed to learn the art of “Code-Switching” which is something that most people in the business world say is very relevant and important in order to make it. In a study conducted by  The Society of Human Resource Management, college and job recruiters were interviewed. Theses recruiters stated that their jobs are getting hard because they are turned-off by applicants with poor vocabulary and an inarticulate way of expressing themselves. The use of social media and text talk has made its way into their education having negative effects.

Most times when we access social media we scroll across things that don’t flatter our eye. We broadcast problems that occur in our lives as a form of release and argue with people that we don’t even know over irrelevant topics that deem themselves specific to these social sites. We don’t think that these social media platforms have added stress to our lives and fail to understand how those online arguments and open releases of feeling affect how we talk about our problems with others. Social media, text and emails increase stress and anxiety levels. In 2012 it was reported that sites like Facebook cause its users more stress and feelings of inadequacy. People were unable to express their problems with others online or face-to-face from certain trauma which resulted in isolation from spouses, family members, friends, loss of jobs, failure to keep a job and poor progress in school. The more we rely on these social technologies to help us dish out problems with friends or even our own personal problems the less we will be able to express our thoughts causing us to feel stressed, have anxiety and push us to be even more isolated.

One might think that this over taking of social media is minor and that as long as you are aware of the problem then your communications skills won’t be affected. However most people think that if they are aware that this won’t happen to them but most times it has already taken place. If we don’t take hold of the problem and control these social platforms and not allow them to control and change us then we will be able to prosper in our communication skills. We fail to realize that communication and being able to hold interactive conversations with a person or persons is a basic skill that we need in everyday life and we cant afford to let Facebook, Instagram or Twitter put a hinge in this skill.

Taylor Moses is a Sophomore Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Chicago, Illinois. She is a member of the Mass Communications Club and the Honor Student Organization. She will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the 2017-2018 school semester.

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