Hindering Social Skills

1890 Words 8 Pages
The use of social media sites has increased rapidly amongst people of all ages across the nation. According to a study done by Pew Research Center on the use of social media by adult internet users, the number of people on social media sites has risen from 8% in 2005 to 74% in 2014 (Pew Research Center, 2014). As people are using these tools for online communication more and more could they be abandoning some their real life social skills? Is the lack of face-to-face, real world, human contact having negative effects on one’s ability to comfortably and confidently maneuver social situations? I fear that the ever increasing use of social media could be leading us to a nation of socially awkward people who prefer online interactions to real world …show more content…
This is a major drawback because non-verbal communication is a major part of face to face communication and it is very important to know what these cues are in order to accurately express and detect the true meaning of what is being said. While these sites do allow you to talk and interact with others through many different means, (comments, messages, pictures, emoticons, etc.) these means all have one negative in common; they lack ability to engage in non-verbal communication. Some of the most common ways of communicating non-verbally, or without the use of words, are with: facial expressions, body movements and posture, gestures, eye contact, touch, space, and tone of voice (Boose et al., 2016). When a person is constantly communicating through these portals on a screen they are not being able to use the major non-verbal methods and thus don’t get to learn how to properly express and/or read non-verbal cues. Segal, Smith, Boose, and Jaffe provide a good excerpt on why non-verbal communication matters in their (2016) article on HelpGuide
The way you listen, look, move, and react tells the other person whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport. When they don’t, they generate tension, mistrust, and
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According to GlobalWebIndex since 2012, the amount of time spent on social media sites has risen from 1.61 hours a day to 1.72 hours a day in 2014 (Mander, 2014).The major problem with this is that people tend to use social media instead of, or even during, real life interactions. People who are afraid of physical social interaction are likely to choose online experiences over real life experiences. Being that there are so many different types of social sites everyone is able to find a chatroom, blog, or another outlet that allows them to further ignore the social world around them while getting lost in the virtual world. A study done by Pew Research Center in 2011 found that 30% of young adults “have used their phone to avoid interacting with the people around them” (Smith, 2011). Also rising, with the incline of portable smart devices, is the occurrence of people scrolling through such sites while they are supposed to be on a date, or hanging with friends. People don’t even understand how rude this habit is because there has been such a decline in proper social skills and people are unaware they are showing a major lack of dedication to the relationship by doing this. Another way social media consumes peoples’ lives is when a person becomes preoccupied with maintaining their “online persona” and number of online followers and not with making real

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