Social Media And Interpersonal Communication

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According to Merriam-Webster, a company well known for their dictionaries, they state that the definition of social media is “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos),” (Definition Of SOCIAL MEDIA). Social media is a great tool in life that makes things that were once difficult easier. Communicating with family that lives states over is easier with Facebook Messenger. A subapp created by Facebook that is strictly for communication. However, with a positive side must come a negative side. Social media influences less interpersonal communications in education, dating and entertainment. This happens when people begin to communicate through devices rather than communicating through face to face communication.

Online dating sites such as Eharmony, Match, and other sites have become seemingly more popular due to the high demand of people enhancing their technical abilities. According to Psychology Today, a magazine company that allows psychology literature to become more generalized mentioned that 77 percent of people think it is very important to have their cell phones with them at all times in a study done in 2013 (Psychology Today). The use of technology in a modern world has taken away from communication that involves person to person contact on a regular basis. ¨In 1992, when the Internet was still in its infancy, less than 1 percent of Americans met their partners through personal ads or matchmaking services. By 2009, 22 percent of heterosexual couples and 61% of same-sex couples reported meeting online…¨ (Psychologists highlight pitfalls of online dating). A factor that makes online dating takes away from interpersonal communication is the fact that it makes a person over analyze ones profile. Usually, a person who is looking for a relationship does not always know what they want from the relationship. An online profile shows factors that could seem irrelevant in looking for a partner; an example of this is knowing what favorite sports team is the most relevant to them. If the two people would have met in person then they could both take into each others demeanor and possibly evaluate if there is a romantic spark between them. Online you can not tell if the person is going to be respectful, kind, and honorable. Placing a person behind a screen gives them the opportunity to create a false persona that can correlate with their potential partners needs and wants. Another negative of online dating is the possibility of a person getting scammed raises due to the fact the person has no idea who they are communicating with unless they have met on previous terms. Television shows like MTV’s Catfish is a show that is based off someone believing that they have met someone who is a real person and communication is being shared between the two partners. The false person is created by using social media profiles with a different person’s photos and sometimes a different person’s identity. The show nears its ending by explaining to the unexpected victim that he or she has been falsely lied to and led on by another person intentionally. Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the definition of catfish as, “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes” (Definition of CATFISH). Dating online overall is a great way to keep up with the modern age with new technology, however it takes away from being able to determine a person’s qualities and if they are the right person to be in a relationship with.

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Social media intertwining itself with education is deeper than using online sources for research. When social media and education intertwine themselves it can have many positives. For example Google, a technology company that credits itself for being involved with hi-tech internet, created Google Classroom. The purpose of Google Classroom is to create an easier system between educators and students. Google Classroom allows educators to create a digital classroom that assignments can be posted and completed strictly online. As great as it is to be able to complete education from a handheld device it can cause multiple issues such as social media addiction, the overall lack of in person communication. An academic journal regarding social media addiction from Masaryk University gives a better insight for social media addiction. “Individuals with social media addiction are often overly concerned about social media and are driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on and use social media…” (Yubo, 1-17). Symptoms of social media (also called internet addiction) are yet not limited to sleep deprivation, the inability to prioritize or keep schedules, procrastination and more (Internet Addiction Disorder). As a student it is widely recognized and acknowledged that students are supposed to get eight hours of sleep and an effect of not getting enough sleep can definitely affect a students education. A quote regarding sleep deprivation states, “16% of kids confess to checking emails and texts after going to bed,” (How Social Media May Be Causing Sleep Deprivation). Another downfall of mixing education and social media is how much of a distraction it becomes. According to an academic journal that focused the entry on innovating trends in computing and communication said, “Students, who attempt to multi-task, checking social media sites while studying, show reduced academic performance” (Use of Social Media in Education: Positive and Negative impact on the students). When students use devices such as chromebooks other sites like Youtube and Pandora are still accessible and could be a distraction which overall disturbs the educational thought process. After high school most of those graduates will head to a college or to spend more time enhancing their education. What separates highschool students from college students is the high level of freedom college students have. With that freedom comes a responsibility and self control that college freshmen may or may not have. Just like highschool students college students use their phones for their education however in college their education is being paid most likely from that students pocket; everytime a student doesn’t pay attention in class, they are losing money for the class they paid for. A quote that supports college students are using their technology as a distraction states, “Around 97% of college students use their phones during class for non-educational purposes” (“Study: 97% of college students”). The students using their phones in class whether it is for their education or not lose the ability and opportunity to connect with their professor. Being able to physically talk to an educator allows opportunity for asking more questions as well as shows the professor that the student is serious about their education. According to Jim Whiting’s book “Online Communication and Social Networking” he says, “Some commentators suggest that social media…is…helping to develop a cyberculture in which technology replaces genuine emotion” (Whiting 48) Overall this proves that technology in the classroom has the possibility to become detrimental to a pupil’s education.

Many people find themselves getting lost within their own entertainment. Whether it is listening to a specific band, playing hours of video games, or even just watching a movie. By communicating through video games a person can lose the social skills to communicate in person. Many games such as Call of Duty, NBA 2k20 and other games are played on an online servers. It is on the online server where the player of the game can communicate with other players. A lot of time being able to communicate without showing your face is comforting to the online players who suffer from social anxiety. However, by taking away the component of person to person communication it does not improve one’s social skills. 51 percent of high school graduates and 40 percent have less than a high school education (Adults and Video Games). All teenagers need the social skills to communicate in the real world due to the fact that most jobs do not communicate through a screen. By not actively participating and using their social skills to communicate with people person to person the risk of skills declining increases. Another factor that is entertainment based social media addiction. Youtube, which is a social media network is a widely used website that can be used for a plethora of options. Things like cooking videos, learning to graph a linear equation and many more options are on Youtube. Social media mixing with interpersonal communicans can be very positive, unlike the initial thought. In music, lyrics are often used as a way to communicate the song writers emotions. The song writer writes down their emotions and from those emotions popular songs are formed. Alex Aiono created the song titled Unloving you and in the song Alex is talking about wanting to forget and erase a relationship that he had with someone. The chorus of the song includes the lyrics “Unloving you is the hardest thing to do. Wish I could find a way to be unlove with you” (Genius). The song continues to talk about his heartbreak which is a positive way to express emotions. By creating this song Alex Aiono is participating in interpersonal communications. Interpersonal communication is tied into entertainment because the point of entertainment is to be able to be able to occupy a person. Majority of the time with the entertainment being fun and amusing.

Social media will continue to affect interpersonal communications due to entertainment, education and dating. Online dating causes a person to over analyze their potential partner and could possibly set themselves up to get scammed online. Whereas mixing education and social media can set students up for social media addiction and cause distractions that seriously affects a students education performance. Finally, entertainment can cause students to lose their social skills and cause social media addiction just like online dating. In the end blending social media within our lives and daily routine is something bound to happen. As the current generations grow older into adulthood they will be replaced by others that will have been born in a time period where almost everything is digital. Adjusting and growing with social media and finding a way to blend it without disorienting interpersonal communications will keep everything balanced.  


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