Social Media has been one of the fastest growing aspects of the Internet. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other such means of communication are being used by millions all around the world each and every day. With the emergence of these websites, people now have easier means of communication through the use of a single website. Thus, through this ease, people are resorting to using the Internet and other such means of social media to communicate at an unprecedented amount. This is especially true for teenagers today, the people we call digital natives. Rather than speaking with someone face-to-face, picking up a telephone, or writing a letter, teens use the Internet for communication. This is where I raise my question. How has the lack of face-to-face communication on social network sites affected how teenagers personally communicate?
It has come to scientists’ and psychologists’ attention that by using the social media more than face-to-face communication, there could be possible fallouts for how a teenager will act in the future. Through my research, I have found that most researchers are quite inconclusive at the time. Results are either extremely negative or profoundly positive for a teenager’s demeanor in life. On a positive note, some studies have found that through social media, teenagers are bettering the way they communicate outside of social media. When they come face-to-face with someone, their communication skills are bettered because they have ‘practiced’ on the Internet. Studies have also shown that most people teens talk to through social media are actually their friends whom they have face-to-face conversations with on a regular basis. So, in a way, face-to-face communication has remained the same even with the emergence of social media.
Researchers have also found there are many negative aspects revolving around teens using social media and face-to-face communication. A few studies showed that by using social media more and more, teens are losing their ability to read non-verbal cues from other people. Emotion and intimacy are lacking with teens and the newer generation because they do not know how to judge how someone feels outside of the emoticons and slang phrases. In another study, psychologists believe that social anxiety is starting to result from heavy social media users. Teens are afraid to speak to others in public. They, in fact, use the internet to hide behind.
Overall, the answer to my question cannot be looked at with a concise response just yet. The era of social media users is still young. Years and years of studies need to be conducted until a final answer can be found determining whether the lack of face-to-face communication will affect teenagers. Right now, there are too many ideas regarding whether it is helpful or detrimental. In my opinion, as I find more and more articles talking about this topic, I believe the negative is overpowering the positive. Social media is going to affect the way we speak and compose ourselves out from behind the wall of the internet.