The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication
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The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication
How has the lack of face-to-face communication on social network sites affected how teenagers personally communicate?
Curated by Shelby Snider
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My Findings

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.

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Dom Cima's comment, March 11, 2013 2:22 PM
Researchers have discovered that there are many negative outlooks concerning teens using social networking and human interaction. Some studies show that the more often teens use social networking they are less likely to understand emotional signs from other people. This is a result of teens using slang words and emojis to show their emotions rather than displaying them in person. Also other researchers have found that teens that using social networking too much can lead to social anxiety. This means they are afraid to confront and talk to other people and would rather "hide behind" the internet to do so.
Dom Cima's comment, March 13, 2013 10:09 AM
Everyday millions of people go onto sites such as twitter and facebook. Thanks to these websites people can communicate with much less difficulty now. Because of this is so convient to use, people are taking advantage of it and using it to much, this mainly applies to teenagers. Teens would rather go onto one of these sites to communicate than write a letter, talk on the phone, or even talk to them in person.
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Does talking trump internet social networking?

Does talking trump internet social networking? | The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication | Scoop.it

"Social wellness (health) is measured by one’s ability to get along and interact effectively with others, appreciating their diversity, maintaining satisfying re..."

 

For the most part, this article is arguing that the global revolution of technology is ruining the wellbeing of human contact. The author made an interesting comparison using the academy award winning film, The Artist. He claims that people are starting to garner anxiety, like in the movie, when forced to talk in ‘public.’ The actor in the movie is afraid to speak in movies and people today are afraid to speak when they are not on the internet. The author claims that in order to change this anxiety, teachers need to be instructing their students to verbally communicate with each other while learning in classrooms. This task will involve students communicating with another face-to-face when they need a question answered. It will further help the students learn to communicate and advance their skills for the future. I found this article to be insightful because of its solution to fixing communication skills. If people use this idea, we may stray away from using social networking sites so often.

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BBC NEWS | UK | Online networking 'harms health'

BBC NEWS | UK | Online networking 'harms health' | The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication | Scoop.it
Social networking sites could be harming people's health by reducing levels of face-to-face contact, an expert claims.

 

Social networking has become the biggest area of growth on the internet. This article explains that teens and people of other ages are spending more time on the Internet’s social networking sites more than interacting with people face-to-face. I find that this article is especially interesting because it is discussing the evolutionary effects the Internet and social networking has on us. Dr. Sigman explains that it is a biological need to interact with another human being. Being with another human has many benefits such as bettering immune systems, releasing certain hormones, and other such responses. Yet, as we spend less and less time with humans, it is inevitable that the evolution of human beings will change over time. We will go from needing constant communication in order to better the human race into creating a population driven by singular, personal needs.

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Katie Maguire's curator insight, July 3, 2013 4:47 PM

I can relate to this in my life. When I am sick, and can't see my friends or other people I know, I will spend a lot of the day on facebook, and it makes me feel more connected than before, but I still feel a strong desire to interact with people.

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Adolescent Peer Relationships and Behavior Problems Predict Young Adults' Communication on Social Networking Websites

Like many of the articles I’ve discovered, this psychology manuscript explains some phenomenons from social media without being conclusive. Studying multiple psychological problems that may occur in teens using social media, the psychologists discovered that at a younger age, social media users will continue to use websites into their early twenties. They also found that social media helped teens with face-to-face communication, friendship, and behavior adjustment. The conductors of the study say that unlike earlier tests when results of social media were always negative, this most recent study is finding the opposite. I find that this study provides the most concrete evidence I have found so far.

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Teenagers and technology: 'I'd rather give up my kidney than my phone'

Teenagers and technology: 'I'd rather give up my kidney than my phone' | The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication | Scoop.it
Text, text, text, that's all they think about: but are all those hours on the phone and Facebook turning teenagers into screen-enslaved social inadequates?

 

Teenagers use their cell phones a lot. There is no denying it. What this article argues is that by using cell phones and social networking sites, it is in fact promoting better ways of communicating. By using the Internet, it is adding another form of communication. Adolescence is a time when we are learning how to ‘find our way’ in the world. Social networking allows such a thing by having teens create profiles and link to other teens. The researchers in this article claim that by having this extra form of communication, teenagers still manage to have normal and even better face-to-face communication among each other. By claiming that social networking adds ‘another layer’, this article provides concrete evidence to my argument.

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Katie Maguire's curator insight, July 3, 2013 4:50 PM

I don't know if I would go that far to save my phone now, but when I was younger, this may have been the case. After growing up a little bit I have outgrown the need to have my phone on me 24 hours a day. That being said, I do feel very lost if I leave my phone at home by accident, and scared if it is about to die. I start to think, "What if I am in an emergency and I'm not able to call anyone!?".

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How Does Technology Affect Kids’ Friendships? - NYTimes.com

How Does Technology Affect Kids’ Friendships? - NYTimes.com | The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication | Scoop.it
Experts are examining whether technology alters the nature of children’s friendships.

 

This New York Times article poses some very interesting questions for social network users. Although they say that their research is not yet conclusive, they are taking many different viewpoints. In one study, the researchers thought that face-to-face communication starts at a young age with close friends and will continue to grow from such an age. Yet, when using social networking at such a young age, it will rewire a child’s form of communication so much that face-to-face communication will wither. In another study, scientists believed that by using social networking so much at such a young age and then in their teen years, communication skills are getting stronger and stronger. Since the article provides two separate, contradicting studies, I found this article to be very insightful.

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Why Generation-Y Can’t Read Nonverbal Cues

Why Generation-Y Can’t Read Nonverbal Cues | The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication | Scoop.it

"Communication tools focused on the written word could be leaving younger people adrift when faced with body language."

 

Through the use of social media, this article claimed that Generation Y is losing their ability to act appropriately in a social, face-to-face setting. The author explained that this generation of digital natives are expressing themselves with smiley faces via text message and Facebook chatting. Since the person they are talking to is in some other location, the digital native is usually slumped and staring at a screen. The author is trying to prove that Generation Y needs to be taking cues from older generations from now on. Since the previous generations did not grow up with texting and the Internet, teens today should be learning how to properly compose themselves when talking to someone face-to-face. I thought this article was interesting because it brought in the perspective of employers and what they see when interviewing and talking to grown students who are trying to assimilate into the ‘adult’ world.

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Kiersten McGeary's comment, March 18, 2013 7:48 PM
I am going to use this website to show how social media can lower kids' social skills
Tami Yaklich's comment, March 27, 2013 11:14 AM
Source credibility?
Katie Maguire's curator insight, July 3, 2013 4:45 PM

This makes sense to me. I rememeber when i was a teenager and AIM was all the rage. When I liked a boy and was too nervous to talk to him, it was much easier to instant message him. We pride ourselves on being technologically savy, but maybe it will be harming us more than we realize in the long-term.

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For teens, a friend online is usually a friend offline, too - USATODAY.com

For teens, a friend online is usually a friend offline, too - USATODAY.com | The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication | Scoop.it
New research about online and offline friends shows that most teens use the Internet to interact with people they already know rather than strangers who might turn out to be predators.

 

This article provides a clear opposition on the topic of whether social networking is changing the way teenagers handle face-to-face communication. The author explains that, through surveys, researchers are finding that more students (teenagers) who have online friends are also friends with them outside of the Internet. Thus, this article is proving that face-to-face communication is not on a decline. By spending more time on the Internet with friends, ‘they can keep up with friends, and friends can keep up with them.’ This article is valid to my question because it is explaining that the Internet is not as detrimental to face-to-face communication as some argue.

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Kirsty Adams's curator insight, January 21, 2013 4:32 AM

Il n'est pas toutes les nouvelles négatives des adolescents qui utilisent les réseaux sociaux.  Recherche a établi que la cause la plus fréquente pourquoi les adolescenqui utilisent les réseaux sociaux est tout simplement pour rester en contact avec les amis.

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Not Not Communicating by Michael Rabby » Are Teens Hiding Behind The Screen?

Not Not Communicating by Michael Rabby » Are Teens Hiding Behind The Screen? | The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication | Scoop.it

This article looks at a teenager’s personality when using social media. The author here aims at comparing social technologies and shyness among teenagers. A survey was set up to determine how much time teenagers spent on technologies and the teen’s feelings towards face-to-face communication. The results showed that there was ‘a connection between social introversion and socially interactive technologies.’ In a sense, if a teen doesn’t like interacting face-to-face, they are more likely to use social media. This survey, thus, shows that shy teens are being provided with comforting means of communication rather than having them practice in front of another human being. This article is interesting to me because it is showing the psychology of social media. Social media has become a problem for people who are shy and afraid to ‘be in public.’

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Kiersten McGeary's comment, March 18, 2013 7:50 PM
I could use this website to show how kids are hiding there feelings behind a computer screen
Tami Yaklich's comment, March 27, 2013 11:14 AM
Source credibility?
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Online Communication and Adolescent Relationships

This article tackles important issues regarding the future of children growing up in the digital age. In regards to my question, a part of this article looks at how communication is affected by the internet’s ability to ‘establish interpersonal connections and construct identity.’ One result showed that the ease of online communication is making teens less interested in face-to-face communication. Their results, like many of the articles I have read so far, are not conclusive but they do agree that communication online will affect how a teen will act in ‘real-world’ relationships and vice versa.

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R U friends 4 real?

R U friends 4 real? | The Effect of Social Networking on Teenage Communication | Scoop.it
Psychologists are learning more about how teen friendships are changed by social networking and text messaging.

 

This article brings up some very interesting ideas. In general, the article is arguing that the Internet is helping teenagers hide their emotions. Researchers say that teens ‘play up the positive and hide the negative’ online. Most teens don’t realize that the other teen is most likely doing the same. Psychologists say that a human’s development of empathy and intimacy are through face-to-face and physical contact. And yet, when teens come face to face with one another, they are now losing their ability to empathize with one another. I believe this is an extremely important idea regarding internet users. If we don’t have face time with one another, we will lose the ability to ‘read faces’ and communicate.

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