With the development and popularity of the internet, the influence of social media is expanding at a high speed in the past few decades. Because of the convenience and efficiency of the instant messages on social media, people, especially the youth, are depending more on social media such as Facebook and Twitter in their daily life. Obviously social media is changing the way people communicate in many aspects.
People are changing the way they know and keep in contact with each other because of the social media
According to a recent research, Facebook users spend 423 minutes Facebooking each month. Now people are spending more time chatting and sharing information on social media. The benefit of social media such as Facebook is that people can know someone more easily . For example, they can search and discover people sharing same interest by typing key words in the search bar and then add them as friend on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter. Also people may find some mutual friends without the introduction by the friends they already know, and they can learn something about those people by browsing their personal pages.
Another benefit of social media is that it helps people keep in touch with others. Sometimes when people can’t meet face to face because of the far distance and the busy schedule, they can still know what’s going on with their friends by reading the statuses they post. Social media is also a good tool for people to remember lots of names in their social circle although some of them only meet once before.
However, depending too much on the social network may have negative effect on people’s communication skills
Face to face communication is based on many important factors. People express themselves not only by what they say, but also by nonverbal languages such as their body gestures, intonations and facial expression. All of these factors compose a full person. However, when people rely too much on social media, they can only know about others by reading what they are typing. People may have some problems understanding what others mean when chatting online because they can’t see that person and they have to guess what he/she is really thinking about.
Also when people communicate face to face, they need highly concentrate in the conversation and quickly make responses. But when sending messages on the internet, people may have more time to think about what to say for response, so that they can do anything they want during the chat. It was reported that some teenagers who got used to chatting online had difficulty in communicating with others in daily life because they couldn’t respond quickly to the ideas while they talked to others.
This is the opinion of an expert on the issue of social media and communication: