I am studying the adverse effects of social media on human interactions. Technology has revolutionized the world, and the majority of people in the world possess a smartphone. Although social media have created a universal communication channel and entertained users, the later has corrupted social relationships. Facebook is one of the influential social media that has not only interfered with communication but also caused mental conditions. Facebook creates an erroneous image of perfection that lure people that their life is full of misery. When celebrities and other prominent people post pictures on social media platforms such as Facebook showing their luxurious lives, they bring about on aspect of comparison on the users. Some consumers of social media may incorrectly interpret the messages and question their ability and confidence. Consequently, depression arises when one perceives that their online friends lead a successful life than them. Facebook users post their best options, and what they want others to see, this manipulates others and misguides them of the reality in life (Christensen, 2018).
Facebook’s addictive nature also occupies the mind and time of the user and therefore reduces the time for direct conversations. The demanding trait of social media reduces the time for interacting with friends and family members. The power of face-to-face communication is incomparable to online discussion since social media is ineffective in assessing hidden emotions and non-verbal expressions. Users who tend to use social media to seek help for their problems end up depressed and lonely due to the inadequacy of online communication in assessing intimate issues (Pantic, 2014). The quality of conversations has also depreciated since social media creates divided attention and causes distractions in personal interactions. Nowadays, it is common for people to talk when busy scrolling their smartphones, resulting in poor delivery of messages. Facebook users have fewer friends in real life due to the false sense of friendship Facebook creates. Facebook addictions also affect school performance and engagement in productive activities.
Communication skills have also deteriorated due to the popularity of social media. The use of shortcut words and abbreviations on Facebook has impaired the correct use of languages. Although using shortcut words simplifies conversations, it corrupts the grammar, content, and beauty of languages. Poor grades in schools can also be linked to the use of slang language in social media (Bhamare, 2018). Frequent online communication users are likely to use offensive words in the interpersonal relationship since they lose track of polite tone, voice, and facial expression. Online conversations do not incorporate fundamental communication skills making direct interactions difficult. For instance, some people comfortably express their love on Facebook, but they can’t express their feelings when they face their loved ones directly. Interpersonal interaction has turned cold and distant due to social media. The false impression of ‘privacy and comfort’ social media platforms impairs the human beings’ social nature.
However, philosophical teachings would play a crucial role in overcoming the negative impacts of social media. Philosophy teaches virtues that foster stable social relations. Vices such as envy, jealously, and insensitivity in human interaction triggered by social media forces can be eliminated when relevant attributes are integrated into life. Proper social interactions involve listening, caring, and ensuring the welfare of others. Social media is an enemy to human interaction progress and should be fought by all means unless we lose sense in life as mentioned by Albert Einstein, ‘I fear the day that technology will surpass human interactions. The world will have a generation of idiots.’
Bhamare, C. R. (2018, February 28). Effects of social media on communication skills. The Knowledge Review. https://theknowledgereview.com/effects-social-media-communication-skills/
Christensen, S. P. (2018). Social media use and its impact on relationships and emotions. BYU ScholarsArchive. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/etd/6927
Pantic, I. (2014, October). Online social networking and mental health. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183915/