Social media impacts communication

Brittany Bauer and Brittany Bauer

Social media influences many people each day, serving as both a benefit and a drawback when it comes to interacting with others.

The large amount of people who use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter show that society as a whole sees an advantage to social media.

Computer Science professor Joseph Chao said he enjoys using social media himself and it is great way to stay in touch with people, but people should try not to abuse it. Even though Chao admits to seeing advantages with Social Media and using it himself, he also said that it could be seen as “socially dangerous.”

“People are more comfortable with computers than with people,” Chao said.

Senior Lexi Schultz said one way that social media has changed face-to-face interaction among others is by the way that effective communication has changed throughout time and in the way that people tend to know a lot more about each other through networks than ever before.

“People would say to me ‘yeah I saw it on Facebook.’ It happened over and over again and it devalued the conversation,” Schultz said. “It has diminished the necessity of talking to people to know about them.”

Even though both advantages and disadvantages exist with social media, the setbacks to it are not causing the entire phenomenon to disappear anytime soon.

However, the idea of a possible decline in Facebook has been discussed for quite some time, even with the millions of users that the site has generated throughout time.

Chao said the decline is “not surprising because everyone who wants it is already using it” and “everyone is competing.” He said that Facebook was originally targeted toward college students. However, Facebook has changed this by welcoming a wider group of ages since its initial launch.

“They’re not as concerned about age anymore,” Chao said. “They’re more concerned about business.”

Social media has changed the way that our society flows in multiple ways, both effectively and ineffectively. Based off of this, social network usage can only increase from here or evolve into something even more advanced as time goes by and as technology and the need for social media increases.

Sociology professor Susan Brown sees many benefits to social media such as its ability to keep people connected and to handle social situations such as breakups in a “less threatening” manner. She said it also decreases people’s ability to communicate with other people in person as opposed to online.

“Young people are spending so much time on their devices,” Brown said. “It causes them to engage in bad behavior.”

Brown sees how Facebook can be slowly declining due to the increased development of social networks such as Twitter and Instagram throughout the years.

However, she also sees disadvantages with social media, especially in the manner that it tends to change social interactions among others.

Schultz said social media can give out too much information about a person.

“I don’t have any secrets,” he said. “But I don’t need people to know my business.”