Social networking has become a part of our daily lives and the advent of social media has even made it easier for people to communicate and develop long-lasting professional relationships. The problem however is that too much of this type of communication can also have a negative impact on real world interactions. As a social media or blogging enthusiast, do you think it’s possible that social media communication could negatively impact your long-term interactions with other people? This article aims to explore this question and get you thinking about it.
It’s fair to say that many people are experiencing an impact on their social and professional lives as a result of social networking. The good news is that the vast majority of these people are not being adversely affected by it. The bad news is that not all of them are. In fact, many people are coming to the conclusion that social interaction can have a very real, and negative impact on personal relationships.
Think back to when you first started to use social networking. At the time, it was probably a little too late. You were still a student, just starting university, a new parent or maybe even broke up with someone. Social networking then, meant meeting up at a coffee shop to discuss random topics that had nothing to do with work. Your communication then wasn’t structured and clear. It wasn’t based on any kind of plan.
A lot of people would argue that those kind of conversations wouldn’t have happened in real life. They’d say it was because we’re not real life people. We are a very busy lot and we don’t always have time to discuss things in detail. But is this really true? Or are we simply overlooking a fundamental truth about how we interact with others?
If we look at it closely, social networking sites and online communities actually have quite the opposite effect on most people. They can actually increase your productivity. This is because we are more likely to make decisions and take risks when we are surrounded by people who are our peers or friends. These same social activities can actually increase our happiness.
Does social media communication negatively impact real life communication? Not directly, but it can have an indirect impact. For example, did you know that most people use their phones or mobile devices to check on Facebook or Twitter during the commute? When you get home, do you check them again to see what happened? Probably not. The chances are that you’ll be too busy thinking about your day to pay attention to what’s going on with your social media contacts.
Does it mean that these are bad things? No, they’re not. Social media allows us to keep in touch with our friends and co-workers even when we’re not physically around them. However, if we don’t do something to stop ourselves from spending an hour or two checking on our social media accounts, then it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be able to completely eliminate the need for personal relationships.
Does it mean that we should just cut our ties with the real world because it’s too difficult to maintain our social life? It’s not a bad idea. However, there’s no real need to do this. We can actually enjoy our relationships and work relationships without turning to these media to keep us in touch with our friends and co-workers. In fact, it might even be a good thing!
Social media has allowed us to stay connected with others while we do things like build relationships, build business contacts, and even network socially. The problem is that when people get involved in these social sites, they let go of their ability to have real conversations with real people. Once they get comfortable with the idea of sending intimate messages and sharing photos and videos online, they lose the ability to socialize in any real way. People who participate in social media are generally those who have “friends” or close ties to a group of people. This means that they have to be careful how they use these media to avoid alienating these people.
Some people go as far as to say that Facebook, MySpace, and other networking sites allow people to forget about real communication. They maintain that these personal relationships should remain just that-personal. This is a dangerous argument. Let’s face it Facebook is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it’s a far cry from being able to speak face-to-face with someone and building meaningful connections.
While many have argued that there is no impact on real life communication when using social media, it’s important to remember that there are certainly ways in which this type of media can negatively impact real world interactions. That said, it’s also true that the impact is limited. It can depend on how a person chooses to interact. If you use Facebook strictly for business purposes and don’t pay attention to what you post or receive from friends and other users, you will likely find that your online interactions are very similar to your offline interactions.