Social Skills and Social Media

by O.C. Brown, age 14
Social Skills and Social Media

“Social media is one of the largest growing phenomenons across the world, and it is still spreading. This marvel condenses conversations and relationships to the form of an app. The problem with these apps is that social skills, such as conversation skills, body language, and many others, are lost when using social media as a main form of communication.”

Social media is one of the largest growing phenomenons across the world, and it is still spreading. This marvel condenses conversations and relationships to the form of an app. The problem with these apps is that social skills, such as conversation skills, body language, and many others, are lost when using social media as a main form of communication. Social media deteriorates in person relationships based on how much people are communicating over apps and not in person.

Face-to-face conversations build relationships and social skills as opposed to communicating mostly over text and messages. Body language, conversation skills (verbally and nonverbally), facial expressions, empathy and sympathy, appearance, and gestures are all social skills that I know I have learned through conversations and many personal relationships I have had over time. I remember, when I was only five, my brother and I went to a supermarket just for fun because our mom gave us ten dollars. My brother was afraid to ask the cashier where our favorite candy was, so he made me ask. That was one of the first times that I’ve had a conversation using the social skills I had learned by talking to friends and family. After that experience, I realized that it wasn’t hard to ask a question to someone you didn’t know, and even make small talk with someone you didn’t know. For example, you can’t learn verbal and nonverbal conversation skills by communicating mostly over text.

Most face-to-face conversations actually consist more of body language and expressions than words. “Human communication consists of 93% body language and paralinguistic cues, while only 7% consist of words.” By learning social skills, and using them in everyday conversations, you can build and start new relationships that you would have never had. By building new relationships, you can also overcome the awkwardness of speaking to people that you don’t know. Yes, it is easier to talk with someone over text or using messages, but it is not the natural thing to do. Technology is a superficial, man-made object that is not like speaking face-to-face at all. People may argue that texting/facetime/messaging is social, but is it? You are hiding behind a screen even with facetime. All of these examples of social media is just mostly you hiding behind a screen and creating an artificial appearance for yourself. It’s just not natural.

This also helps you share your opinions more easily. If you feel comfortable having a conversation with somebody, than you are more likely to share your opinions on some topics. Practicing your social skills also makes you more comfortable starting conversations with parents, peers, adults, executives, and friends. Most executives of businesses are looking for face-to-face conversations instead of over social media. In a survey by Forbes, that spoke to 760 business executives, 84% preferred face-to-face communication. Out of those, 85% said their reason were that it builds stronger, more meaningful business relationships. Respondents of the survey also said face-to-face meetings are best for persuasion (91%), leadership (87%), and engagement (86%).” Face-to-face conversations are always better than communicating through social media because social skills are built and relationships are more easily made.

Cyberbullying is a large problem that arose off of social media and affects people more when social media is a big part of their lives. Cyberbullying erupted from social media and is a form of mostly anonymous bullying that targets people based on appearance, opinions, and decisions. Cyberbullying came to be because people felt more comfortable expressing themselves, both in good and bad ways, behind a screen rather than in person or face-to-face. We have found that this is a very large problem in our country. Research done shows 52% of teens report being cyberbullied. More people bully online than in real life. Teens agree with this statement. Research done shows 81% of teens agree that bullying is easier to get away with online.

Another problem is that people being cyberbullied do not tell their parents. Studies done have shown that only one in ten kids tell their parents if they are being cyber bullied. People being cyberbullied should have somebody to talk to, and if they can’t talk to their parents, they probably won’t want to talk to their close friends or trusted adults. Also, awareness of cyberbullying is a problem. Only 68% of teens agree that cyberbullying is a serious problem, and 95% of teens on social media have witnessed cyberbullying and done nothing. This shows, that online, there aren’t really any allies. In real life, there are allies and people who help, but people online don’t help. Many teens in this day and age have social media as a big part of their daily life, making it much more problematic for them when they are being cyberbullied. Bullying in general is always going to be more problematic if there is nobody to talk to and there is no ally. Most people being cyberbullied don’t feel like they can talk to anybody, and the overall majority do not have an allies. I feel that if everyone did not use social media as such a big part of their lives, then less people would be cyberbullying. Confidence is something that most cyberbullies attack. What cyber bullies want is to terrorize you, and to beat the cyber bullies, you just can’t think about them and not be terrorized.

Social media is a large part of our society today, and people have become too attached to their online profiles. What is important is the realization that social media should be used to compliment face-to-face relationships, but not to be used as a main source of a communication. Our online profiles are not us in real life. If used as a main form of communication, social media will break down face-to-face relationships and social skills as well.

 

Bibliography

Jobs in Pharma, Sales, Devices, Clinical & Healthcare Comms.” Star Medical. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2017.

Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 30 June 2017.

“Cyber Bullying Statistics.” Bullying Statistics. N.p., 07 July 2015. Web. 30 June 2017.

“Cyber Bullying Statistics.” NoBullying – Bullying & CyberBullying Resources. N.p., 12 June 2017. Web. 30 June 2017.

“11 Facts About Cyber Bullying.” DoSomething.org | Volunteer for Social Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2017.

 

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