How Social Media May Be Affecting Your Communication Skills

    Nearly everyone is familiar with popular media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and according to the latest data available from the Pew Research Center, nearly 70 percent of American adults have a social media account.

    It may come as no surprise that the largest percentage of social media users belong to the age demographic of 18 to 29 years old (with 86 percent), but 80 percent of users are ages 30 to 49, 64 percent of users are 50 to 64, and an estimated 34 percent of users are over the age of 65. Keep in mind that these statistics do not account for the social media users who are under the age of 18.

    Pew Research reveals that Facebook continues to be the most visited social media site and Instagram is a close contender. Nearly three-quarters of Facebook users and half of Instagram users visit social media sites at least once a day. Since the number of social media users changes every day, unofficial stats indicate that there are over 1.75 billion active users on Facebook. That being said, it is important for businesses, especially small businesses like Carefree Gutter Guard to have a social account with the help of which they can easily connect with the general crowd and gain traction, as well as clients.

    It’s safe to say that we are living in a social media world, but how is it affecting our social lives? Let’s take a closer look.

    Staying Connected Without Really Connecting

    If you are one of the billions of social media users, consider how many “friends” you have. How many of the friends are people you actually know or have met in person? How many of the friends do you spend time with on a semi-regular or regular basis? How many of the friends on your social media do you have their phone number or contact information and know things like their birthday (without Facebook reminding you)?

    Social media is a great way to stay in touch with people and reconnect with old classmates, friends, and relatives. You may even meet people who share your same interests. On the surface, social media is filled with advantages and ways for people to “stay connected” despite the distance, busy schedules, or other things.

    While social media has been a key factor in rekindling old friendships and creating a support system, it plays a significant role in how well we communicate with others and has a negative affect on our social skills overall.

    Negative Consequences of Social Media

    The more time you spend “liking” a friend’s posts and pictures, you’re probably spending less time having a face-to-face conversation with that same friend over dinner or a weekend friend getaway. Social media can make us withdraw from social engagements without really realizing it because we trick ourselves into thinking that we are truly connected and “in touch” with everyone we know.

    Think of the last time you ran into an acquaintance or friend, who is also a friend or follower on social media. Was your face-to-face conversation awkward? Did you end up talking about a social media post? Did you try to avoid having a conversation altogether?

    Social media can give us a lot of false confidence and comfort to connect and have conversations without actually have to go anywhere to meet with anyone. Overtime, this can have negative consequences and make it more difficult to connect in “real life.”

    Not only can social media negatively affect how we interact and communicate in our everyday lives, but it can be a major distraction.

    Think about the last time you were chatting through Messenger or checking your notifications. Were you in the comfort of your own home? You may have been, but you were most likely walking down the street, riding the train to work, or even typing as you were waiting at a red light in your car.

    Whether we love or hate social media and what it does to our real-life communication skills, many of us have a hard time ignoring the “buzz” of a notification, and we feel pressured to respond to a message or comment as soon as we see it. Not only does this affect numerous aspects of our day, but it can put us at greater risk for an injury and accidents whether we’re crossing a busy intersection or driving to work during gridlock.

    The personal injury lawyers at Hilda Sibrian remind us to put our mobile devices away, and even disable our social media apps or notifications, while driving to work or even walking busy city streets.