It is evident that social media has redefined the way the world communicates. While previous generations had to engage in face-to-face conversation in order to communicate, the creation of social media has provided this generation with the unique opportunity to communicate with massive amounts of people without requiring them to actually say a word to one another.
At first glance, this convenient form of communication appears advantageous, but as more and more people join these websites, they begin to dominate conversation. If you look around at any restaurant, you’re bound to see more people staring at their phone screens rather than engaging with the person sitting directly across from them. People would rather share with “followers” they barely know than actually make memories with friends.
The implications of this phenomenon are severe. As future generations grow up amidst the social media craze, they will lose the opportunity to learn important conversational skills. Instead of getting to know someone in person, we use their social media websites to make up for that loss of communication. It’s easier to check someone’s Twitter than ask them what they’re up to, so when it comes time to partake in direct conversation, those who have grown up using this technology as a crutch lack those necessary social skills.
A friendship created offline has an intimacy that cannot be achieved in a friendship based solely off of social media. “Almost all of our communication and getting to know one another is done over social media. That leaves us teenagers with more acquaintances than we have close friends,” says Adam Clarkson (JR). The superficiality of conversation through a phone screen is a sad substitute for the authenticity of real life conversation. We cannot allow ourselves to fall prey to the notion that social media is a replacement for real life, or we’ll wind up submitting ourselves to a life of unsatisfactory relationships.