Social Media Creating an Impact on Social Interaction: Good or Bad?

Gianna Rivera, News Editor

The 21st Century has created numerous areas of improvement for communication and interaction, one of them being social media. Despite this, there are cons due to the overuse of social media.

   Social media allows people to connect from all over the world through texting, sending pictures with text, and video-calling. There are many apps where people can communicate including WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facetime, to name a few.

    Social media also allows teens and adults to make connections which can help them in regards to the workplace. It has become so mainstream that one of the top ways to get jobs is through having connections on LinkedIn and other apps.  People are able to add other connections by following people who can help them in the workforce and keeping contact with them through emails. 

   However, the increase in the use of social media and interaction through it has caused media psychologists to believe that it is not completely beneficial. Psychologists have looked into the theory of the social displacement phenomenon, which according to Medical News Today, is the theory that states that the more time you spend on social media, the less time you will spend socializing with people in real life. This theory has been debunked multiple times by Jeffery Hall, an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas, and his team of researchers. 

   In one of his experiments, Hall kept a log of participants doing nineteen different activities over the course of a couple of weeks. In half of these weeks, participants were told to use social media while in the other half, they were asked not to. According to the APA, “In the weeks when people abstained from social media, they spent more time browsing the internet, working, cleaning, and doing household chores. However, during these same abstention periods, there was no difference in people’s time spent socializing with their strongest social ties.”

   Besides social displacement, social media is a popular place where cyberbullying occurs. According to New York Behavioral Health, between 9-35% of youth are impacted by cyberbullying. This topic has become a damper in social media interaction along with the social displacement theory. 

   Overall, social media comes with its pros and cons in regards to social interaction. Many people may prefer being face-to-face, but there is no denying that social media gives longevity in regards to who you can make connections with. 

   Now, in correlation to whether social media impacting social interaction is good or bad, then I believe that it isn’t doing much harm. Instead, it is just a transition that would be inevitable in a growing technological age. Staying in touch through technology has been helpful for many people besides me during the Coronavirus lockdown and it gives a sense of connection. 


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