Health and Wellness

Social Media and Social Skills: What’s the Damage?

2:21 AM


Social media has benefited society in a number of ways, for example in aiding the dissemination of news and important social movements and making communication with friends and family easier. However, it is well known that it has also been having some negative effects, for example on mental health and social skills. Here, we take a look at how social media has impacted our ability to communicate, and what we can do about it.

Attention
Due to the fact social media content is being constantly updated, we have developed and grown used to having a short attention span. We now crave a constant supply of short snippets of information that we do not internalise in any depth, which has had a damaging effect on our ability to process complex information or have any interest in anything of worth. Many more cases of ADHD have been reported since the rise of social media which acts as evidence of this. Due to how we communicate online, we are losing the ability to listen to others for any length of time which effects our ability to have normal conversations. This can affect not only our social lives but also are professional lives. We now also become bored easily and turn to social media for entertainment which can result in the dissemination of trivial information from ourselves and others, which is what our psyches then become saturated with, leaving no room or hunger for more valuable information.

Conversation
We communicate online using short, underdeveloped sentences, in some cases replacing words altogether with ‘emojis’ or ‘gifs’. Unlike face-to-face conversation, speaking online does not take into account the expressions and tone of who we are talking to, which would usually give an insight into how they feel about what you’re saying. This is an important conversation tool and without this you are unable to exercise tact and sensitivity in what you say when needed; often leading to being accidentally offensive. People show appreciation for social media posts using ‘likes’, which despite being beneficial for marketing purposes due to their impact on awareness, are a very basic and cold form of communication when it comes to socialising. Having lots of likes can lead to people feeling a false sense of friendship and community from those who, in reality, barely know them and give very little thought to them. If you’re currently exploring how post engagement could positively impact your business, see how KENJI could help.

Carrying out the majority of your communication and socialising online can have a detrimental effect on your ability to hold a face-to-face conversation, which is an extremely important skill to have both in your personal and professional life. Spending too much time on social media generally can also lead to us having very short attention spans and losing the ability to process complex or lengthy information. In order to avoid becoming a victim of social media, make sure you limit the time you spend idly browsing it and try to avoid interacting with shallow posts or creating your own. Try to follow accounts that have important causes and if you do interact with them, try to write in a professional way so that you don’t develop bad habits. Most importantly, make sure you find the right balance between socialising online and in person so that you don’t lose the important skills you have developed during your lifetime. For more tips on maintaining your wellbeing, take a look at everymomspage.com.



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