Technology, social media hinder communication skills

“I am human.”

“I am human too.”

These days having a face-to-face conversation can be as awkward as an alien encounter. At lunch, students can be seen texting instead of talking to the person sitting next to them. Disagreements are hashed out on Facebook and Twitter. We stay updated on new developments in our friends’ lives through Instagram. As we become more and more dependent on technology and social media, our ability to properly communicate face-to-face deteriorates.

According to a study from Stanford University, face-to-face interaction is a necessity to live a successful and positive life. The study shows that people who spend more time communicating through social media than face-to-face are usually more depressed, negative and less social.

Spending more time communicating on social media rather than in person is proven to increase feelings of isolation and decrease those of well-being. Those who spend most time on social media start to drift away from friends and family, and start relying on their device to be a source of communication. Once a person starts to separate themselves from social interaction and starts to feel isolated, they will become depressed and not have initiative to have any sort of personal social interaction.

Those who lack simple communication skills will have problems in the future. Simple things in life will become difficult, like attending a job interview. In an interview, making eye contact with a potential employer and holding an intelligent conversation is essential. If a person cannot do these things in a job interview, an employer will not trust them to function appropriately in a professional setting.

It is time for society to wake up, and actually start communicating with others. It is simple; put down the device and make eye contact when speaking to someone. Pay attention when others are talking instead of pretending to while updating an online status. Enjoy the people around you instead of focusing on how many followers you have.