Less than 20 years ago MySpace was created. No one could have predicted how social media has influenced and changed our lives and culture. While some of these changes have been positive, such as making it easier to stay in contact with friends, sharing new ideas, and exposing societal issues, other changes aren’t as beneficial. One In particular is our social skills, which many of us are losing. Why are our social skills lacking in this world of social media? Here are a few of the top reasons.
Reduced Face-to-Face Interaction
When we primarily connect with each other over social media, we tend to forget how to appropriately interact with each other in person. Face-to-face communication becomes more difficult because we forget to make eye contact. It’s also not unusual for us to struggle to pick up on nonverbal cues and remember the importance of personal space.
It’s estimated that around 93% of communication is nonverbal, so learning how to read these cues is a crucial social skill. Without this ability, we may really struggle to decipher the message a person is trying to convey. Now, thanks to our decreased face-to-face interactions, this is a skill many of us are severely lacking.
Poor Language Skills
Think about how social media affects what you say and the words you write. Thanks to social media, more and more of us are using improper grammar, misspelling words, and using informal speech in the wrong context. We’re more inclined to use acronyms, such as LOL, LMK, and NBD, and emoticons in both verbal and written communication, whether it’s done purposely or not. The language we use on social media often dominates our online and offline communications and conversations, as well as our written correspondence. Being able to communicate our ideas, thoughts, and feelings clearly and accurately in writing is a valuable skill that young and old are quickly losing.
No Longer Listening
Everyone wants their voice to be heard on social media. To make sure this happens, we are prone to talking about our experiences, successes, and achievements. Sure, we may read what other people have posted, but do we really hear what they are saying? Not really. Instead, we tend to just scan their message, like it, and move on to the next post.
At the same time, being attached 24/7 to our phones makes it exceedingly difficult to listen to people when we do encounter them. Constantly glancing at your phone, for fear you might miss something, certainly impedes your ability to hear and can essentially eliminate your ability to actively participate in a deep, meaningful conversation. Eventually, the person who is trying to talk to you is likely just to give up.
While social media is a great way to keep in touch with others and stay updated on the day-to-day happenings of loved ones, relying on it too much can also put you at a great disadvantage. Real-life social skills are necessary for having a fulfilling life. Unless we start to put more effort into working on retaining our social skills, we can expect to struggle even more with these needed skills. Ready to get started on your social skills? Reach out today!