Are you in or out?
The growth and popularity of social media has brought tremendous changes in relationships among family, friends and neighborhood. When you go to gatherings have you observed teenagers being together playing with their gadgets instead of telling stories? When you go to restaurants, have you seen family members checking their phones from time to time which distracts flow of conversations? When you ride in jeepneys, have you observed fellow passengers holding their phones and simply raise their eyebrows to acknowledge someone they know instead of saying “How are you?”.
Undoubtedly, social media has provided an avenue for people to connect. It is the commonplace of communication today, allowing people to connect with anybody, from their family members, friends and workmates. On the other hand, this connection had affected the genuine social skills of individuals. When you surf the Internet and scroll down your home screens, you react to posts. These non-verbal expressions gradually develop a restricted sense of expression when compared to actually speaking out what is in one’s mind. In this particular aspect, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter lessened physical interaction among individuals. Interaction through these platforms happens through reactions and still images. When we interact physically, surely, we will have exchanges of ideas thereby gaining wisdom from each other.
Are you in or out? This query sounds rhetorical but it is the simple description of how social media affected our social skills. When we react, we interact digitally. When we see others’ post, we are informed and probably share the information to others as well. Active users of social media may develop in them a normal feeling and perception that they are in but on a wider landscape, they are really out because they miss genuine interaction, which is face to face. (DEANNA KYLEE D. PADILLA)