Is Facebook killing meaningful communication?

Today’s tech savvy lifestyle determines how people communicate with their friends and family. Old friends keep in touch by adding you on Facebook and other social media, unlike previously when they would meet up over a cup of coffee. Social networking sites do provide advantages to the younger generation. They can communicate comfortably and express themselves freely. These sites also help you to find a lot of friends from your past. But in the social media dominated world we are losing human touch and online communication is taking over face to face communication. People are extensively using social media for business purposes too. Companies are creating brand awareness, promoting products, boosting sales, managing customer satisfaction, monitoring trends and researching new product ideas. According to a survey conducted fifty seven percent of small businesses use social media, with Facebook taking a precedence over other sites.

We can let technology enhance our communication but not hinder it. Emoticons, shortened words, abbreviations and acronyms are making people lazy, who stop using the right grammar and language. Communication cannot be complete through online means, a ‘LOL’ cannot be a response for wide variety of emotions. An emoticon cannot replace a facial expression or tone of voice.

Body language is an important form of communication, but through the internet you cannot determine this non-verbal form. It is said that body language delivers more than half the message and only 10 percent of it is conveyed through words. A handshake, a pleasant smile add value to the conversation which cannot be replaced by online communication. All of our lives major events are on the web, which are followed regularly by our friends to an extent that there would not be anything interesting left to be shared when you meet them in person.

By choosing not to speak directly to a person, hinders the interpersonal skills. Direct conversations build relationships in personal life and businesses, gaining trust through online media could be a tough task. False projections and illusions of personalities can be created by communicating through social media.

There is a chance of misinterpreting messages as disagreement or unsupportive. In such cases it is better to call them to or meet them to clarify rather than spoiling relations. Children who grow up using technology for communication feel discomfort in striking conversations with people face to face. You cannot rely on social media for dating too. The person can sound different and smarter on a chat but very unappealing in person.

It is but obvious that in the fast changing world it is required to adapt to trends in communication like e-mails and social media which enhance the speed at which we communicate and the reach we can achieve to spread a message. Due to its widespread coverage it enables breaking news to reach a much larger and broader audience rather than traditional media outlets. The number of consumers following news and subscribing for information on social media is increasing compared to print publications. Facebook now has over a billion users who are actively sharing information, reading and talking daily.

But it is a better idea to use social media as an enhancer to communicate meaningfully and not an alternative to personal communication. Social media is a good way to connect to close ones staying far away but not with the ones who stay next door!

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