The advent of the Internet has allowed people to communicate in faster and more efficient ways. The development of social media, especially Facebook, has pushed communication into even more new areas. Just because staying in touch is quick and easy does not mean there aren’t negative effects. What sort of impact is Facebook having on people’s ability to communicate?
Positive aspects of Facebook
There are numerous ways in which Facebook helps people stay in touch with each other.
*Distance – There is no question Facebook helps people stay in contact easily even over long distances. While a phone can serve the same purpose, Facebook can send the message instantly whether the person on the other end answers or not. Friends and family can be instantly updated on whatever is going on in each other’s lives, even through pictures, no matter how spread out they are around the country or world.
*Finding old friends – The social media site’s search function allows users to find old friends they may not have seen or heard from since high school. This can be done by simply typing in the person’s name.
*New interests – Facebook users can discover new interests by being able to see what their friends like or through links shared by friends and family.
*Social interaction – Some people have difficulty socializing in traditional settings but Facebook can relax the pressures associated with face to face discussions. Others may be prohibited from easily leaving their homes due to illness, but with Facebook they are still able to carry on relationships.
Negative aspects of Facebook
While the site offers many advantages o people for socializing, there are some problems that it can cause.
*Jealousy – People do not like to be left out of social events. Frequently, users will post what they are doing or where they are at in any given moment, which can be seen by any of their “friends.” Those who were not invited might wonder why and begin to develop feelings of jealousy about not being part of the event.
*Inappropriate behavior – A few people post negative comments about others that they would not normally say one on one. Users often develop a disconnection from the real world.
*Too convenient – Staying in touch on Facebook is so easy that it can dissuade some people from interacting in traditional ways. For young children that need to interact face to face with others to learn social norms, communicating through Facebook alone can prevent them from developing social skills.
Facebook can be a great tool to help stay in touch quickly and easily over long distances. However, as with just about anything, some people can take it too far. Doing so causes those people to lose the social skills they learned, or, for young people, it can prevent them from developing those skills at all. Kept in moderation, Facebook is a big step in the evolution of communication.