How Social Media Has Changed How We Communicate

How Social Media Has Changed How We Communicate

by Mandy Edwards | Mar 17, 2015 | Business and Leadership , Generational Insights , Personal Development , Social Media | 2 comments

As communication and information travel faster and faster, the world seems to get smaller and smaller. As a result, this changes how the world communicates, especially with today’s obsession with social media networks.

Before social media, we were extremely limited in our means to interact with others and we were limited largely to the people that we knew in-person. There were things we (those my age and older) had to deal with that millennials do not have to – your significant other’s parent answering the phone when you called, waiting for a letter in the mail, waiting a week to get your pictures that you sent off to be developed, and so on.

The internet and social media has drastically changed the way people all over the world interact and communicate.

How, you may ask?

One of the biggest changes in the way that we interact, due to social media networks, is the sheer number of people that we can interact with .

Because of social media networks, we are now able to interact with thousands of people all over the world – this is why we see people who have thousands of Facebook friends or tens of thousands of Twitter followers. Without social media, that would be impossible. Social media networks allow us the opportunity to share opinions with a far wider audience.

Another big change that has occurred is that there is now no filter on the way we speak .

In the past, unless you spoke to people directly, you had no way to get your message across regardless of your freedom of speech.  Now we can use social media to get our messages out to thousands or even millions of people uncensored.

Two Examples:

#JeSuisCharlie & Betty White hosting Saturday Night Live, whi ch came as a result of a social media campaign.

Social media has also changed the way that we interact, mainly the way we have lost some of our social skills.  Some people are completely incapable of carrying on a normal conversation or interacting with people in person because of the dependency of social media.

Social networks are becoming one of the dominant ways we communicate. Snapchat or Instagram, anyone?? People are more obsessed with checking their smartphone every 2 minutes than engaging in meaningful conversation with their child or spouse. Social media and technology are double-edged swords. It’s awesome to have and can really help us, but it also distracts us to the point of being blind and deaf to everything else going on.

Next time you are out, count how many people you see walking and staring down at their smartphone.

It can also be argued that social networks have affected our communication by the way we converse and in our writing techniques .  The social web has changed the written word in a couple of crucial ways:

There is not a right or wrong way to communicate and/or adapt social language into our lives. However, we are all becoming engulfed in this new world of communication due to technology—and if we haven’t done so already, will be forced to learn this new form of language, especially if you are a parent of a tween (I am) or a teen.

Let me ask you – how do you think social media is affecting our verbal and written communications?

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Author: Mandy Edwards

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argumentative essay about social media is changing how we communicate

How Has Social Media Changed the Way We Communicate

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Sociology of Media and Communication

Digital Communication , Effects of Social Media

How Has Social Media Changed The Way We Communicate

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Chapter 6: 21st-century media and issues

6.10.2 Social media and communication (research essay)

Lindsey Matier

English 102, April 2021

Communication is extremely important in today’s world, whether it be verbal or nonverbal. It can take place through many different forms such as through writing, speaking, listening and physical actions. These forms of communication evolve and continue to improve over time. As humans, we rely on communication for almost everything and it is a way of life. Communication has evolved from talking to writing letters to texting or talking over the phone. Every time a new form of communication is brought up and becomes more popular, we have to adapt and evolve to that new lifestyle. Throughout all the new forms of communication and ways of evolving, social media has been one of the most influential so far. Social media has allowed us to create new ways of communicating, such as texting or posting through different apps. It can connect us with people all over the world and give us a platform to express ourselves in ways that have not been possible before. While social media started off as a small form of technology, it has morphed into aspects of our everyday life. Now there are apps for everything from social media profiles to online shopping. While social media and technology itself has evolved, this has also affected our communication with each other and the world. Social media has created a fast track for information in a matter of seconds. It can give people a platform with millions of followers overnight for doing practically anything. It can help people express themselves in new ways and connect with people who have similar interests. The end goal of social media is to make people happy and ultimately make lives easier.


With all this being said, it is evident that social media is in our everyday lives and will continue to change. It has a very strong grip on society as social media usage continues to rise throughout the years. Generalizing social media, we are exposed to forms of media at almost all times of the day. Answering the question of what media is will help give a better understanding of social media as a whole. Media can be defined as a way of mass communication. This could include siting in the car listening to ads on the radio all the way to scrolling on twitter. We are exposed to social media less often than generalized media, but it tends to come in greater quantities when exposed. For example, for people that wake up and check twitter it is an instant flood of information with every scroll. Everything from politics to sports to celebrity news is available at the fingertips. The concern is not all focused on the overwhelming information, but also the overwhelming number of comments and opinions. If we wanted to debate or talk about something before social media it had to be done in person, face to face. Now with social media, we are able to fight with people in comment sections on a backup account with a different name and no connection to who we really are. This new form of communication takes away the vulnerability of speaking to people and having genuine conversation, and makes up for it in internet trolls. Overall, social media is impacting the way we communicate with each other and the real questions are: Is social media impacting us in a positive or negative way? Do the positive aspects outweigh the negative aspects? Is social media hindering the way we communicate in person with each other? Is their more room for improvement when it comes to dealing with communication in the social media spectrum? How is social media impacting younger generation’s communication versus older generation’s communication? How can we help improve our communication skills on social media and in real life?

Personal Research 

Along with the other studies that I found from the sources I chose, I also conducted my own study to determine more accurate and recent data. I asked students mostly within high school and college range questions relating to social media and communication. I tried to get a wide range of data dealing with social media apps, screen time, and overall communication as a result of social media. I expected to see almost all negative responses about social media and communication. I figured that most people would respond saying that it has affected them negatively rather than positively, but the results were different compared to what I expected.

The first questions I asked had to do with social media itself. I asked questions about their most used social media apps, screen time, what age they were allowed to start using social media, and whether or not they think social media has had a negative or positive impact on them. As expected, most of the social media apps were some of the most popular ones like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok. Overall, the average screen time for all apps was evenly split between 4-6 and 6-8 hours, which I also expected. Something that did surprise me was the amount of time spent on certain social media apps. The data was split pretty evenly three ways and all between 1-4 hours. The next two questions dealt with when they group surveyed started using social media. I asked these questions because a lot of the points I want to discuss later in my paper have to deal with age and whether younger generations are suffering when it comes to communication. More than half the people surveyed said that they wished that they had waited to get social media until they were older. Some said that it is not appropriate for younger kids and that it is just toxic in general. Something that I really like that a couple people mentioned was that in reality, social media at a young age is stupid and useless. A lot of people said they wish they would have enjoyed their childhood more and they would be more extroverted now if they had not been exposed that early. The last question of this section that I asked was if they thought social media has had a more positive or negative impact on them. Overall, the data was split but leaning slightly towards the more positive side. The positive answers mostly dealt with being able to talk to stay in contact with people and meeting new friends. The negative answers all related to mental health and feeling bad about themselves. A lot of people said it is toxic and very controlling and takes up too much of our time.

The next set of questions I asked had to do more with communication and interaction with and without social media. I asked questions like how they feel about social media and how it has impacted their communication, their mental health, and if it has made our lives easier. I decided to ask questions like these because I figured I would get a wide range of responses and a lot of people’s different opinions. I started off by asking if people are an introvert or an extrovert to get an idea of what the responses would be like, and 66% said somewhere in between the two. The response for the next question really shocked me because I received such a one-side response. I asked if they think social media has impacted their communication and the way they interact with others and 75% (18/24 people) said yes. This is the information that I was looking for along with the next two questions. The next question asked if they think social media has negatively impacted their mental health and 50% said yes. I also plan on using this as a research question to show that social media can affect our mental health and therefore affect the way we interact with and around other people. The last two questions are similar but the responses were both very good. Almost everyone answered yes to the question asking if social media has made our lives easier. Everyone that answered yes said they think so because it helps them talk to friends, stay in touch with people they do not see as much, and meet new people that they are comfortable talking to. The people that said no also made good points such as it takes over our lives and it is filled with too much hate and cancel culture. I agree with both sides and am very happy that people can feel a positive response especially when it comes to communicating with other people online. The last question I asked was used to wrap up the whole survey and topic. I asked if they think social media has made our generation’s communication improve or worsen. The data was pretty evenly split, and most people gave a positive and a negative. The people that said improve gave that answer because they said it broadens our communication and allows us to talk to people at a wider range. The people who said it has made it worse all said that it is ruining our face-to-face interaction and causing us to lose emotion. They said that some people do not even know how to have a proper in person conversation and that they are too dependent on their phones. Overall, I agree with both arguments that people made but I do think that the positives outweigh the negatives in most of these situations and questions.

Research Questions

The first question I want to ask has to deal with the overall social media and communication connection and has multiple other questions I would like to cover within it. The main question is: Is social media hindering the way we communicate with each other? I also want to touch on questions like: Is social media impacting us in a positive or negative way? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? The second set of research questions I have is: Is their more room for improvement when it comes to dealing with communication in the social media spectrum? How can we help improve our communication skills on social media and in real life? How is social media impacting younger generation’s communication versus older generation’s communication?

Research Question One

Social media and communication have a direct connection to each other and both have a strong impact on the outcome of the other. My first research question has to do with that. My questions center around how social media has impacted our communication, and whether or not it is positive or negative. First, I think it is important to note the changes and different characteristics that come into play when talking about this. Things like age and problems going on in our world can affect our social media usage and communication. While we connect to people on a deeper level when talking to the in person, social media has also given us a newer and more broad way of communicating. The article “How Social Media Affects Our Ability to Communicate” by Stacey Hanke, talks about different ways social media has impacted our communication. Social media has become so relevant in our day to day lives and Hanke describes it in a couple different ways. She describes it as information binging and the fear of missing out, social graces and conversational boredom. Within these, she explains how social media has become an excuse and escape to talk to people face to face. Hanke also talks about how even though it is limiting our in person communication, it can sometimes make communicating in general easier, by being able to talk to each other in just a few words (Hanke 1). In another article by Ryan J. Fuller titled “The Impact of Social Media Use on Our Social Skills”, he discusses similar topics to Hanke’s article but also brings up more positive attributes of social media. Fuller starts of his article by giving some statistics, stating that 75% of teens own cellphones and 25% of them using it for social media, and also says that they use 7.5 hours a day using it (Fuller 1). I am glad that this was brought up because it is important to know how much time is spent on social media, scrolling through feed. Next, Fuller starts to discuss some of the benefits of social media. He briefly explains how social media is beneficial because we are able to stay in touch with our friends and family, and share important parts of our lives with them. He also explains how it helps people reach out to new friends and provide themselves with more opportunities (Fuller 1). Overall, I really like that he mentioned these because it is important to keep in mind the vast majority of social media and communication. While some use it for more simpler purposes likes just keeping up to date with what is going on in the world, others use it to make new friends, find new job opportunities, and stay in touch with people. Another topic I find important when it comes to answering this research question is how Covid affected everything. With the pandemic, we were left inside with nothing to do but what was at our fingertips. This pandemic increased social media usage drastically. The article “Social Media Insights Into US Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Analysis of Twitter Data” by Danny Valdez et al, shows extensive research into determining just how much social media usage in the United States increased during the pandemic. They did experiments and surveys to determine multiple responses to research questions and show how much we rely on social media to communicate with each other. During the pandemic, everyone spent more time on their social media and their phone in general, probably more than they would like to admit. The article helps give more insight into this claim. There is the idea that social media was meant as an addition to our lives. For some people, it has become an addiction and a new piece of their life. The article focuses on how social media could be a toxic place and have a negative effect on our mental health. The time period for this information focuses around the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from Twitter, Valdez created a study to determine the mood of people during the pandemic and the usage throughout (Valdez et al 2). Collecting tweets with certain hashtags and during time periods, the goal was to determine how much the pandemic affected people’s moods, and how much they put out and shared on social media. They used hashtags, timeline data, and tweets from different periods such as the first lockdown, different stay at home orders, etc. Given the responses to the data, they were able to determine the increase in social media usage. We cannot determine if this had a positive or negative effect on the people who were using Twitter, but we can infer that social media is becoming a key part of our lives. Not being able to talk to people as much in person during the first few months of the pandemic greatly affected communication, in positive and negative ways. Communication over the phone increased due to the amount of free time that people had and were able to spend talking to others. Contrary to that, in person communication also decreased given that people were not really allowed to leave the house. The next article by Tayebi et al, “The Role of Information Systems in Communication Through Social Media” focuses a lot about how we have evolved over time with social media and communication. They start off by talking about how social networks are like social media societies. They explain it by resembling it to a human society, as it is filled with people communicating, regardless of time or place. They also exemplify other aspects such as emotional support, information, emotions (Tayebi 2). Social media is constantly looked at through such a negative light due to some of the major bad events that have taken place. While it can be difficult at times to look past the negatives, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the positives. The growth of scientific research would not be possible without the amount of information received from the media (Tayebi 3). Without social media and media in general, we would not be where we are today as a society. As mentioned earlier, it is so easy to get lost in the negative aspects of social media and discard the positive ones. Positive parts of social media such as widespread communication and unlimited access to information makes it all worth it. Staying on topic with positive aspects of social media and communication, social media in the workplace has also broken down barriers for communication. The article “A Guide to the Successful Use of Social Media in the Workplace” by Clark Boyd gives insight into how social media has improved the workplace, and ultimately communication and interaction as a whole. Companies can use social media as a form of branding and way to communicate their products (Boyd 4). Boyd states, “Harvard Business Review finds that 82% of employees believe social media improves work relationships. Left to their own devices, your teams will connect and communicate on social networks, both inside and outside the office.” This directly relates to the research question asking whether social media hinders our communication with each other. Social media also helps when it comes to dealing with complaints placed online. By seeing these through social media, it can help the company communicate either with the person or their company the concerns that are being stated (Boyd 9). Overall, it is safe to say that social media has directly affected communication throughout different aspects of our lives.

Research Question Two

My second set of research questions has a lot to do with the future and how we can improve. Questions such as: Is their more room for improvement when it comes to dealing with communication in the social media spectrum? How can we help improve our communication skills on social media and in real life? How is social media impacting younger generation’s communication versus older generation’s communication? The article “What is Literacy” by James Paul Gee talks a lot about the basics of communication. I find this an important article to talk about before I go into more detail with this second research question. Gee explains discourse as a socially accepted way of speaking, thinking, and acting (Gee 1). It is important to note this because social media has changed that discourse for us. We no longer communicate and interact the same way in which we use to therefore almost giving us a new discourse. Another thing Gee discusses is identity kits. Gee explains identity kits as “appropriate costumes and instructions on how to act and talk” (Gee 2). This relates to social media because there is a certain way we communicate online that we wouldn’t do in person. For example, we use emojis and abbreviations to communicate on social media or over text, but this is something we would not do when communicating face-to-face. There are also some basic well-known rules of social media that follow along the lines of an identity kit. Such as, for Instagram it is a common idea not to like people’s pictures from too long ago. When you say this aloud it sounds like it is not a big deal and silly almost, but for people that use social media it is something that makes sense. The next article is going to focus more on the question that has to do with room for improvement of communication. The article “The Positive Effect of Not Following Others on Social Media” by Francesca Valsesia, Davide Proserpio, and Joseph C. Nunes involves how we deal with social media and how we react to it. The article has a lot to do with pyramid schemes and marketing schemes on social media, simply due to follower count. Social media has a lot of power over us and the content we see. Influencers have too much impact on what we see every day and this overall effects our communication (Valsesia 1). Social media feeds us information at our fingertips, whether it be true or false. Valsesia is trying to get the point across that social media has no impact on our lives without the phone and therefore, having a smaller follower count is better for our communication and overall wellbeing in the first place. Leading into my next article, social media can have a huge impact on the younger generation. This leads into part of my second research question dealing with the younger generation and their communication. The article “The Impact of Social Media on Youth Mental Health: Challenges and Opportunities” by Jacqueline Nesi shows how social media is a very complex brand of information and makes it complicated for everyone. Younger kids having access to it and multiple devices like computers and phones makes it that much more difficult. There are a lot of positives and negatives for younger kids having access to social media and the internet in general. It has an impact on their mental health and studies show it leads to signs of depression, body dysmorphia, eating disorders (Nesi 2). It can also affect their communication and outward identity due to things such as bullying, internet drama, and behavioral problems. While it does have serious negative risks, social media also can bring a lot of new positive ones. Things like creative ideas, humor and entertainment, and being able to explore their identity are all really great positives that social media gives us (Nesi 4). Most of them using it as a way to connect with friends and family and help them feel a sense of acceptance and belonging (Nesi 4). Similarly to this, social media has given a great outlet for kids and young adults to speak out on issues going on in the world. The article “Building Bridges: Exploring the Communication Trends and Perceived Sociopolitical Benefits of Adolescents Engaging in Online Social Justice Efforts” by Mariah Elsa Kornbluh goes into detail about the racial injustices in the world and how they are communicated through social media. Social media networks can help connect kids to different backgrounds and aspects of their lives (Kornbluh 1). Kornbluh expresses how a society only can flourish under civic engagement and being able to express ourselves, and social media is helping us do that. It is helping the younger generation prepare for the civic role that they will undergo (Kornbluh 2). Social media helps play a major role in participating in political movements and bringing awareness to topics (Kornbluh 3). This all is done by the younger generation and would not be possible without them. So, while it is easy to look at the negative parts of social media and how it effects the younger generation, it also brings great awareness to real life problems in our world. This last article I wanted to go over dealing with this research question has to do with the pandemic. The article “Responses to COVID-19 in Higher Education: Social Media Usage for Sustaining Formal Academic Communication in Developing Countries” by Abu Elnasr E. Sobaih, Ahmed M. Hasanein and Ahmed E. Abu Elnasr briefly talks about communication with social media in higher education systems. Education systems had to switch from in person learning and communication to online learning, which was a struggle for everyone. Throughout the time that this took place, results showed that social media had a positive effect on students dealing with this (Sobaih 1). Students used social media to build a community and help support each other through this rough time. Through these results, proper usage of social media can be shown as a positive result for a new era of learning (Sobaih 1). This is just one more reason why social media can help us improve our future.

After answering my research questions, it has become clear to me that while social media does have negative aspects, the positive aspects outweigh them. Between the articles and my own research, I have enough evidence to prove that social media does effect communication, but in a more positive way. The way we act and present ourselves is heavily influenced by social media and communication between generations are different and can be seen that way. It is important to note the accomplishments we have made as a society with social media and the media in general. It has helped connect families, provide support groups, and provide entertainment in desperate times. Our communication has changed because of social media but has changed and helped us for the better in the long run. Keeping social media a positive place and staying away from the toxic people on it will only help us grow and learn new things about ourselves.

Works Cited

Boyd, Clark. “A Guide to Using Social Media in the Workplace in 2021.”  The Blueprint , The Blueprint, 13 May 2020,

D, Valdez, et al. “Social Media Insights Into US Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Longitudinal Analysis of Twitter Data.”  Journal of Medical Internet Research  , vol. 22, no. 12, 14 Dec. 2020, pp. 1438–8871. vid=8&sid=ff59b04c-b868-44cd-b864-4538e112a2ea%40sessionmgr103&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=33284783&db=mnh

J, Nesi. “The Impact of Social Media on Youth Health: Challenges and Opportunities.”  North Carolina Medical Journal , vol. 81, no. 2, 2020, pp. 116–121.

Gee, James Paul. “What is literacy.”  Negotiating academic literacies: Teaching and learning  across languages and cultures  (1998): 51-59.

Hanke, Stacey. “How Social Media Affects Our Ability to Communicate.”  Thrive Global , 13  Sept. 2018,

Kornbluh, Mariah Elsa. “Building Bridges.”  Youth & Society , vol. 51, no. 8, 2017, pp. 1104–1126., doi:10.1177/0044118×17723656.

Retchin, Sarah, et al. “The Impact of Social Media Use on Social Skills.”  New York Behavioral Health , 1 Dec. 2020,

Sobaih, Abu Elnasr E., et al. “Responses to COVID-19 in Higher Education: Social Media Usage for Sustaining Formal Academic Communication in Developing Countries.”  MDPI , Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 12 Aug. 2020,

Tayeb, Seyed Mohammad, et al. “The Role of Information Systems in Communication through Social Media.”  International Journal of Data and Network Science , vol. 3, no. 3, 2019, pp. 245–268., doi:10.5267/j.ijdns.2019.2.002.

Valsesia, Francesca, et al. “The Positive Effect of Not Following Others on Social Media .”  Journal of Marketing Research  , vol. 57, no. 6, Dec. 2020, pp. 1152–1168.

Understanding Literacy in Our Lives by Lindsey Matier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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argumentative essay about social media is changing how we communicate

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Social media has changed the way we live in many ways. It has changed everything from the way we communicate with each other to where we get our news from. It happened so fast that people hardly realized just how much their lives had changed. Personal and professional communities are now intertwined and within arm’s reach and our once small social and work networks have now expanded to proportions that were once unimaginable. Just like in any revolution or period of expansion, there are many positive and negative aspects involved in the world of social media.

The world of social media is complex and nowhere near its pinnacle. It’s exciting to think of where it will take us in the years to come. Needless to say, our communication has sped up tremendously since social media was introduced. It has made it easier to keep in touch with people all over the country or all over the world for that matter.

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Social media has even made finding a date easier to a certain extent by multiplying the size of our social circles. Social media allows people with similar interests to connect and converse. It allows professionals to network easier than ever before. Social media allows businesses to advertise for free and actually seem somewhat human to consumers. It also allows for cost effective campaigns and strategies for growing businesses. It also has the power to drive traffic to a website or even a real business. Some people think that social media is adding to human interaction while other people think that social media sites are basically replacing face-to-face interaction.

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Online interactions can become a substitute for actual human contact. It can encourage people to say or do things they never really would have done or meant to do, due to the fact that they feel like it’s not reality. It can lead to covert dealings and perhaps lead to infidelity. This social media frenzy has allowed bullies to spread destructive information about others and they can even bring out the nastiest conversations because people feel anonymous in some instances. Social media can ruin the image of a company due to the wrong angle or brand image. It can also have a negative impact on worker productivity. Either way you look at it, whether you like it or not, social media is changing our lives in one way or another. One aspect of society that will experience the greatest amount of social change over the next ten years is social media. Social media is going to grow larger and become more encompassing of our lives and able to capture more of our lives. Because we capture more of our lives the people in our social circles will spend more of their time living vicariously through us.

Therefore, they will spend less time learning about society and less time developing their own interpersonal relationships. Already social media encompasses several different media forms. Currently, these forms are music, writing, video, and pictures. Soon social media will include other forms of communication, such as augmented reality. Projects like Google Glass place a screen in front of your eyes all day; the glasses can recognize people’s faces and provide information. The glasses are able to listen to your conversation and provide relevant Google search results, for information you might want to know during the conversation. Therefore, interactions between people will be more fact-checked by information people make on the internet. As augmented reality projects like Google Glass become more widespread and developed, people will be constantly plugged into the internet and to the “hive-mind”. Eventually people will start dreaming their lives on the internet in part or in whole. You will become more of a public person, and in doing so more shaped by the society around you. Social media changes at the speed of which the technology that supports social media is developed and embraced. For new developments in social media to be embraced the new technological developments must be useful and intuitive. People need to have a reason to care about a new development.

Society embraced the sharing of pictures because we like to capture glimpses of other people’s lives. We have embraced video because it expands upon pictures. Words were the first versions of social media, and were exchanged because they are the essence of communication. As long as people exist we will continue to seek new ways of exchanging information. What we call social media now will be but a small fraction of what social media is ten years from now. Eventually social anthropologists will look back at these times just as current social anthropologists examine cave paintings. We can ask ourselves, “What are the engines that are driving this change in our society?” For example, there are many reasons that drive people to use the site know as Facebook. Research resulted in nine ways that drive people to use Facebook; to conduct a survey, upload photos, putting your page together, posting an event, ask a question, create desktop backgrounds using images from an event, and you can even post a picture of the day. The news media even use it to run a contest and give away merchandise, and posting of videos. Facebook has become an overnight sensation for social networking, and what makes this so amazing is that Facebook did not even exist until 2004.

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Three college students created it to allow other students to network and meet each other, and it has caught on with people around the globe. Facebook has had many impacts on today’s technologically advanced society. It allows people who probably never would have met each other in person to communicate; it creates new relationships and friendships, and it places distance between people who could communicate in person but instead choose to communicate online. Facebook is nothing more than a medium for communication, and yet, it is so much more than that. At a glimpse, a person can learn everything from what gender a member of Facebook is, to what religion they believe in, what school he or she attends, and their likes and dislikes, with just a click of a mouse. An article in the Network Journal of Communications written by Brent Leary, compares and contrasts popular social networking sites and his recent experiences with them. He talks about being a member of over twelve different social networking sites in which he has spent time using each network. One of the main interest in this article was the author’s insight into his most recent addition to his list; Facebook. He also notes that business application providers such as Yahoo, Finance, Zoho, etc. are building widgets to work with Facebook in order for Facebook to infiltrate further into the business networking field.

The most appealing characteristic of Facebook is that they have been able to grow from what was once only a college based network, to a worldwide network with many different areas of interest. Most importantly they have been able to do this while staying very user friendly, professional, and private, unlike other social networks such as MySpace. This has allowed Facebook to become as financially valuable to its creators as it is socially valuable for its members. It is very interesting to see how Facebook has not only established itself in the networking world, but in the financial market as well that people use it for. Experts estimate that many people now spend at least 50 percent of their waking time online. For many, a large part of this time is spent in social networking sites like Facebook. Facebook on the surface is a socially acceptable networking site for students and others to connect, share experiences, and meet old friends. It does say some disturbing things about how our society is adjusting to the age of technology, and it brings into question how a generation of Face bookers will deal with the challenges of the real world in person like career, family, and success. There are tons of data that show that the social media wave (hype) is going to continue and is here to stay.

Take Facebook and Twitter for instance. Many large associations and companies advertise on these social media platforms like the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL to name a few. From a company stand point CBS, CNN, Wal-Mart, and Apple advertise on these social media platforms also. According to Michael A. Stelzner, “Social media marketing involves engaging people with online social networks to generate exposure, increase traffic, gather insight, improve search rankings, enhance customer relations, build strong brand advocates, generate quality leads and grow sales” (“Quickly Grow Your Business”). Social media helps businesses grow around the world. This is one major reason why social media is going to continue to prosper. Social media involves a lot of youth in today’s society. For example, social media has greatly influenced youth to vote or seek education about this year’s Presidential Election. According to Foster Web Marketing, “The younger generation (18 to 35 years old) is the largest group of social media users. They pretty much rely on social media and other internet sources for information. With the structure of social media, information is easily skewed as users exchange it with others. Because someone has to pass on the information to another, they can add their 2 cents along with the relevant content, meaning the end result can lean heavily toward one side or another”.

It was said that in this year’s Presidential Election, the youth played a big role in the reelection of Obama . Social media played a major role this election and is projected to play a bigger role in the next Presidential Election. Social media also allow news companies and news stations to get information out to the world within minutes. Good or bad, social media has impacted the world in a major way. It has allowed long lost friends, family members, and lovers to reunite. Since its arrival, social media has changed the way the world socializes in general. Undoubtedly, social media is capable of bringing people together. They potentially create friendships and partnerships, expose users to advertisements therefore developing business endeavors, and allow individuals who would otherwise remain silent virtually shout their thoughts and opinions to a broad range of strangers, friends, and acquaintances alike. There are certainly already acknowledgeable pros and cons to social media. With the cyber doors wide open, people are able to learn a lot about someone before they even lay their own eyes on them: name, address, looks, personal preferences, etc. It is easy to assume that many social media users are alienating themselves from true personal contact with potential friends and partners.

Granted this will not always hold true, younger generations who will grow up under the direct influence of social media will come to believe that it’s okay to meet all their acquaintances through the internet which would ultimately hinder their social skills, confidence, and charisma. In order to measure the future impact of social media on society, over the next decade we will inevitably have to look to efficient research methods for accurate conclusions. Sociologists rely on surveys to gather information about both small and large populations- mostly behavioral and opinion information. “Surveys are one of the most commonly used quantitative research techniques in sociology .” This method of research is the most effective because surveys allow the sociologist to capture an opinion of a large group which will therefore give the data that is needed to site the information. This information will show the change accurately and promptly. Random sampling for the survey will give everyone an equal opportunity in participating in the survey. A diverse amount of people will result in finding an abundant amount of opinions about this topic.

We have seen the social media change in just months since new phones have emerged such as the iPhone 5. Apple is one of the number one leading companies in technology and their Apple products are constantly updating. From the article on the apple website, it states, “We use the iPhone to log in and launch an infrastructure management client. I can screen share with senior architects and lead them through the challenges they’re facing. Being able to do that anywhere — without a computer — is a major benefit to us. We can respond to customer needs much faster and solve problems on the go.” As we can conclude from this quote, the change is inevitable because it’s more convenient, and convenience is what we love. Social media has undergone such a significant change since its founding. This is due to all of its possible uses. When social media first began it was for the purpose of enabling it’s users to locate and communicate with others. Now it has broadened from that into many other possible uses. There has been such a variety of benefits, for both individuals and business, to using social media. For individuals, one of the benefits has been that they have been able to keep in touch with their friends and loved ones. They are able to see what they have going on in their lives and contact those that they have lost contact with. Individuals are able to stay abreast of the different activities and functions in both their area and other areas.

They also use social media to spread the word of functions, using this as a free method of invitation. Social media has also been a beneficial tool for children as well. Kids gain confidence from interacting with others online, which has long term benefits. Online communities are very diverse and expose children to different viewpoints, technologies and ideas. In addition, this is the easiest way of communicating internationally. For businesses, they have caught hold to the trend and have acknowledged the benefits and possibilities to grow their corporations. This has become used by both large and small businesses. They use social media to both promote and survey their businesses. They have saved an abundance of money by using it as a method of free advertising. Many businesses have grown, become established, or have been saved by using social media. They also use this as a way to widen business contacts and as recruitment tools. Social media will experience more social change than any other in its class because as times change, need will change. Social media will adapt to meet the needs of society. There will be different and more advanced searches and possibilities for both individuals and businesses.

Technology has become the forefront of advancement in today’s society and social media will be modified to meet the needs and encourage different endeavors for its users. With the already present benefits of social media, there will continue to be advancements that will add greater opportunities for growth than any other area in the next ten years. We all enjoy a little social media one way or another in today’s society. Some of us, in fact many of us can’t survive a day without updating our MySpace, Twitter, or Facebook. With the help of these social networking sites, the internet has made our lives as Americans extremely simple and easier. These sites allow their patrons to not only connect with their friends, but are very useful for things such as employment, networking and even getting your brand as an artist, whether music, drawing or any other talents that you may have, out and viewable by today’s society. But with time always comes change. Whether good or bad, change is the one constant entity in society. The functionalist theory of social change best describes the change in social media because these sites have changed the way we as Americans live and adapt to this new phenomenon. Functionalism is a macro level of analysis, which basically describes how each level or part of society contributes to society as a whole and when something changes from the norm the ability to adapt to that change.

Take this for example; milk of course comes from cows for the most part, so it would originate from a farm somewhere in Middle America. After being collected from the farms, it would be transferred via most likely an eighteen-wheeler to a factory for processing. After being deemed consumable, it would then be bottled up and placed perhaps on another eighteen-wheeler, plane or other mode of transportation to be transferred to your local market, and later delivered to your doorstep by your milkman. In this instance, the farm, the eighteen-wheeler, the factory, the market and the milkman are all parts of society working together in the milk industry. But what happens if you were to remove one part of the process. Milk delivered to your front door step isn’t very common anymore, which took the milkman out of the equation. Society didn’t just stop enjoying the great taste of milk; they simply went to the market themselves to purchase the milk. They adapted to the change that was presented to them. Social media has no doubt changed society as a whole, but have we as a society been able to adapt to that change? Without a doubt, the answer is yes. A lot of parts in certain processes that are being used in today’s society have experienced changed due to social media.

Take Facebook for example and the effect it has had on the hiring process. Generally, face to face interviews were used to develop an idea of what type of person an applicant may be, but now if you throw Facebook in the mix, employers can take a look at potential employee’s page and develop an idea on that person’s character from their page. In this instance an interview may not be needed, and if you do get an interview, the employer may have developed an idea of your character and has decided whether or not you’re going to get that job. The internet changed the hiring process and we as a society have adapted. Functionalism best explains the change in social media and social networking. Our society has shown that change will always occur but it’s the ability to adapt to the change that actually brings the change to light.

In conclusion, social media has forever changed the way society works, whether it’s the sharing of an idea, the communication of news, or the availability of a product or service. Society today is on the verge of a new way of existing that it’s never experienced before. No longer will people from one side of the world be really able to say that they will never see a person or communicate with someone from the other side of the world ever in their life. No longer will people not be able to share an idea, if they really want to share it (no matter how radical it may be or no matter how many people may disagree with it). No longer will the spreading of information or the expressing of an opinion be able to be completely silenced. As long as there is a person who wishes to express their opinion, share their music or art, or simply say hello to another human being in another country or culture, social media will allow them to do so.

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argumentative essay about social media is changing how we communicate

How Social Media Improved Communication?

The social media is one of the most common means of communication and pretty much of knowing anything and everything around the world these days, and it is growing very rapidly. It changes and affects each person in a different way, or ways. Some may argue that social media has a bad influence on children and young adults, while most people see that the social media has a more positive effect on them than a negative one. Social media is basically the new way of keeping in touch with everything and everyone, and of even strengthening bonds between each other. This essay will argue that social media has improved communication between people, and has also improved the means of communication between them. First of all, social media has made it possible for people, or even families, who live far away from each other to communicate easily. Before, people used to communicate through writing letters and having them sent through the mail, which would take a lot of time and communication could not be done fast enough and constantly, however, now communication is easily done through social interaction networks on a daily basis using the Internet. Head of marketing at FreshNetworks, Jo Stratmann, states that indeed social media has completely transformed the way that people communicate with each other, and in a positive way, and is improving internal communication between people and even companies and workplaces (Using social media to improve internal communications, n.d.). Secondly, the social media has made it easier for businesses and business people such as bankers, business owners, brands, and even celebrities to communicate faster and to get things accomplished. Through social media interaction networks such as Twitter, Instagram, What... ... middle of paper ... ...s, online texting applications, or social media sites or applications, like Twitter or Instagram. We can now keep in touch with our loved ones by sharing photos, videos, and whatever we want to share online very easily. Works Cited 1) Jo Stratmann (n.d.). Using social media to improve internal communications. Retrieved from 2) Social Media Today (2013, June). How Celebrities Use Social Media to Build Their Brand. Retrieved from 3) American Osteopathic Association (n.d.). Cyber- Bullying and its Effect on our Youth. Retrieved from

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How Has Social Media Affected Communication: Facts that Surprise!


It’s no surprise that the widespread use of social media for communicating ideas, personal and professional stories and experiences has had a profound effect on the overall way people communicate today. Just how has social media affected communication, you ask? In more ways than you may think! But not all are bad — just look at our list of social media effects on communication.

What is Social Media?

Social media can be described as the collection of online platforms that involve sharing and collaborating with an online community by posting, commenting, and interacting with one another. The most commonly used social media platforms today are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.

Photo by  Tracy Le Blanc  from  Pexels

Social media effects on communication.

Around 3 billion people use social media today, which means that 40% of the world uses social media for communication. It’s no surprise that this widespread use has social media effects on communication.

11% of adults reported preferring staying home on Facebook than going out on the weekend. Communication is affected in ways such as personal expression, our expectations of others, and the way companies communicate with customers.

Exposure to Messaging

Information overload.

Many people tend to binge on social media, spending hours and hours scrolling though sites. Ultimately, this may lead to a constant craving of more internet and more social media consumption. The more people get, the more they want — and it’s hard to stop the cycle.

Photo by  Kaboompics .com  from  Pexels

Young people read news.

Social media has made reading the news cool again. According to Wibbitz, 23% of young users get news from social media , and a whopping 61% get political news from Facebook . On social media, people share interesting news they read, and they can follow various news sources’ pages.

Getting the Full Picture

Stories — a part of Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook — mean that people get the full picture of an event, activity, or occurrence in someone’s life. We no longer just get a snapshot of a home-cooked meal, we might see the entire process from start to finish.

This has changed the way people think about what to post — there is much less thought put into a post when it is a story that will be erased after 24 hours.

Boredom in Conversation

Here’s a sad social media effect on communication. We are becoming bored when we have real, in-person conversations. People have such a need for social media consumption and that instant, colorful feedback only social media can give, they will often become bored during real conversations, resorting to their phones. This can lead to a decrease in the quality and number of meaningful conversations.

Reactions to Non-Verbal, Emotional, and Social Cues

In-person reactions to non-verbal, emotional, or social cues are changing in that people don’t need to respond to these types of communication when they are online. This leads to less experience and awareness of others’ needs based on these types of cues that can only be received from in-person communication.

Self Expression

Sense of urgency.

No one has to wait for longer than a few hours for a response, and people have come to expect that timeline for conversations. There is so much of a sense of urgency that people are often anxious if they haven’t heard back from a family member, friend, or partner in a number of hours.

Photo by  Cristian Dina  from  Pexels

Need to share.

Social media has created a feeling among users that they must share whatever they are doing — from restaurant orders, to concerts, to the books they are reading. This can be a social media positive effect because people are getting more exposure to things they might not otherwise, such as new reads. But it can also be a negative effect as it can urge people to become dependent on posting anything occurring in their own lives and painting those occurrences as rosier than they truly are.

Photo by  Vinicius Wiesehofer  from  Pexels

How we value ourselves.

When people see others having a wonderful life, as represented on social media, they tend to have a negative self-image, and start to devalue their own ways of life. In addition, there is a feeling of needing to paint an inaccurately positive and ‘fun’ version of one’s own life which leads to feelings of negativity about one’s ‘real’ life.

Inside Perspective of Afar

One of the positive effects of social media is the ability to get an intimate view of other cultures and places. With social media, especially on Instagram, users are able to see what others are doing around the world. People are exposed to travel ideas, new cultures, and ways of life unlike before.

Broadcasting Live

Broadcasting live started as a fun, innocent idea to share life’s moments, but it’s transformed to become a large part of political movements, sharing some dark aspects of today’s society. The option to post live videos has created an important platform for serious issues that need to be spoken about.

Personalized Digital Messages

Both Instagram and Snapchat have popularized the highly personalized message. People can now completely change their own faces with selfie filters, or draw pictures to send to friends, and more. Creativity soars, which is a great thing, but people can start to spend too much time personalizing picture messages.

Communication Style

1. summarized writing.

Starting with the limited character text messaging of the 2000s, and nowadays with the 140-character tweet, messages have been getting shorter and more concise. Other areas of communication have adapted for summarized writing as well, such as in shortened work memos, shortened academic communication between students and professors, and shortened messages in advertising.

2. Abbreviations

The abbreviated style of communicating that became popular when text messaging started in the 00’s has continued into online conversations. It has also made its way into traditionally non-abbreviated forms of communication such as spoken language, email communication, and even academic forms of writing.

This has caused concern among some academics, citing studies that show a causation between “textese” and negative effects on literacy skills such as writing skills and reading accuracy. Other studies show that using “textese” has no effect on spelling ability, or correct grammar use. For a full review of related studies, see this meta-analysis .

3. Unfiltered Interactions

Social media and internet interactions offer a veil between the person sending and the person receiving the message. These interactions are no longer face to face, and this can lead to some unfiltered conversations as people feel they can say anything with no repercussions.

4. GIFs and Emojis

The introduction of using emojis to illustrate a written message or a GIF to express a reaction may seem fun and innocent, but it is also interfering with our ability to properly craft a written response. It ends up being too tempting to respond with a small picture, or a funny moving photo than to use the mind to create a response with words from scratch.

Photo by  Szabo Viktor  on  Unsplash

5. viral messages.

That quick and easy “share” button on so many social media platforms has led to the phenomenon of “going viral.” Messages, videos, and other content can be easily shared between platforms with millions of people in a matter of days.

In Business

1. building a community.

By utilizing social media, brands are able to create an entire community based on their products or services. The use of a particular brand can be integral to being a part of a certain lifestyle, and social media perpetuates that idea. By being involved with the right communities, or making your own community out of a brand (such as Disney), companies are creating the most loyal of customers.

2. Brands Are Speaking Directly to Audiences

Companies no longer need to go through media such as TV stations, magazines, or newspapers to reach consumers. Brands now have direct access to customers by way of social media — they can now find out exactly the needs of the customer much faster and respond accordingly.

3. Social Media is Changing Traditional Media

Traditional media was such that a brand would just post an article and it would reach audiences. With social media and the way information reaches consumers today makes it so that it’s important who is posting or writing about a product. Influencers, bloggers, and Youtube celebrities can all have a much bigger impact on getting a product successful in the market.

4. Brands Can Have a More Personal Connection with the Media

With social media, brands have a more personal and long-term connection with journalists. Instead of a one-time phone call or email for a story or new product information, brands can create relationships with journalists and get them interested in sharing their stories.

5. There’s an Opportunity to Coordinate with PR Efforts

Brands can create some important PR campaigns through social media. Through social media, companies have an easier time finding influencers to work with, other brands to collaborate with, and news sources to feed stories to.

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At University of the People , we love to create online relationships with our students and supporters through social media. We are active on Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter — follow us to keep up to date with what we’re up to!

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