Does social media actually make communication easier?

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything” (twainquotes.com). This well-known quote along with the in class discussions on the contrast between real self and virtual self had me wondering, does social media actually make communication easier or does it complicate our day to day lives?

As discussed in class, we have a tendency to create an ideal self through our many social media accounts. We spend hours editing photos to post on our Instagram that make us look cool and we say things in a tweet that we normally would never actually say in real life. There is undoubtedly a separation between our real life and online personas, whether big or small.

Social Media is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in our everyday lives and is used religiously under the rallying cry of enhancing communication, but is it worth it?

Social media allows us to communication with people all over the world, it provides an immediate way to communicate ideas to a large audience and can be highly beneficial in a professional setting. With this being said however we would still be able to communicate with people all over the world if it wasn’t for social media however it would just be less immediate and professional affairs were still existent before the emergence of social media.

Essentially, I’m attempting to shine light on the possibility that social media does not actually make communication easier however adds another layer to it and increases its complexity. Social media is without a doubt the largest distraction to students in the modern world. Every lecture I go to seems to have a not so surprising number of students scrolling through their Facebook feed on their laptops. To be relevant on social media means to consistently post to your many profiles which takes thought and time (especially if you project different personas throughout your various accounts). Except for the immediacy of communication, any benefit social media provides seems to just be a more complex or an extended version of real world communication. It can be argued also that social media takes away from our real world communication skills at it has recently been revealed that increased social media use may lead to anxiety and actually makes face to face communication more difficult (anxiety.org).

Most of this claim is speculation as the issue is very contextual to the motive and frequency of individual social media use however I wanted to know your opinions. Do you think social media use is completely beneficial or do you think it is making communication simply more complex?

Resources:

http://www.twainquotes.com/Truth.html (2010)

https://www.anxiety.org/social-media-causes-anxiety (2017)

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