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Social Media vs. Personal Communication

Social Media vs. Personal Communication

Stephanie Gill English 201 B Ms. Wanzo October 13, 2011 Social Media vs. Personal Communication In today’s world, social media plays a major role in each individual’s every day lives. It has its advantages and disadvantages; however, it is doing more harm than good because society is losing its ability to communicate on a personal level. Some advantages in the use of social media would be that it’s an excellent tool for gathering/obtaining information.

A good example would be the medical field: If you’re travelling out of town/out of the country and you’re hurt, doctors are able to pull up your records to obtain vital information in your medical history. For example: it may list medications you’re allergic to and/or it can assist in ways to treat you. Another advantage would be the ability to connect with family and friends everywhere. Most computers have web cams attached to them. With this capability, all parties are able to see and talk to one another.

For example: my family sets dates and times in advance so that my brother at college, my father who travels extensively abroad and family members at home are able to get onto their computers and we’re able to see and talk to each other. This method is called skyping. Another method now available is the ability to “tango” (doing the same thing but through your cell phones). People are now able to telecommute which allows people to work comfortably from home. Telecommuting also reduces traffic on the streets and well as the elimination of stress/tension due to traffic and/or time constraints (getting to work on time).

Lastly, social media is an essential learning tool in that students can do all of their research for their classes online, take courses rather than attending classes on campus, communicate with your professors online and, thus, increasing the abilitly for all people (including stay-at-home moms) to progress educationally. Social media can be viewed negatively in quite a few ways. Cyber bullying currently runs rampantly in the social media world. Examples of cyber bullying would be: a person or persons that send(s) threatening emails, text messages or comments to another person, creates stress and many times fear.

For example: there was a couple that threatened another student at a rival high school through text messages on her cell phone for months. They planned on “jumping” that person at the rival football game. The student’s mother knew about the cyberbullying and wanted to protect her. Both mother and daughter were attacked, and other students that came to their defense began receiving threatening text messages from the couple. Police and high school administrators became involved, and the cell phones with the threatening text messages were confiscated and used as evidence to prosecute the parties.

Computer cyber bullying may be tricking someone into revealing private or embarrassing information and sending it to others. Because of this, there have been cases that people have taken their lives or have created so much tension and fear that their health have been in jeopardy; thus, they find themselves on medication that may produce schisofrenia, depression and other mental conditions. Other examples of cyber bullying would be breaking into someone’s email or social media account and sending false messages to others while impersonating that person; creating web pages to make fun of someone; forming a defamation of character issue.

Cyberbullying can cause a lot of stress and fear in individuals; thus, they perform poorly at school because of sleep deprivation. People may fall into a depressed state of mind that can promote low self-esteem that may lead the individual to commit suicide. Social media also becomes a “breeding zone” for hackers to commit fraud and launch spam and virus attacks on computers, not to mention the invasion of privacy issue. It increases the risk of people falling victim to online scams that seem genuine, resulting in data or identy theft that are major problems today.

Further, social media can have a negative influence on employee productivity, especially if they are busy updating profiles on their Facebook or Twitter pages while at work. When employees do this at work, a window is open to corrupt the employers’ computer systems as it makes them susceptible to viruses and hackers. Because of this, companies are not allowing employees to access personal emails, websites, etc. If a company’s system/network is shut off, this creates productivity issues for the company as well. Social media – whether hrough computers (emails) or cell phones (texting) – has become the way of today’s social environment; therefore, we are proned to not communicating the “old fashioned” ways – picking up a phone or actually taking the time to visit/communicate with one another in person. I recall a situation involving my cousins. We are so proned to text each other; however, this type of communication gives way to miscommunication. A text was sent between cousins that was misinterpreted. Because of this, it created a situation among the cousins that escalated into a fight; and all because the text didn’t explain the situation clearly and it was misconstrued.

Had they called each other or got together so they could communicate personally with one another, this situation could have been alleviated. Observing all of the above, it’s obvious to me that social media – though it allows the availability for an abundance of information to be passed – the accessibility makes us susceptible to many privacy invasion issues. Because of this, many times it brings police activity or miscommunication/misinterpretations and may cause problems between the involved parties.

Most importantly, though, the issues relating to health issues (scksophrenia, depression, fear, sleep apnea and other mental illnesses) far outweighs innovative technological findings. I value technologically-enhanced communication, of course, but nothing comes close to the intonations of a voice, the firmness of a handshake, and the power of looking someone straight in the eye. Because of these reasons, I believe that nothing surpasses personal communication. It’s inevitable, however, that society welcomes future advancements, even though it may be detrimental to us in the future.