Cell phone, social media and technological interactions are ruining our generations face to face communication skills. The use of technology to communicate has drastically increased over the past two decades. In 2002 only 10% of the world’s population used cell phones and by 2005 that number had risen to 46% (Pierce). Although technology is great and all-what is it doing to the way teens communicate now a days? It is completely transforming our culture.
A study done by Tamyra Pierce examined 280 high school students to assess their use of technology and how it affected the students socially. The observational study consisted of a survey in which each student was to answer which social media accounts he or she possessed, how long each spent on his or her phone and how comfortable he or she was in face-to-face situations. The findings showed that there is in fact a correlation between social anxiety of face to face interaction which increases with the amount of online interaction one participates in. Furthermore, students reported that they were much less nervous meeting friends online than they were meeting new people in person, both startling pieces of evidence.
Let’s take for example two individuals in a relationship. If the couple spends more time communicating and spending time through texting, there is a loss of affection in the relationship. One misses out on the intimacy of actually spending quality face to face time with someone. Texting and social media allows people to hide behind screens and to not truly express themselves for who they are. In an article referenced by Psych Central, the author stressed that avoiding uncomfortable and undesired situations by addressing them through text message is detrimental. As quoted by Bernard Guerney, founder of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, “you grow some when you face things, and I think you lose something when you have to resort to tricky things and not confront people about things that are intimately important” (Psych Central). By communicating through text message and social media, there is a loss in social and personal development.
In addition, social skills and face to face interactions are damaged through impersonal communication because the individual is unable to express body language, tone, voice, touch and facial expressions through text message.
The science behind such discoveries shows that there is a natural comfort in connecting behind phone screens than face-to-face, which in turn negatively affects how our generation develops and communicates with one another.