With the latest development in technology, it has been noted that people are moving from face-to-face conversation to more technical forms of communication. Nowadays, many people prefer online contact through social media sites over some other means of passing messages (Ding & Schotter, 2017). Some of the social media avenues include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and not restricted to e-mail. People may also have virtual contact via Skype and other video applications installed on smartphones and computers.
Of course, for people to have recourse to digital ways of communication, they would have found some of the perks that are not in the conventional mode of communication.Chatting or texting has been established as more efficient, pleasant and comfortable as compared to face-to-face conversations (Ding & Schotter, 2017). Recent research indicates that texting or writing an e-mail to another person saves a lot of time, which could be used in performing other duties (Ding & Schotter, 2017). Moreover, it has also been realized that messages sent through texts or emails are more effective than the ones passed verbally. Writing pays attention to some details that might be omitted when information is passed through word of mouth. Besides, people find it easier to build new relationships through chats and text messages (Ding & Schotter, 2017). For example, people who are in their earlier stages of dating find it more comfortable texting than making calls or having a one-on-one talk. It is difficult to know the mood that someone is in while making a call. Therefore, it is only more appropriate sending a text message than making a call.
Unlike in face-to-face communication, texting or chatting creates a more conducive environment for people to share their thoughts and feelings openly (Park, Lee, & Chung, 2016). It is true that there are some sentiments that one cannot be comfortable mentioning in person but can be better conveyed through text messages. Regardless of the person, you are addressing, text messages usually give people freedom of expression, making them assertive enough in their responses. Concisely, texting, chatting and other social media forms of communication have brought the world closer and more efficient than person-to-person communication (Ding & Schotter, 2017). The fact that even the adults have embraced it as a method of communication makes it more interesting.
Video chat varies in degree than in nature (Shin et al., 2017). In as much as many people might view it as another method of person-to-person communication, this is not the case. The fact that people can see each other while talking on platforms such as Skype does not mean that the conversation is one-on-one. Studies on video conferencing show an opposite picture of what many people think about the connection between person-to-person communication and video conferencing (Shin et al., 2017). It has been unveiled that video chats produce a different type of information processing than what happens in person-to-person communication.
Analysts have found out that there is a higher cognitive load among communicators using video conferencing as compared to their counterparts using person-to-person communication (Shin et al., 2017). This variation is caused by problems such as the identification of speakers in the communication process, coordination of the eye contact, movement detection, turn taking as well as the pacing of conversation. Video chats also consume higher cognitive attention because of the heightened self-awareness. Again, as opposed to one-on-one conversations, video chats might influence the perception of the receiver regarding the speaker (Shin et al., 2017). People may be economized by heuristics hence ending up making a judgement on the information the speaker passed based on the presentation.
I do not feel that social media and avoidance of person-to-person breaks relationships. Instead, social media sites can help in facilitating and maintaining relationships between lovers or romantic partners. Facebook is a good avenue of connecting partners together on social media by allowing them to post pictures, view profiles of each other as well as linking the profile of the romantic partners whenever they have changed their status. Researchers have confirmed that the act of declaring the relationships openly on Facebook does not only show commitment to each other but also faithfulness in relationships (Van Ouytsel et al., 2016). Even so, it is also worth pointing out that there might be some issues such as negative posts on someone’s timeline, which might not be received well by either partner. Such posts, which may contain romantic advances towards a particular party, might cause minor issues among partners who do not trust each other fully.
Social media sites such as Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter handles and WhatsApp status makes it easier for the couples to monitor each other. Jealous partners can spy on their significant others easily without their knowledge (Van Ouytsel et al., 2016). The other aspect of social media, which makes it strengthen relationships is the fact that information relevant to romantic partners’ relationship is publicly shown to the peers hence making the partners have a sense of security.
Social comparison in social media is one aspect that is affecting many people today especially the female gender (Park, Lee, & Chung, 2016). In as much as appreciating the self-worth of an individual is normal, the practice should not be exaggerated. Women have several issues with their esteem, and that is why they often upload their pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Again, there is no problem if one admires the outfit of the other. However, when the social comparison is brought into the mix with social media, everything fails. People have found a lot of fun in social media through engagement with the peers and creating more relationships with other people. Even though, they have failed to be cognizant of some of the negative effects that social media might have on their lives (Van Ouytsel et al., 2016). Social media has created a sense of smiling depression on us. It is only on social media that people start missing what they never had. They get curious about what they would love to have in life and take a keen interest in what everyone else is looking like or doing, thereby, ending up neglecting themselves.
Nomophobia is the fear of surviving without a handset or a mobile phone. It could also mean the act of one being out of phone contact (Park, Lee, & Chung, 2016). To some extent, I would concur that I have the fear. Based on my thoughts, nomophobia is more like a mental disorder. The digital world has created an environment where many people can hardly do without a cell phone, and this is a typical addiction, which is affecting people.
In conclusion, the evolution of technology has created a significant milestone in communication. It has not only enhanced the ease of information sharing but has also improved social life through interaction on social media platforms. In many occasions, I have seen more relationships being strengthened than broken on social media.
Ding, T., & Schotter, A. (2017). Matching and chatting: An experimental study of the impact of network communication on school-matching mechanisms. Games and Economic Behavior, 103, 94–115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2016.02.004
Park, N., Lee, S., & Chung, J. E. (2016). Uses of cellphone texting: An integration of motivations, usage patterns, and psychological outcomes. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 712–719. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.04.041
Shin, S. Y., Liu, W. (Rain), Jang, J. woo, & Bente, G. (2017). The benefits of distance and mediation: How people react to conflicts in video chat vs. FtF. Computers in Human Behavior, 73, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.03.022
Van Ouytsel, J., Van Gool, E., Walrave, M., Ponnet, K., & Peeters, E. (2016). Exploring the role of social networking sites within adolescent romantic relationships and dating experiences. Computers in Human Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.08.042