by Miranda Tuttle
     Social media has revolutionized the way the current generation communicates. But what about human interaction? Has social media made us less or more social?

     Teenagers in today’s society are all familiar with the social media platforms of Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter- the list goes on. The purpose of these mediums are to  make connections all around the world. Teenagers in the current generation are tuned into social media unlike any other time in history. It’s seems like it would connect people more, but studies have illustrated that social media has interfered with face-to-face interactions.
     A study conducted by Flashgap, found that eighty-seven percent of teenagers admitted to missing out on a conversation because of phone distractions. Fifty-four percent experienced a fear of missing out if not actively checking social networks.
     The generation today is practically glued to their phones. USC Marshall School of Business conducted a study where one out of four respondents couldn’t recall a time where they were without their devices. Concerns about how this generation is more interested in social media connection and not the immediate interaction with each other, may not be so trivial.
     Social Media is not the enemy- in fact, studies have proven the benefits of social media in the professional field. It’s cost efficient, it’s able to give instant feedback to companies that rely on communication; education has also improved and become more current and effective with textbook and helpful teacher feedback. Social media platforms have improved communication in education and business.
     There is no denying that social media platforms are making worldwide connections and business transactions possible in exponential ways. Despite the benefits of social media platforms, limitations on personal interactions is a big problem. If society doesn’t recognize the value of human connections and the lack of said skill in today’s teenagers, the necessary steps to improve social skills will not take place. It’s easy to hide behind social platforms. The whole society can suffer because if it. Social media will continue to make our generation less sociable, unless we become more motivated to go and create meaningful personal connections with our real world counterparts.
      Its not uncommon to see teenagers, or even adults completely immersed in their phones at the dinner table, sitting in silence- connecting to others via social media but unaware of the human beings sharing the air around them. The current generation faces a possibility of becoming a society filled with tech savvy people, who are unable to maintain interpersonal communications in the real world- uncomfortable with creating and maintaining important real world relations. Social media will continue to exist in the world, and most likely expand, but the value and skill set of face-to-face interaction cannot be forgotten. It must be learned. Social media, in other words, has made us less social.