Social media use does not affect quality of communication

Emma Carpenter

Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter have all become popularized methods of communication ever since the start of the 21st century. According to a Social Media Today study from 2018, adults and teenagers spend an average of 135 minutes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day. There’s no doubt that technology and social media have become a prominent part of people’s lives. In fact, you can often learn a person’s life story just by browsing through their Instagram account or the photos they post on Facebook. Although in-person communication can be more meaningful than communication online, with time consuming work schedules and commitments, not everyone has the time to sit down and talk. Like face-to-face interaction, social media and texting can get powerful messages across, and are an essential way for people to get in touch with distant family members and old friends, or even make new ones.

The use of social media and texting is so significant in our lives, especially for the use of communicating via long distances, that it’s hard to picture what we would do without it. According to a 2011 Pew Research study, roughly two-thirds of social media users say the main reason they use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is to stay in touch with friends and family members. No matter the site used, social media is a simple, affordable way for people to chat over long distances.


However, real-life interactions are often seen as more personal than digital communication methods. People are inclined to the emotional aspect of meeting people in person, rather than through a screen. Although this is understandable, popular social media sites such as Instagram and Snapchat have options of “stories” that allow users to actively view what their friends and family are up to. In addition to stories, pictures themselves can speak words and convey people’s emotions. Updating Facebook or Instagram accounts with new pictures daily allows a collection of memories to be shared with those one wishes to connect with.

Additionally, as phones have become increasingly prevalent in our lives, certain events that usually take place in person, such as family or high school reunions, are becoming less frequent, according to the New York Times. Although nothing compares to giving a big hug to your old high school prom date, attending a reunion is not cheap. According to The New York Times, tickets to reunions are typically $85 to $125, not including the costs of flights, rental cars or babysitters. Some people don’t have the money and time to escape from their busy lives. In cases such as this, social media is the better, more convenient option to reconnect. With the click of a button, social media provides the same information one would get from flying across the country to have a conversation with someone, as well as a more accessible way to communicate without wasting time by traveling.

In-person communication should still be considered the first priority when it comes to interacting, but with technology evolving, media has become an important tool to get messages across. Social media is an important aspect of our lives, and should be recognized as a valuable form of communicating with someone. We must accept that screens are the new and improved communication method of this generation, and even more advanced technology may further expand how we are able to converse with each other in the future.