What is social media really doing to our generation?
When you want to talk to a friend, what do you do? Do you pick up the phone and dial their number, or do you send them some sort of message via text or social media? Every generation has their preferred mode of communication. Baby boomers would much rather pick up the phone and call someone than send a virtual message. On the other hand, my generation prefers to send the virtual message. While members of generation Y are natives to the social media world, we have become undeniably dependant on these platforms as main forms of communication. But with this drastic change comes a very important question: what is social media really doing to our generation?
It’s a thought provoking (and sometimes disturbing) question. Virtual communications are irrefutably changing the world through innovation and rapid technological advances. Some say social media is the best tool for marketing professionals since the invention of email. I do believe that social media is accomplishing something incredibly significant; something negative. I believe that it is crippling the communication skills of the millennium generation in such a way that if it is sustained, may be irreparable.
As we all know, it’s easy to hide behind a computer screen. From Steeler’s running back Rashard Mendenhall questioning the September 11th attacks to Amanda Bynes tweeting the President about her DUI, young people will say anything and everything that comes to their mind without much thought. They rattle off vulgar words and phrases that our parents would not have dreamed of saying out loud 30 years ago (and we would not dream of saying out loud today), without appropriate repercussions. The ever-so-important conversation filter is becoming obsolete. One can only imagine how the absence of a filter in personal conversations will translate as young adults move into the professional world.
Simply put, the baby boomers have been doing it right for decades. Growing up without the internet and mobile phones forced them to develop the social skills needed to be successful. So to all the young professionals reading this post, consider how you communicate. Next time you have to talk to a friend, pick up the phone and call them. Think about what you’re going to say before you say it. And if something pops into your mind that you think may be inappropriate in any way, then don’t say it. Practice talking with a person rather than typing to them. Practice expressing yourself vocally rather than virtually. If perfected, this ability can change your life. So give it a try. You will be rewarded.