Students concerned social media may worsen in-person communication

Written by: 
Denali Loflin

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, along with many other social media apps and websites have taken over the way populations communicate. While they use social media, BYUH students said they’re worried about the negative effects it could have on face-to-face communication.


Red Nilsen, a sophomore biology major from Arizona, said he uses Snapchat the most. He said, “I use to use it a lot more, but since they updated it, it has been harder to use. So I will probably start using Instagram more.”


Davisson Oliveira, a senior computer science major from Brazil, said, “I think I use Facebook the most. I use it for my job–I work as an RA.”


Although Oliveira uses Facebook the most, he opined that Snapchat is probably the best form of communication. He stated, “With Snapchat, you can send pictures and videos as well as create groups. I think it’s the best app to use for communicating.”


Ashlynn Durrant, a freshman humanities major from Utah, said she only uses Instagram. “That’s the only one I have. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter.


“I like to post pictures, but I mostly like to look at peoples’ stories to see what’s going on and keep up on the happenings.”


“I mostly text and Snapchat,” Nilsen said, “but I don’t communicate with different people through each one. I also use Facebook messenger for groups but always ignore them.”


Oliveira mostly uses social media to communicate with co-workers and his closest friends. “I like to use it to talk to my family and friends back home in Brazil, but I would much rather talk to people face to face.”


Durrant commented, “I mostly communicate with friends through social media, but when it comes to my family, I will mostly always just call or text them.


“I personally don’t think I spend more time on social media than in person, though it’s still probably too much time. I do think that our society as a whole spends too much time online,” She added.


Nilsen doesn’t like using social media all the time. He reported, “I like talking to people in person and making real connections better than over media.”


People are busy and can talk much easier through their phones, said Oliveira. “I think I used it more to make plans or set up meetings, and I don’t necessarily spend my time using it recreationally.”


According to Pew Research Center, 73 percent of American teens use social networking websites. Similarly, 72 percent of people between the ages of 18-29 use social media.


Social media disconnecting us with our connections

Asked if social networking affects the way he communicates with people in person, Nilsen responded, “It can cause you to have a hard time talking to people in person. A lot of people have that problem, but I’m not at that point yet.”


Oliveira said, “When you text, it gives you more time to think about what you could say or how to respond. It doesn’t make you authentic. It’s a way that can be used to please someone else. And it’s hard to be real when you aren’t sure if what a person messages is the same as how they would respond in person.”


Durrant said, “I can definitely see how it can affect the way you talk. Even talking on the phone is a lot more awkward than it should be because we are so used to texting and snapchatting.


“I think that you need to make boundaries for yourself. If you have been on your phone or computer for too long, you need to take a break, go outside, and have a face-to-face conversation more often.”


Nilsen said the best way to improve how people communicate is by talking to people in person.


Technology isn’t bad, said Oliveira, but more of a distraction. “It all depends on how you prioritize. Interacting face to face is definitely better than talking through your computer or the media.


“Depending on the circumstance and what you are using it for, it changes how you interact with others, but it’s becoming more a part of our daily lives.”

Date Published: 
Friday, March 16, 2018
Last Edited: 
Friday, March 16, 2018