Impact of Social Media on Communication

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Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn among others have revolutionized the way we communicate, interact, learn and consume news.  Since its inception, there has been a great discourse from various scholars and stakeholders about the impact of social media in our lives where other have pointed the negatives while other the positives.  However, there is a consensus on both sides of the divided who agree that the numerous advantages and disadvantages mostly depend on how an individual user uses the platforms.  Therefore we should use social media responsibly to ensure that we harness its benefits while minimizing its risks.  Some of the benefits of social media especially in the professional life include improved communication and interaction among colleagues as they share relevant information while on the downside, it has blamed for reduced physical connection which can result to adverse health consequences.  

Impact of social media on communication

Today around 40% of the world's population is actively engaged in social media activities which involves doing actions such as commenting, posting, sharing and liking of various media content which can have a positive educational impact to the people using the platforms (Brown, 2018).   The more people access and create this content the more they improve their writing and reading skills and as observed by Brown people are spending an average of 2 hours a day on social networks site which can be beneficial as practicing can help sharpen their skills.  For students, social media can play a crucial role in their education and Hossain (2016) recommends educational stakeholder to devise ways to incorporate social networking in the field of academia.  Some of the benefits associated with using Facebook by students is that they can have a cheaper way of communicating and sharing educational and informative content using the platform which is helpful as they pursue their education and also in the future during their professional lives (Hossain, 2016).  Social media can also help improve interaction among teacher and students which can lead to increase teaching and understanding of one another (Juliemar, 2015).   To workers and professionals, social networks can have a positive impact on their personal lives and at work.   Some of the members of the panel in a Branford event discussing the potential advantages and disadvantages of social media revealed that social networking contributes positively towards their professional lives (Juliemar, 2015).  LinkedIn is a textbook example of how a social media can help professional in communication, getting employment opportunities and gaining new knowledge as it is a platform where workers can engage with like-minded individuals as they share relevant information in their field.  

As revealed earlier, social networking can have a severe impact on users’ mental health.  Although there are various studies with different conclusions regarding psychological health, it is important to note that there are some that have indicated social media can have beneficial effects on mental conditions that positively helps in building communication skills.  Meyer (2015) cites a study conducted by Common Sense Media which revealed that a significant number of teens reported that social media had helped them improve their self-confidence.  When students, professionals and other users of social networks share relevant information in the social media platforms and receive positive acknowledgments such as getting likes and good reviews it can raise their morale which motivates them to continue sharing and engaging in constructive discussion.  Such a situation influence improvement in their communication and professional lives as they will be encouraged to continue sharing because other people value their opinions.  

Despite all the observed benefits that social media can have on an individual communication and professional abilities, the same tool can also have opposite effects.  As pointed out by Meyer (2015), Social media has led to the increase in cyber relationships which has affected negatively personal communication among peers and family members.  Therefore social networking risk introducing communication barriers as they do not offer the ability to expresses certain emotions and feelings (Hossain, 2016).  Also since social media mostly use informal communication, it can introduce poor writing skills as it encourages the use of slang, colloquial language and emoji's which are discouraged in academic and official writings.  

Earlier it was seen that social media could have positive effects on mental health. However, most research conclusions attribute social networking to numerous harmful mental conditions.  Brown (2018) cites a study that reveals a correlation between excessive use of social media and anxiety.  Although the researchers did not explain the exact ways that social media causes stress, they posit that it leads to lack of concentration, restlessness, lack of sleep and worrying which can hinder and individual ability to communicate effectively.  Another mental condition that can arise due to use of social media and affect the user communication and professional skills is the addiction to the platforms (Brown, 2018).  When one is addicted to social media, they spend most of their productive time on the platform which might affect their communication and involvement in other essential activities in life such as school, work, family, and sleep. Numerous studies have revealed that social media can be the cause of the decrease in self-esteem.  People can get discouraged if they do not receive positive reaction for their comments, posts, and images.  Also as social media provides a conducive environment for cyber-bullying users can be bullied which affects their ego when people abuse or comment negatives about them using the platform.  Low self-esteem together with cyberbullying can discourage users from sharing their opinion on social media for fear of backlash which affects their communication.  


Social media has both advantages and disadvantages in building an individual communication and professional skills.  Depending on the way of use on can enjoy the benefits or feel the pain of social media.  Some of the benefits associated with social media related to improvement in written communication skills as revealed by various authors include interaction with peers, teachers, and families which can improve users' knowledge and writing abilities.  Social media can also have a positive mental effect such improved self-esteem that encourages people to share their opinion with others as they feel appreciated.  Despite the observed benefits, social media can lead to negative communication behaviors as because of its barriers and also it encourages poor writing skills which involve the use of informal language.  Social media can also have adverse mental health conditions that affect an individual ability to communicate such as low-self-esteem as a result of cyber-bullying; therefore it is crucial that we maintain a proper balance in using them to maximize benefits and minimize risks.  


Brown, J. (2018). Is social media bad for you? The evidence and the unknowns. Retrieved from

Hossain, B. (2016). Social Networking Experiences on Facebook: A Study on the Students’ of

Comilla University. International Journal Of Social Sciences, 5(3and4), 155. doi: 10.5958/2321-5771.2016.00027.2

Juliemar, O. (Nov 2015). Branford event examines advantages, pitfalls of social media. New

Haven Register, New Haven.

Meyer, K. (2015). Social media and social perception present both advantages, disadvantages.

Retrieved from

August 01, 2023


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