[Opinion] Social media is deteriorating modern society’s social skills


Liliana Griffis

A girl takes a selfie and is seen melting as she poses for a photo. Children are negatively impacted by social media, hindering their abilities to properly communicate and their self-esteem.

Alison LaTorre, Associate Editor-in-Chief

Whether it be TikTok, Snapchat or Instagram, millions of people across the world use social media regularly. If not on a daily basis, many at least have social media apps on their phone and visit it a few times a week. Rather than calling someone to discuss that night’s homework or just to catch up with a friend, many will use social media apps and directly message someone or even just text them on apps like iMessage. Time spent conversing with people in person is decreased because of social media and leads to a decline in social skills.

Despite the various documentaries made about social media like ‘The Social Dilemma,’ research done showing the negative effects of social media and more, according to Demand Sage, 85% of the world’s 5.27 billion mobile phone users have social media apps on their phones and use it as a form of communication. Most of which belong in generations Gen Z and millennial.

With many social media users spending a minimum of about two hours a day on social media, shown by Techjury, time spent face-to-face with others is limited, especially when those hours spent on apps like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram increase throughout the day. Ultimately, instead of people getting the social interaction they require for development, especially at young ages, time is spent communicating through the comments on someone’s social media post. While in the same house, or even room, many tend to text family members or friends rather than interacting socially.

An increased usage and reliance on social media platforms can potentially lead to social skill deterioration. Instead of spending time in person with friends or families, many prefer to stay inside scrolling on TikTok or watching videos on YouTube. Even young toddlers can be seen spending time on their parents’ phone instead of playing outside. This can cause an individual’s social skills to decay at an even faster rate since it is a critical period for not just development physically, but cognitively and socially.

Cyberbullying, bullying on the internet, mainly in social media apps, can be a big part of the idea that social media is deteriorating social skills. Social media provides an outlet for people to say anything about anyone, sometimes even anonymously. Normally what is said online, primarily in cyberbully circumstances, wouldn’t be said in person.

Along with the social skills they’re losing, people who use social media on a consistent basis, are gaining issues such as low self esteem, addiction and more. Social media is creating issues for people in all aspects of life.

When talking about solutions, in order to stop the decay of social skills because of social media, app creators can work to remove the direct message feature on apps like Instagram and TikTok. When removed, people will be deprived of interacting on the apps, and will be more inclined to talk in person or on call. Another solution can be limiting children to using social media with age restrictions. If these restrictions are placed, social development would be able to occur correctly with zero interruptions by social media.