Transformative Impact of Social Media on Communication

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Updated: Sep 01, 2023
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Growth and Influence of Social Media

Social media has grown tremendously in this recent years. From 2006, the onward growth rate is unexpectedly high. Especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many others have raised much faster and captured millions of users in only a few years. Social media has changed the way people communicate. In many ways, social media has led to positive changes in how people communicate or share information. However, sometimes, it can also result in negative outcomes that affect society, relationships, and individuals.

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Social media is effortless to spread information quickly. Nevertheless, occasionally, fake information from those social media platforms can have a strong impact on society. The reason is most people usually see a headline or link, and they never read the whole article, while many websites publishers fake news simply as clickbait. They want viewers to click on shocking headlines that they posted on social media platforms so that they can sell more advertising. The Washington Post recently published an interview with Paul Horner.

During the previous election, there were many fake news stories circulated. One example of this occurred close to the election; when a story that tied Hillary Clinton to pedophilia and human trafficking ring was widely shared on Facebook. It turned out that this originated with a single unsubstantiated post on a conspiracy forum, and thousands of other websites then reposted it. The more outrageous and newsworthy something is, the more likely that many people will share it. During a highly polarized election, people are motivated to share anything that supports their candidate or, more likely, attacks the opposing candidate. This can result in fake stories widely circulating. Even if fake stories are discredited and recanted, the damage has already been done. By the time a retraction is published, millions of people may have already seen the story. It is even possible that the outcome of the election was swayed by fake news stories. Moreover, Horner assumes that someone who admits to writing many fake news stories about the election that was widely circulated by Trump supporters. (2016)

Misinformation on Social Media

The rise of fake information caused by social media is also a part of the negative effect that leads today’s society full of misunderstanding.

Actually, security is the main problem in today’s society. People start attempting crimes such as murder, robbery, rape, and other actions via watching bad videos from social media applications like Facebook or YouTube as well. For instance, in this recently, there were five men robbed a private bank called RHB Bank in Phnom Penh for about 10 million dollars (Koh Santepheap Daily, 2018, p.1). This news shows that those robberies may have been influence by many crimes video by watching several kinds of websites before they did it. Thus, social media is not a good application to use; it can lead society to become insecure.

Impact on Personal Relationships

Later on, social media affects relationships negatively. In today’s society, people are addicted to their phones, computers, tablets, and other technological devices. They spend too much time on their devices checking social media pages, and it can really take a toll not just on themselves but the relationships they have.

Since jealousy is part of an issue, it usually happens in every relationship between two people. On average, people spend two or more hours a day on social media. Leslie Shore is sure that girls are always spending their time checking social media applications more than men do. The girl also often gets jealous of their boyfriend when they see their boyfriend like, comment, text, or chat with another girl, even if those girls are his friends or relatives. The girl will become an unreasonable person when they see their partner acting friendly or nice to other girls (Love and Luff, p288). This problem could make his or her relationship come to an end if two people do not solve it in peace.

Moreover, unfaithfulness is seen as anything from physically cheating on their partner to flirting with other people over text. Based on what always happens these days, one of the individuals was unfaithful to their partner because there was an inappropriate connection over Facebook, snap chat, Skype; when other sides find out what they are doing, and it considers cheating (Miracle Love, p.50). Tumblr uploaded a quote that stated, “If you cheat on someone who is willing to do anything for you, you actually cheated yourself out of loyalty.” (Extra Madness, 2014). Therefore, people should keep their relationship strong and be avoiding cheating on each other.

Again, there is also a lack of privacy when people come to relationships. Everyone knows when a couple is in trouble, they both tweet something about the other and invite everyone to become part of their private relationship. Lack of privacy bothers the relationship because it brings up pressure from outside influence on the relationship. A love storybook wrote that “Please, do not invite the third wheel into your private relationship while you both having a problem.” (2018). Therefore, if people keep their private relationships well, then much outside trouble will not affect how they handle their situation. In brief, people should not allow social media to affect their relationships negatively anymore.

Social Media Addiction and Education

More importantly, in this generation, people are becoming addicted to social media. The day when students sat together around the cafeteria tables or in their classrooms, conversing without any electronic device present, is outdated. The rapid growth of social media in schools over the recent years has changed the student experience. Around the cafeteria, hang out places; students can be found with their heads down, thumbs swiping up and down on their phone screens, checking the latest post on Facebook and Instagram, Snapchatting their friends, or seeing what’s trending on Facebook. According to research on how social media impact lives in a positive way, using social media aids people in connecting with the surrounding environment and their classmate, especially for group work. After the end of work, academic, or school graduation, they can also asset people by staying in touch with their former classmates or co-worker as well (Matt White, N.D).

In contrast, the excessive usage of social media causes students to lose focus during class lectures, presentations, or assignments and lose focus on the task. The lack of focus in the classroom affects the student’s performance, such as performing poorly on quizzes and tests as well as fully comprehending fail the learning material. As a study conducted by Heffner (2018, para.11), students who could utilize social media too much without educational purposes decreased their grades and GPA. Other circumstances where students procrastinate are in between study breaks, where a ten-minute break to check Facebook turns into a wasted hour of social media. Regarding the negative impact of social media on students, Jeff Platt, NIACC psychology instructor, said, “People actually are just switching between tasks rather than doing several things at the time. All in all, learning is more effective when we just focus on the task of learning and also avoid enticing distraction.” (2016). Hence, utilizing too much social media affect student grade.

In addition, while using social media affects students in their studies, it also has some mental health consequences that people and teens can experience from using too much social media. Having enough sleep is important for health. One British study reported, “Teens need more sleep than adults do, so logging into social media in the middle of the night could be detrimental to their physical health.” (the Journal of Youth Studies, 2018). Sometimes teens spend so many hours on social media that they begin to lose valuable sleep. As a result, this sleep loss can lead to moodiness, a drop in grades, and overeating (Health & Safety, 2018). For instance, aside from feeling tired and irritable, lack of sleep can lower the immune system and make it more likely for a teen to get sick.
In the same way, social media can lead to fear of missing out or FOMO. In a recent study published in Motivation, and Emotion, scientists at Carleton and McGill Universities explained, “Fear of missing out is a phenomenon that occurs when people feel pressure when doing what everyone else is doing, attend every event, and share every life experience.” (2018, p.1-13). It can evoke anxiety and cause social media users to question, “Why everyone is having fun without them.” (Dr. Bono, 2018). Surveys have even found that people feel insecure after using Pinterest because they feel that they are not creative enough. Yet, Facebook and Twitter can make people feel like they are not successful or smart enough (Degreed, 2015, para.7).

Cyberbullying: A New Age Threat

Once again, Social media gives rise to cyberbullying, which is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, or meaningful content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else, causing embarrassment or humiliation (Consequences of experiencing bully, 2016). An organization that aims for internet safety conducted a survey that “95% of teenagers who use social media have witnessed cyberbullying, and 33% have been victims themselves.” (Enough is Enough Organization, 2015). Obviously, due to the negative effects of social media, people or teens lead to face some mental health like fear of missing out and Cyberbullying.

In short, social media is not a good technology at all for people to use it. It will end up with the result that says the more we use it, the harder we cannot give it up. Social media does not affect human or users only; it also makes society become messy, and the insecurity of society drop day by day. Additionally, when a couple utilizes too much social media, it will disturb their relationship, or somehow they could break up because of this technology as well. Furthermore, people should learn how to use it responsibly and in moderation; if not, our future will no bright as the phone screen we hold every day for using social media.

Works Cited

  1. Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer?Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230.
  2. Allcott, H., & Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social media and fake news in the 2016 election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), 211-36.
  3. Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer?Mediated action, 13(1), 210-230.
  4. Heffner, C. (2018). The impact of excessive social media usage on student performance.
  5. Degreed. (2015). How social media platforms affect self-worth, para.7.
  6. Consequences of experiencing bully. (2016). Cyberbullying in the digital age.
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Transformative Impact of Social Media on Communication. (2023, Jun 21). Retrieved from