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The Way Social Media Communication Change Our Communication Skills

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The reason I chose the topic “How is the Use of Social Media Communication Shaping our Communication Skills?” is because my friends and I use social media more often than we usually do. I surmised whether, in the future, we would only communicate through social media; thus failing to remember how to speak and communicate with other people. People nowadays use social media more than ever. More often than not people communicate using their mobile devices rather than meeting with each other, face to face. I hope to discover through the exploration of this question whether the world is relying too much on social media and whether it decreases our face to face communication skills. Statistics tell us that over a third of the world’s population use some form of social media or the other to communicate with each other. Before social media existed, we had no means of communicating with other people at far distances, which limited our interaction with people we only knew who were close to us. Now, due to the development of technology, not only are we able to talk to friends and family all over the world, we also communicate with people we have never interacted with face to face!


According to an article in the Gulf News, dated October 16, 2018, and titled ‘Dubai uses social media to measure happiness’ , Dubai has implemented a measure called a ‘Social Happiness Index’. It uses seven different dimensions to measure happiness: Living, economy, environment, people, mobility, governance and digital services. According to Hessa Al Beloushi, Director of Smart Services Department at Smart Dubai, the initiative has been going strong. The Dubai government thinks that they can be the happiest country in the world by 2020, which is a year from now.

Citing the statistics of social media usage in Dubai, there is a total population of 3.137 million and out of the total population about 33% of the population are active social media users. The average calculated that each person spends daily using social media is 2 hours and 56 minutes. The average growth in mobile social users is 6% which is about 500,000. In Dubai there are 12 main platforms of social media that are used most frequently: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google plus, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype, Snapchat and We Chat. Out of all twelve platforms, Facebook and WhatsApp are the most frequently used in Dubai. About 82% of the population use Facebook and WhatsApp.


On July 04 2018, there was an article published in the Gulf News newspaper that read, ‘Explainer: How false WhatsApp messages led to mob killings in India’ . From the heading, we can see how social media can be used to stir up conflict, protests and other acts of violence. In this case, it was a severe incident that led to murder and great social unrest in the country. According to the news report, the false WhatsApp message was a rumour being spread about child kidnappers, thieves and sexual predators. As a reaction to this message, the general public took matters into their own hands, and killed 27 people in a vigilante-style killing; suspecting the 27 concerned to be child traffickers. WhatsApp is one of India’s biggest social media platform after Facebook and hence this rumour spread like wildfire. It doesn’t help especially when the social and cultural mindset of the people is already biased against the justice system and hence mob lynching’s are quite common. Social media is a perilous platform that is a gateway for people to say whatever they feel like. Unfortunately, the consequences of these actions are not always weighed.


Social media in Japan wasn’t widely used until the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. As a result, the people realized that social media could be used to remain in contact with friends and family even though a disaster. Media communication can benefit people in these situations. Some disadvantages are that through social media, there have been reductions in the restrictions on language which people abuse, causing incidents to other people in the world, such as, cyberbullying. Reports published in Gulf News say that social media are affecting relationships between families. People in the UAE are now communing less with their loved ones face-to-face as they have ‘social media’ to see them. Through social media communications, our emotions can’t be shown which often leads to misinterpretation.

Recently, in Saudi Arabia, a new app has been introduced called the ‘Absher’ app. It is an integrated electronic platform by which men are able to track down their wives, daughters and employees wherever they go. Men will be able to see whether their wives are trying to leave the country. Fathers can track their daughters and disgruntled employees may no longer be able to vanish into the night. Absher is an app made, available in both the Google Play store and Apple store on the iOS devices, only for KSA. This has caused conflict between men and women in the country. Women are calling it a violation of their privacy; abusing them.

In China, there has been a new system of citizen control and monitoring put into effect called the ‘Social Credit System’. China’s social credit system is a ranking system that monitors the behaviour of individuals that live in the country. It was first established in 2014 but is due to be fully operational nationwide in 2020. The point system increases and decreases based on your behaviour. Examples of bad behaviour includes bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games, posting fake news online, etc. This social media platform has already stopped many people from travelling, having good internet speeds, controlling which school your child goes too (if your score is too low your child won’t be allowed to attend good schools), and many other disadvantages. This is a good example to show how social media is changing the way we all communicate to each other, allowing us to not connect with each other but a way to control one another.

Problems and Solutions

One of the most common problems of social media communication is that it is time consuming. The only solution is for a person to restrict their time usage on social media, but that rarely ever solves the problem as we are too addicted to our devices, which is another problem we face. With our phones in reach of our hands, we are always going to click open our social media apps.

Our overuse of social media affects our daily lives. We sometimes get too caught up in our time on social media that we dismiss our daily responsibilities. Social Media can be seen as factor that could be affecting our grades in school. Relationships can be affected due to our time on social media. We might spend less time with our families and spend more time with our online friends, some of whom we don’t know personally. What do people do when they are on their phones all the time? The answer to that question is another problem, most particularly teenagers have a problem with.

Teens as well as adults have something now call is the ‘Update Syndrome’. This type of syndrome is when people every second they have, either update their status and post of how they feel or read the update of others . A solution, I suggest that people should do if they want to stop or their guardians/parents want them to stop, is to download a software which restricts your time usage on your most used apps each day, so that the next day it will be restored. From personal experience, I can say that it has helped me manage my time on how long I am supposed to use YouTube, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

There is another problem media can cause, in which people are familiar, is cyber crime or bullying. Parents should check whether their children that have accounts are being cyberbullied or are cyberbullying others. To solve an issue such as this is for parents to show their children the proper way of using social media than using it to fulfil evil desires. Parents should also make sure that whatever their children are posting online are not personal information that can be used against them, in other words, can’t be hacked and used as fake identities.


As you can see social media communication can be used in ways to improve people’s lifestyle or to haunt it. I feel like social media nowadays is ruining our communication skills, shortening our attention span, making us unable to focus and notice what is happening around us; sure you can do that on social media but it’s not the same thing as talking with one another face to face. With one person communicating with another face to face allows us to express ourselves that people can face to face than on social media. I’m afraid that will fail to remember how to express our emotions on our face and only express how we feel using emoji’s when texting to a friend.

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