As People Rely on Social Media More than Ever Some Debate the Decrease in Social Skills


Michael Dorsey, Guest Writer, Senior

Social media has been said to have both negative and positive effects on teens and young adults. Social media has been growing and expanding more and more every year. Many argue that social media has had a negative effect on the social skills and mindset of teens and young adults; yet with this pandemic as social distancing expectations have been in place for over two months everyone of all ages has had to rely on social media and screens more than ever before to connect with their friends and families.

Social Media affects the way people of all ages communicate and socialize. “Studies show that people who spend more time on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat may feel more socially isolated than people who don’t.” (Vedantam, 2017) This raises the questions of if teens and adults are addicted to social media and the internet? “Widespread social media addiction is evident–and I am in no way claiming to be immune to it or that I have antidote. Yet, social media can be made social again by using it as a platform to socialize with others”. Social media has been seen to be addicting in many ways from distracting people from their significant other to taking up most of the time people have (Singh, 2018). The internet was created to make things easier in life and nowadays it only distracts people and leads to declined social skills rather than time spent socializing in person.

Social media wasn’t even a thought a generation ago and today social media is a well used platform for all ages. “Growing up between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, the thought of a connected world where people could FaceTime and communicate with anyone across the globe through various platforms never crossed my mind.” (Singh, 2018 ). Now with the pandemic imagine how we would have all ever possibly stayed connected without the growing plethora of platforms to digitally socialize with one another. Kenwood junior Kaylee R is grateful for the connection of social media during this time, “Social media has helped me feel connected with friends and seeing what they’re up to when we can’t see each other every day.”

Social media is said to be able to help people connect through any distance or situation, but others argue otherwise, stating that though it is the gateway for people to communicate, it’s the reason teens are socially awkward and can’t communicate correctly in a face to face situation. But now as we’ve seen with the pandemic online socializing skills and knowledge of communicating through social media platforms may be a necessary skill for the future. As  The New York Times recently reported popular platforms, including video conferencing has been on the rise, as people look for new ways to stay connected through social distancing mandates (Koeze and Popper, 2020).

The benefits and drawbacks of social media is one that is likely to be debated now more than ever.

Koeze, Ella and Nathaniel Popper. “The Virus Changed the Way we Internet”. The New York
Times. 7 April 2020. Web Accessed 20 May 2020.

Singh, Kanwaljit. “Anti-Social Social Media.” University Wire, 27 Nov 2018. Sirsissuesresearcher. Web Accessed 20 March 2020.

Vedantam, Shankar. “Why Social Media Isn’t Always Very Social”. NPR Sirs Issues Researcher. 2 May 2017. Web Accessed 20 March 2020.