With the constant use of social media, researchers today are interested in what kind of impact it could have on students’ communication skills. The various platforms provide them with the opportunity to create and share user-generated content. The negative or positive impact of it on communication is still a question of constant debate. Some educators are realizing that social media can be a valuable tool for educational purposes.
How Does the Use of Social Media Affect Communication Skills?
Social media influences the way students interact and communicate. Many of them have smartphones and use popular platforms. They do it for a variety of different purposes. The advent of social media has created both challenges and opportunities for students and educators. Students communicate on various platforms in many ways. Each one has its own side that can either be positive or negative. Arguably, social media helps communication skills but with certain qualifications.
Despite its positives, it is commonly believed that social media worsens communication because it is not the ideal platform to learn to communicate. It is believed that students learn to communicate in real life. To debunk this theory, there are various essays on media and communication written by experts on EduZaurus. New research suggests that social media improves communication among students. Reading essays and research papers online can help gain more insights into how social media enhances communication skills in students.
Characteristics of Social Media Communication
The general consensus is that social media blurs the line between “informal” and “formal” communication. One of the characteristics of communication on social media is the use of acronyms, emojis, and gifs. In a sense, it is a whole different instant language. It can quickly express thoughts and emotions. Various messaging platforms also make use of artificial intelligence. It uses AI to create automated messages – users often don’t even have to type what they need to say.
Potential Negative Effects of Social Media on Communication
The language variations and writing styles on social media could potentially have a negative effect on learning and communication skills.
- It caters to short attention spans.
- Poor spelling and grammar is common.
- Addiction can negatively affect in-person communication.
- Students may develop negative self-esteem by comparing themselves with what they see on social media.
- Mental health problems can increase due to a lack of meaningful, face-to-face communication.
- Oral communication skills involve noticing voice tone, body language, word choice, etc. The more subtle aspects of oral communication are usually absent on social media.
Social media can be a great tool as long as it doesn’t discourage in-person communication skills. Students who have great social media skills without real-life communication skills will struggle. The struggle could be in job interviews, relationships, and much more. Improving oral communication skills generally requires more than interaction on social media can provide.
Positive Effects on Communication
There is no question about the importance of communication skills for students. They need both oral and written communication skills to do well in college and in their future careers. Social media use can have the following positive effects.
- It offers a new and vital method that’s engaging for students.
- It gives students around the world a chance to connect, collaborate and network together.
- It can help students to find their identity and share their thoughts and feelings.
- Students can gain inspiration from other people’s posts, live streams, and videos.
- It stimulates their curiosity and helps them to understand more about the world.
- They can have a voice on social media platforms that can drive positive change.
How Can Students Improve Their Communication Skills?
Students with good communication skills are able to convey their thoughts clearly both orally and in writing. This can have an influence on all aspects of their lives. From their future careers to their relationships – it matters. Conveying a clear message is extremely important in being understood.
Many students don’t consider the writing they do outside of the academic environment as ‘real’ writing. They need to realize it is ‘real.’ The more they do it, the more fluent they are likely to become at expressing themselves. Good writers often spend hours of practice developing their skills.
Taking part in debates is one of the ways students can develop their oral communication skills. Giving speeches can help them to learn how to express themselves. It teaches them to use persuasive language.
Students also need to become active listeners. They can’t reply effectively to what others have to say unless they listen carefully and exercise empathy.
How Can Students Use Social Media to Improve Their Communication Skills?
Social media and technology are integral parts of daily life. So, integrating them into education is important. Social media platforms make it possible for students to exchange ideas, discuss and give comments.
- Traditional learning methods are inadequate. Traditional methods of learning the English language often fail to develop language competency among students. They usually depend on lecturing. The stereotypical methods and teaching materials tend to make learning monotonous. Students are passive receptors rather than active participants. Students often do not write very often, and they do not see blogging, texting or posting on social media as ‘real’ writing.
- Social media offers a new means of communication. Participating in social media gives students the opportunity to express themselves. It does so, even if it’s in a very different way from academic writing. Communication is rapid-fire and instant – almost the exact opposite of academic writing. But it does provide a way to engage students that can develop their ability to express their ideas and opinions.
- Create blogs. Students who create their own blogs can combine the use of social media with improving their communication skills. Writing blog posts encourages their short-form writing and critical thinking skills. They have to do research for their blogs and learn how to write in a concise and impactful way.
- Communicate with educators. Social media can offer a way for students to communicate directly with educators. They can ask questions and check in with advisors. Students may be able to go to a web page where instructors post updates, share assignments and encourage discussion.
- Find e-learning opportunities. Online learning and remote jobs are becoming more popular. Students need to know how to work without in-person interaction. This is where social media interaction can be beneficial.
- Create interest-based Facebook groups. Students can create interest-based Facebook groups for current students and alumni. This can increase engagement and allow those with similar interests to network and collaborate.
- Listen to live streams. Educators may use social media to live stream lessons. Students don’t have to miss out when they can’t attend lectures in person. They can listen to live streams from wherever and whenever they want.
- Participate in debates. Debates on social media can be lively and challenging. This can help students to develop communication skills, such as the ability to use persuasive language.
Social media has the potential to have a negative or positive effect on communication skills. If students can use social media in a positive way, they can experience a variety of advantages. They can find their own voice, develop more self-esteem and engage with other students from across the world. Networking, debating, commenting, and more on social media can help to develop their communication skills. v