Speaking of socialising medium, I just found that it is so common and widely used by people, where we are so used to it and probably making us not used to talk to others face to face anymore. Yes, social media is depriving people’s ability of direct communication.
Let’s just take a look at how the messages are being delivered in nowadays. Emails(text), SMS(text), MMS(image), voice message(audio), video call(audio vision)…all of these messages can be amended unlimited times before you send it, or just simply cut it off whenever you don’t feel like continuing. Telecommunication is nothing like talking to a real person, it doesn’t really need proper response instantly.
However, human facial expression and body gesture play an important part in direct communication. When someone feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, the human body will react to these feelings and show it out without the person himself noticing. That’s when awkwardness occur.
Yet we don’t have such problem on telecommunication, or less severe when telecommunicating. We don’t have to expose ourselves completely towards others just to deliver a message. The core message can be extracted from the person regardless his embarrassed or angry look and deliver to another person without letting him know how embarrassing or angry for the first person to say something like this, he just said it.
Gradually, people are so used to use these mediums to send out messages and no longer comfortable talking about real issues directly. Because they are afraid that the message would be misunderstood along with other reactions one might do inappropriately when feeling embarrassed or angry.
For example, when reading what you’ve just written about your aggressive view towards the world, since there’s no emotion in the text, you don’t really feel the aggressiveness, or maybe you can distance other justice thoughts in your mind from this aggressive text. So you feel fine with what you just wrote down.
However, a real person is a combination of complex emotions and reactions, the whole human body cannot be disaggregated from the reactions as a whole just to deliver certain message representing only one aspect of ones mind.
In the virtual social media, on the contrary, is singular. Ones image or impression sharing within the social media network requires the user to construct it by bits of messages one way or another. Personality is decomposed into singular messages and then being reconstructed via social media.
That also lead to another problem that people are now used to keep talking about themselves, expressing themselves at their social media network, where not many of them are actually listening to others. That might make people in real life don’t really care about other people’s feelings when they talk about things. Such consideration for others’ feelings is lacking in real world communications.
That’s how social media taking our real life away from us bit by bit. And that’s why talking to friends in real life and interacting with them become so treasures. As a social media researcher, I really hope that the relationship among people in real life will not be replaced by virtual communications, while sometimes, indirect communications could just help us to improve the relationship with others realistically.