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The Blue & Gray Press | July 20, 2019

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Staff Editorial: Social mediums are potentially dangerous to relationships

Even without taking a basic communication class, or participating in a social setting, everyone knows how important a good face-to-face meeting is for effective and meaningful communication.

Living in an age where social media is the most prominent way to communicate, it is often hard to realize how it is transforming our relationships with one another.

The use of social media permits people to pose as whomever they want and has created an environment absent of nonverbal cues.

The person someone is talking to online could in fact be someone other than whom they present themselves to be, and, without any nonverbal cues, you have no way of determining if they are in fact who they say they are.

More than, over half of our communication between each other is transmitted through our body language; a concept in language and communication that cannot be conveyed over a social media site.

According to two studies conducted by Mehrabian & Wiener in 1967 and the other by Mehrabian & Ferris in 1967, a formula for effective communication was established. The following percentages signify the importance of varying communication channels: 55 percent through body language, 38 percent in tone of voice, and 7 percent being the actual words spoken.

Social media created an environment where more and more people are looking to their phones as companions. The more time people spend online and in social media, rather than in person, the more it is affecting the way we interact with people. Our interpersonal ability to obtain and maintain a solid relationship or any interaction that may require engaging in an actual conversation, is becoming increasingly difficult.

A 2009 study conducted by Pew Research Center and American Life Project concluded that the average person sends about 50 texts per day and thirty-five percent of children in second and third grade have cell phones.

As a society, we are becoming more fluent in texting lingo than the actual English language.

We adapted a fast pace of typing and shorthand with our words to be more proficient. Unfortunately, this is also causing people to diminish their interpersonal skills, non-verbal language cues, spelling and grammar for a world dominated by social media.

Communication is vital to healthy and successful relationships, whether personal or professional, and relying on social media will cripple the stability these connections.