Advent of web 2.0 technology has created highly interactive platforms through which we can create, share, exchange information and ideas. Social media is one of the technological foundation of web 2.0 which allow people to interact in virtual communities and networks. There has been a massive increase in the use of social media in recent year. It becomes an essential part of our day to day life. Presently Facebook has 69 million daily users in India and teenagers are among the most prolific users of facebook. Not only teenagers, we the adults are also going attracted day by day towards facebook, twitter, whatsapp etc. Most of the time we got remains busy in social media.
The integration of such technologies in to the society, such as the household is having both positive and negative impact on social interaction between individuals. Is Social Media impeding Social Interaction? This is a controversial issue. So man researches have been found on that topic. Some researchers say it is increasing social interaction and some say it is only impeding face to face interaction resulting in deteriorating relationship quality and decreased intimacy among its users ( kujath 2011). Social media has so many positive impacts also. These are:
- It is a bridge between the family members who are staying outside.
- It also remove digital divide.
- It is an excellent platform for the Introvert people, who often feel shy to express themselves. This platform helps them to show their talents and interact with people in virtual communities.
- Social Media is the most viable communication platform for the bloggers, article writers and content creators to share their articles and ideas with techno savy clients.
As a social media lover, I also love to spend most of my free time by surfing, updating status, making new friends and chatting with friends on social media. But I hardly like to visit relatives or friends house rather I like spent time with my virtual friends especially when I feel bore. It reliefs my boredom. Despite my opinion that social media is an excellent platform for communication, I strongly believe that face to face interaction must be continued for a healthy social relationship. Here I am discussing some points which have negative impact on social growth.
- Excess participation in social media make individual isolated. We feel free to share our feelings with virtual communities but not with our friends and family members. This makes us isolated from our family and decreasing our intimacy. This way, it is reducing the value of social interaction.
- Earlier we used to visits our friends and relatives house in our free times. But we hardly get any time rather we like to spent with virtual friends. According to Forbes magazine, in face to face communication, only 7% communication is verbal, and the rest are based on nonverbal cues, such as body language eye contact and tone of voice. Where as in social media, only means of interaction is texting and some time through video message or audio message but no eye contact. So quality as well as quantity of social interaction is reducing.
- Decreasing status of Social relationship. The more use of social media not only reducing the quality of relationships but it has also drastically changed the relationship status also. There is a growing trend that people having lack of interest in talking to one another while in person, rather they like texting. This is going to lead some serious problem. As it is proven that 93% communication are non-verbal and the message without such non-verbal cues is received by the person is unable to understand what the other person is truly trying to say. This will lead misunderstanding.
- Bedroom culture. In modern technology based society, another culture is developing gradually called bedroom culture (Bovill & Livingstone, 2001). Children have moved their activities from street into their home and most specifically into their bedrooms (Aarsand & Aronsson 2009;497). As a result youngster as well as adults confining themselves within the four walls of bedroom and open up a new space (virtual platform) to share their feelings but not with the family members. They are within the home but not with the family members. And this is badly affecting their relationship status.
The above discussion just prove that social media is not a substitute of face to face interaction it is rather an alternative path of communication. Eventually I can say that to some extent it is impeding the growth of social interaction between the individuals.