Social Networks and Text Messaging Are Screwing Us

Posted: December 3, 2012 by Nell in Dating, Entertainment, Personal, Self Help/ Motivation
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


I’m not going to lie text messages and social networks are very convenient.  They give us the opportunity to communicate with people in other cities, states, and countries. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become the new forms of communication and in my opinion has overtaken verbal communication as the main form of communication. I love social networks because I promote my websites and products on them, which is why I used the word us in the title above. But it would be a lie for me to state I haven’t had plenty of conversations regarding social networks and text messaging in regards to how they are destroying the essence of being sociable.

Screwing us does not mean killing us off as human beings. I have no proof or experience which actually shows the use of social networks and cellphones kill us off. However, I do have proof they are destroying the essence of people being sociable. What proof is that? Living and engaging in communication with others via social networks and text messaging. Some people may be reading this and think I’m stating that using a cellphone makes people less sociable. That’s not true at all. However, most people engage in social network activities via their cellphones, especially if they’re away from their computer. I decided to write this because I would like for people to reflect on how social networks are affecting their lifestyle and personality. Whether the effect  is positive or negative they’re affecting you in some way. After you’re done reading I want you to think about how social networks have affected your personal relationships with people as well as your communication skills.

Social Networks and Text Messaging Are Screwing Us 

I remember when I was an early teen I used to look forward to getting out of school so I can go home, go outside and play sports with my friends, and get on the phone with a girl I was dating at the time. I used to enjoy talking on the phone as an early teen. I enjoyed it so much I had my own line on my family’s home phone. Back then it was a great thing to be able to communicate with someone via phone. Prior to my teenage years there was no call waiting, so if you got through to the person you were trying to call without their line being busy it was a great deal. There were no such thing as words being taken out of context because you were able to hear the tone in someone’s voice instead reading words on a phone screen. If a guy wanted to date in girl he had to talk to her face to face, not through internet messaging. The conversations were more in-depth because people were better verbal communicators back then. In fact, the main forms of communication were in person and on the telephone, unless you were mailing or writing letters. Back then people had pagers, but pagers only communicated numbers for the most part. I really didn’t get exposed to the internet and social networks until around my senior year in High school. Back then we had American Online (AOL). AOL had features called Instant messenger and Chat. Those two features were one of the best things I encountered at that time because I was able to communicate with people in other cities and countries. It was nice to know that people in other countries lived similar to how I lived here in the States.

From AOL, I moved on to websites like Blackplanet, then Myspace, Facebook, then Twitter, and now there’s Instagram. The more advanced social networks became, the less privacy you had. But as with all social networks privacy is your choice. They have settings which allows you to adjust the amount of personal information you want shared with others. Whether or not you want to make a post about being depressed or being the happiest person on earth is completely up to you. I really don’t have an issue with social networks and privacy, because as I stated you control your privacy. I decided to write this because a year or so ago I began to visually and verbally study the way people behaved when I was out in society. I noticed people are not as sociable as they were when I was a child and teenager. At least 70% of the people I encounter while out in public are on their cellphones. No, they’re not having verbal communication on the phone, instead they’re text messaging or on social networking applications (apps). People can’t even eat daily meals without posting the photos of the meals on Instagram. There is even an app that lets people know where you currently are and who you’re with. But as stated above, privacy is up to the individual.

There are a lot of people who are more comfortable with finding a dating mate on dating websites and social networks than out in society. The other day someone asked me to check out a show called “Cat Fish” on MTV. The show is about the truth and lies of online dating. People feel more comfortable with concealing themselves instead of meeting and engaging with people out in society. I believe that’s an effect of becoming too accustomed to nonverbal communication. It also reflects in one’s self-esteem and self value.

I know you’re thinking “well how are they screwing us?” Well think about how  most people communicate in 2012. 75% of their communication is nonverbal outside of their household and their job.  Some people only communicate verbally at their job because they have to. But when it comes to interacting with people outside of their household and workplace a lot of people are anti-social. We forgot the essence of how it feels to communicate with people other than text messaging and social networks. As stated above both social networks and text messaging are very convenient. And in a society filled with the desire for instant gratification convenience is everything. But while convenience holds a lot of value I want you to think about the relationships you had with people that didn’t work out because of a lack of in-depth verbal communication or one of you taking text or direct messages out of context. In the past I’ve messed up a couple of budding relationships through communication errors caused by text messaging and things being taken out of context. I believe at some point or another we all have. Think about when a man or woman approaches you and you don’t know how to communicate with them verbally because you’re so used to being anti-social or shy, or you’re just on your phone text messaging. Think about the verbal in-depth communication you could have had with your son or daughter who are away at school, but instead you decide to text or email. Think about the opportunities out world that you may have missed out on due to be apprehensive about verbally inquiring about that opportunity. Think about the relationship with your ex which could have been better if the two of you communicated verbally more.

After people read this they’re not going to stop using text messaging or social networks. I’m not going to stop using them either. I didn’t decide to write this so people can stop using them. I wrote this so people can think and maybe some day began to incorporate more verbal communication into their lives. It’s good to place a phone call to someone from time to time to see how they are doing. Phone calls seem more genuine than text messages do. For instance, I will be more appreciative of a “Happy Thanksgiving” phone call than text message. Someone once told me that verbal communication is a skill and you have to practice it in order to become good at it, and the less you practice it the worst your social skills become. I used to think it was a lie until I realized its true through a couple of recent conversations. So the next time you’re out in society do yourself a favor and instead of taking photos of people and putting them on Instagram spark a conversation with them. If you’re not willing to spark a conversation with a stranger in public, but comfortable to spark one with a stranger on social networks, it helps proves my point of this blog post.

I’m not on Facebook as much as I used to be when I first joined.  When I am on Facebook its to promote my websites or blogs. I’ve become jaded with the whole concept of being involved in the personal lives of people I barely know or communicate with on a regular basis. Because I still haven’t learned how to not make other people’s problems my burden. I have nothing against people who use social networks. I actually think they’re great for a number of things including networking. I just want us to pay attention to how they changed us and the way we communicate with others. I’ll admit in certain aspects of my life social networks and text messaging has screwed me, can you?


  1. Tay says:

    Good post. I had a conversation about this the other day with my sorors. Everyone is so anti social now its scary..

  2. singleabbie says:

    I totaly agree!
    Being asked out on a date via text is so unromantic, not to mention being able to ‘check out’ the guy before I even text him back by looking at his LinkedIn page, seeing who he’s friends with on FB and doing other odd google searches…
    The social network is changing how we interact!!!

  3. Tay210 says:

    After this, we’ll need a class just on social communication. The youth will hide behind status quo as they do now and then we’ll no longer “know” a person.

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