Personal Essay, 9 pages (2000 words)

Is personal interaction becoming extinct due to social media

Is Personal Interaction becoming Extinct due to Social Media? I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work so I called him at home and then he e-mailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he e-mailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control. And I miss the days when you had one phone number and one answering machine and that one answering machine has one cassette tape and that one cassette tape either had a message from a guy or it didn’t. And now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies.

It’s exhausting. ( He’s just not that into you 2009) This is a famous quote from the film He’s just not that into you, which it actually explain the reality of how is the communication now days, there are so many different ways of how people communicate, and express themselves, but is this really can be consider an interaction? Does interaction has to be face to face to be consider interaction? Before getting into how Social Media encouraged or inhibited Personal Interaction, some things needs to be explain first. What is Social Media? How is it defined?

Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks (Wikipedia. org 2013) Investopedia. com defined it as Internet-based software and interfaces that allow individuals to interact with one another, exchanging details about their lives such as biographical data, professional information, personal photos and up-to-the-minute thoughts. “ Social Media is the collection of tools and online spaces available to help individuals and businesses to accelerate their information and communication needs. – (Ecounsultancy. com)

The first two definition have in common the word interact and share, but this two are based on individuals, however the third definition expand it to business, so it can be said that Social Media is an interaction among people, business or any other type of organization that wish to interact or share information. Social Media has a way on influencing, people, making trends, statements and so on. It can be say is as an organic way of communication, is very direct, and users tend to be honest, and braver when comes to expressing themselves.

Due this massive range of exchange of thoughts and idea, businesses and organization has joined this type of community and have approach their clients or member in a different way. This new way of socializing and communicating it has been defined by Brian Solis as new ecosystem that supports the socialization of information. Because Social Media is always related to Facebook and Twitter, a classification of Social Media has emerged; Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) have classified it like this: * Collaborative Projects: This divided in two sections.

The first one is called wiki and these are sites that allow users to modified text-based content. The most well-known it will have to be Wikipedia. The other section will be bookmarking applications; this kind of site allows a group based collection and rating of internet links or media content. Most popular will be Reddit. Collaborative projects are becoming really important especially in the business field. * Blogs: this is a site where group of people or we can refer to them as writers express their opinion and thoughts.

There is not a specific topic to this site, is whatever the writer or writer’s will like to express about. Content communities: The aim is to share media content among the members. E. g Youtube, Flickr, slideshare etc. One of the advantages that content communities provide is that it can generate interest a minimal cost. * Social Networking Sites: These sites allowed the users to connect to others users by the use of personal profiles. Perhaps this category is the one that comes to our head every time the word Social Media pops out, the most recognized of the Social network sites will have to be Facebook with more than 1 Billion users by 2012 according to business week magazine (2012).

As it was previously mention Social networking sites now are being use by different organizations and companies to promote themselves and to reach to their members and customers. It can be consider as a reliable source, as people might express their real feeling about them, if they are satisfied or not, this kind of interaction can provide a sense of reality regarding their presence on the field. * Virtual Game Worlds: is a game which creates a three dimensional world, where the participants can interact by using a custom avatar created by them.

The most renowned game will be Warcraft. * Virtual Social Worlds: this websites allows you to interact in a 3d world by creating your own avatar, and have a life and interact with others just as you will do in a real life. Second Life is one of the sites that offer this kind of experience. It was reportedly by Wikipedia. org (2012) that some professors are teaching business and management in the US assign homework to create a basic account of Second Life and get acquainted with it in order to learn the business model in the virtual reality.

Social media can be differentiate from Traditional media in several aspect such as being cheaper, more interactive, is measurable and it’s also has been suggested that Social Media has positive effects such as allowing the democratization on the internet while also allowing individuals to advertise themselves and form friendships (Kaplan & Haenlein) , however it also has some disadvantages as it required a lot of time to maintain, some critics has suggested that there is an issue with trustworthiness and reliability of information presented.

What is consider to be Personal Interaction? Wikipedia. org defines it “ as Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. This definition can be consider to broad, being more specific lets refer to the definition in the communication field: “ Interaction is consider interactive communication which involves two different processes; human to human interactivity which is the communication between people and Human to computer interactivity is the way that people communicate with new media (Rada and Michailidis 1995) According to Rada and Michailidis the communication can be Person to Person or Person to computer, so how come is Social media being attack as killing personal interaction?

It’s been said due social media, chats, email face to face communication is disappearing, however they are certain benefits that cannot be without some person to person relation. Larry Blumsack (2010) an individual is consider the most powerful Social media, he recognized that the digital world accelerates and improved speed and capability to reach out with each other, however he question if people are really listening? If there’s a possibility people gets full attention?

According to Blumsack face to face skills cannot be replace by the digital world, face to face communication is the key to emotionally and effectively connect with anyone to stand out, he also consider that face to face communication is a differentiator in business success. In some companies are encouraging, their employees to have direct and live communications instead of exchanging emails and chat. This type of interaction allows collaboration, thru brainstorming and group think. This interaction help to build strength relationships between co-workers and better work environment which benefit he company and its productivity, if people get along they are more willing to work as a group team and for the same purpose.

One of the most popular social media is Facebook, as it has been commented before, Facebook has allowed their user to get in contact and reach so many people they have known thru their life and has lost contact for whatever reason. Facebook has become one of the main channel of communication, some even have says that they communicate more by Facebook than by email.

For some people Facebook is consider an addiction , because is the way they can get aware what is happening in their surroundings, more and more people rely on Facebook when they want to find out about something or someone. What are they doing? Where they have been? What are they watching, who are they listening to? At some point it’s been said that Facebook does not allowed you to keep things personal, not to mention now days is cheaper, faster and reliable to communicate with your contacts using it, it has become popular application to have in your mobile, some people consider it a necessity, because as its been say is a way communication.

Even though it connect you to different people does not necessary mean you are interacting with them, and here is where the dilemma start again is Facebook an interpersonal way of communicating? Some will say yes because is a personal account and they post, talk, shared whatever they please, but others will consider is not because avoid human live interaction. Facebook has become so influential that even businesses use it to do marketing, and be more in contact with their clients, have feedback directly from their client, this way they can also increment their client base at a really low cost, by reaching thru their followers their friends.

However a lot of user has been complaining of this new marketing Facebook offer, sometimes just because one of your Facebook friends like it, it immediately shows in your feeds. In term of business related this type of interaction is, very helpful to a company, it is very difficult for a client to just go and take the time to drive to their offices and express their opinion, complain or suggestion, however Facebook facilitate this to them in the term of time is very beneficial. Second Life as it was previously mention is a website that allows user to interact in a 3d world, thru a personalized avatar.

Business and even education are part of this new world in the digital world. Several Universities such as University of Illinois, Tuluane University, London Metropolitian University just to name few, have create their tri dimensional world allowing student from all over the world to be part of it and participate of lecture, some free and others to a really low cost which this is very beneficial for students, because education can be no economically available for everyone, and this is a cheap way to gain access to it.

However one of the major benefits of assisting a University or any Educational Institution or going to business meeting is the interaction and relationship you will have with the people assisting to it, it’s a way to increment your social capital, to get people to know you, to interact and compare ideas with your peers, while by doing it online you lose this interaction, and there is not much room for discussion and brainstorming.

Emails, Twitter, Facebook any type of social media interaction is consider a channel of communication and no a way of interaction (Holder 2011). Communication involves more than words is body language, face expression. Thru social media is not possible to manifest these expressions.

However it is consider communication the interaction between human and computer as it had been establish before and there has been cases where communicating by social media has help people, by expanding the message or what it is meant to be communicate to unreachable places and people, for example: In GRAZA Magazine, Thomas-Bailey (2013), there is this article about how a women, who was given in adoption twenty one years ago, thru Facebook, manifest she was looking for her birth parents, this was here last resource, its explain in the article how she try searching her biological parents thru the people, she knew and requesting help here and there but didn’t succeed, however she posted a picture on Facebook and reach to so many users, that finally someone who knew her biological mother, contact her and gave her the details and that way she was able to meet her mother biological mother.

Communication thru social media or face to face interaction both comes with benefits and disadvantage, the world is evolving and people has to evolve with it, the world used to communicate by letters, then by phones, computers, mobile device, now by tablets. Technology is no longer consider a luxury is reachable for everyone, however due globalization and how people migrates from place to place in look for new opportunities, technology allows you to communicate and it can also give you a sense of closeness, they are multiple programs or application that allows you to fulfill this need.

It is going to be the way people use this tool and how they communicate thru it what will define if interpersonal relations can be kill or extinguish by social media. However this type of relation can always be improved with time to time face to face interaction. Certainly will be special occasions or moments where it will be imperative to be present, but every relation at the end will survive depending on the maintenance it is given. One of the main characteristic of a good communication is clarity and honesty and communicating thru social media shouldn’t be an exception to it, it should be the same in order to succeed. Social media can really be very beneficial if people give it the right use and be aware that it has to be threat it and use it the same way as if in one on one communication.

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