The number of social media users skyrocketed from 2.07 billion users in 2015 to 4.33 billion users in 2021 which is equal to more than 55% of the total worldwide population. This is the true representation of how people are more into using social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. They see it as a way to communicate and stay connected with their loved ones and friends around the world. Most of them are also concerned about how to boost Instagram and their other accounts, while the most researched phrase on Google regarding Instagram queries is “how to grow your Instagram”. All of this indicates the rising interest of the majority of people in the digital world compared to real life.
There are both pros and cons of social media and real-life communication. Some people prefer to communicate via social media sites than in real life, as they find it easier to convey their message. Meanwhile, others feel more emotionally connected by communicating face-to-face. The real question is, “can social media replace real-life communication?” Read below.
Perks of Social Media Communication over Real-Life
1. Expansion of Communication Across the World
Whether you have a friend abroad or your family members residing in foreign countries, social media has eliminated the barriers to communication by offering advanced features like live video, video calls, and audio calls. From Facebook and Instagram to Snapchat, you have the option to call the people added to your friends or followers list with a single touch of your finger.
Long gone are those days when you would have to wait for your loved ones to actually visit you in order for you to “see” them. This not only saves you time but also money.
2. Well-Thought Replies
As face-to-face communication requires you to give immediate replies and this sort of diminishes the time for you to think in order to give reasonable answers, however, this is not the case with social media communication.
The other person leaves you a message, and you have the time to think and reply to them plainly and rationally. No matter if a question thrown at you is literally “out of question”, you can ponder over it and think of the most logical answer. Instead of panicking or giving an awkward reply, you can take as much time as you want.
3. Businesses Can Foster a Deep Connection with Customers
Back in the day, businesses were only limited to television, from marketing to their relationships with customers. With the help of social media, they are now able to communicate with their customers, take their feedback on the spot, and reply to their queries to foster a deeper and stronger connection.
In terms of advertisement, businesses can collaborate with micro-influencers at a much reasonable price to spread the word about their newly-launched product or service as compared to the traditional mediums of advertising.
Perks of Real-Life Communication Over Social Media
1. Expressive Emotions
Whether you’re talking to your loved one in a fine restaurant or your cozy home, both of you can communicate in a better way by looking at each other’s emotions. You certainly can’t tell the emotions of another person from a digital screen and all you can do is guess their emotions with the help of the emoticons, or they candidly have to tell their emotions themselves.
This barrier in social media communication allows you to speak more freely and open-mindedly when you’re face-to-face. It’s even easier to guess a person’s sarcasm by the expressions of their face and the tone of their voice.
2. Uninterrupted and Quick Responses
Most people that rely on social media communication tend to feel quite anxious and curious when they don’t get a response quickly, regardless of knowing how busy the other person can be. Even worse when one of the individuals’ data, internet or smartphone causes a hindrance to smooth replies.
However, this is not the case in face-to-face communication. You get quick replies right on the spot without you having to worry about all the possible reasons for the person not replying to you. There’s also no distortion of the voice or image quality, as you can see each other in real life and you can enjoy a loving and meaningful talk.
3. Enhances Social Skills
Although video calls or chats save you time, they can be quite boring as well. You may get off track after a while.
Whereas, real-life communication allows you to develop and hone your social skills, so you don’t have to feel socially awkward when going out for office dinners. Whether it’s as simple as grabbing a cup of scrumptious coffee or as wild as enjoying unlimited rides in a theme park, you learn to communicate, behave, and most importantly have endless fun. Also, you get more screen-free time and get to move your muscles as well and enjoy the beauty of real life.
Social media can be deceiving as what it shows, people can act all happy or having fun round the clock. Even if in reality, they may be having the worst days of their life. This also puts you down as you think that you are the only one who is living such a tedious and unhappy life. All of this adds to unrealistic perceptions. Getting to meet people in real life allows you to know their “true self” rather than their untrue social media representation. You get to explore them as a person and know more about their habits.
Both ways of communication, real-life and social media, have something to offer to the world. Some may prefer to communicate via one medium more than another. However, it all depends on the needs and preferences of an individual. Just because social media is gradually taking over the world doesn’t mean that real-life communication will no longer be needed. In the end, we are all human beings who can’t really survive without socially interacting in real life with others. Social media can never truly compensate for the joys and the perks real-life communication has to offer.