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Kimarie Larsen

S. Briggs
English 1010 @ 10:00
12/10/2015
Face to Face vs Social Media Relationships
Communication is everywhere and is always going through a process. Before it was
communication through letters now its over social media. However, face to face communication
has always been around. While communication is very important, the question I have been
wondering is, has social media impacted face to face relationships? Society used to think
communication face to face was the best way. But recently experts suggest that social media
might be a better way. Through different articles I was able to see the different views of
communication. These findings have important implications for the boarder domain of
communication.
To start my research I looked at an article from the They Say, I Say book. Jenna
Wortham explains in I Had a Nice Time with You Tonight. On the App that the era of asking
people on dates in person has matured and with the help of social media they can be close with
someone even if they arent physically there. She views it as communication isnt lost and they
are able to have that conversation that she feels society is needed in. Wortham explains that,
Because this kind of communication is less formal than a phone call or an email, it feels more
like a casual conversation (P394). In other words Wortham feels that this type of
communication is easier because its more casual. Wortham believes that based off of her

experiences adding the internet to a relationship can strengthen all the aspects of the relationship,
including communication.
I have no idea what I wanted to write about, until I looked up and observed. Looking
around the class and everyone is on their phones, how could it not be something Im interested
in? As I pondered on this idea, I flipped through our textbook to find something on
communication. It was at the time that I came across Jenna Worthams article. I had a light
interest in this topic, but it wasnt until I read Worthams article that I fully got involved in this
certain topic of communication. What I like about Worthams writing is it is all based on her own
life experience. By reading this I felt like I could connect more with the writer due to the fact that
I have had similar experiences. This meaning I have had common issues of trying to
communicate with loved ones. It is very hard and time consuming to communicate back and
forth and thats why I was interested in her writing. She showed how it was hard, but with the
help of technology it is easier. She doesnt bad talk how technology is a bad thing, she simply
states on what she believes and what works for her in her own life. This piece has made me
really think on the topic of communication. It also helps me see how everyone can view
technology differently. Communication is everywhere regardless if it is face-to-face or online.
As I continued my research, I ventured upon one of Chandra Johnsons articles.
Throughout the years of technology Johnson expresses in her article Effects of Technology on
Teens Are Not All Doom and Gloom, how online gaming and social media have increased
significantly. Johnson throughout her words expresses that technology is a key component in
communication, without it society cant keep in contact with their friends and family that live far
away.

Johnson includes how video games and social media has increased in popularity and
communication has become easier because of it. Benjamin Hickerson, a professor and gamer
Johnson includes in her piece, states, Even if youre not talking to other people playing online,
you feel their presence (P2). In other words Johnson includes Hickersons through on the
thought if the idea that people you are gaming with feel like friends whether you exchange words
or not. Johnson agrees with Hickerson in the fact that there are many stereotypes with video
games and social media, but these stereotypes arent always true.
Looking at this resource I saw the side of pro communication over technology. When
reading this article I was reminded about all the stereotypes that society has towards socialnetworking. When I was a kid I was always taught that social networking with strangers was a
bad thing. During this time I could see my parents reasonings because of all the scary current
events occurring and the fact that I was a little girl, but times have changed. Games have evolved
and theyre safer than before. However, this brings up a lot of controversy. From what I have
seen, society either loves technology or hates technology and this article reassures that
technology is a good thing to have. Her article has made me have a more realization, just as the
article by Chandra Johnson on the effect of technology, on the impact technology and social
media has on society. Both Wortham and Johnson point out all the things we could be missing if
we didnt have technology and social media. Things such as communicating with loved ones of
work associates that live on the opposite side of the world. Johnson focuses in her article on how
technology has enhanced our communication because it has helped us not only talk to the people
we live near but also the people that live far.
After looking at the pro communication articles, I broadened my horizons and went
digging for the negative effects of communication. To my surprise I found another article written

by Chandra Johnson. In her article, "Face Time vs. Screen Time: The Technological Impact on
Communication," she explains about how technology can have a negative impact. Through
several studies Johnson establishes a firm understanding that people communicate more
frequently with their peers because of technology, but because of this the quality of the
conversation becomes weaker. Johnson believes, Kids who spend more time engaging with a
screen than other kids or adults can struggle to understand emotion, create strong relationships or
become more dependent on others (P2). Johnsons point is kids arent well rounded with their
knowledge of communication. She also feels that through these emojis that are now on our
phones that society is constantly using, lack emotion and disregard the importance of face-toface interactions.
This kind of interaction Johnson feels is crucial in the brain development of a child.
Johnson includes in her studies Denise Daniels as a reference for her statements. Johnson
summarizes her words expressing that the result of technology and a childs brain is the inability
to concentrate and inquire empathy and emotion.
Johnson states in her article many steps to get better with technology that can be very
helpful. She adds that a way to do this is by finding a balance between technology time and faceto-face communication time. She ponders on the idea that technology is always going to be here
and thinks that keeping technology a low priority in our life will help us grow with our
communication in our society.
Contrary to the last source, this article shows how social media is hurting face-to-face
interactions of communication. The communication that is needed in a society isnt happening.
There is no true emotion in technology and I am beginning to notice that. Before looking at this
article and observing, I didnt realize how bad our society is with putting technology down. In

class during my observance, I noticed whenever there was a pause of silence, everyone pulled
out their phones then communicate with someone sitting right next to them. This article helps my
overall questions, because it shows the other side of things. It proves that communication is very
too important in our lives and it is dictating our future relationships. Johnson feels it is going in
the wrong direction. Living in a generation where technology is something you need in order to
get work or school done, it was interesting to read the other side of how this technology is
destroying our real life communication. Johnson has made me re-evaluate my use of technology
and see that maybe I am using social media more then what I should be and if I want my
relationships to be firmly grounded I need to put my phone down.
To end my research, I thought it would be beneficial in my findings to look at an article,
not only based on the pros and cons of social media. Gina Masullo Chen in her article Losing
Face on Social Media, looks at this common issue at a different perspective of what the real
issue is. Chen throughout her research paper expresses how social media has the impact on
people to use communication negatively, resulting in them acting out on those feelings. In her
paper she is constantly conducting research to put her questioning to the test. In result of her
studies, she comes to a conclusion, that social media can be a negative thing.
Chen Believes there are many people on social media that we dont know and because of
this we all want that constant approval from everyone online. She puts in her paper that by
wanting approval we have these standards of how we should act on these social medias. Chen
states, Regardless of whether we know the people on a social-networking site. They would
expect polite communication with them, face-threatening acts would violate these norms (P3).
Chens point is people expect others to be nice on social media.

In Chens views social media relationships and real life relationships arent the same, but
society has to be aware of the things they say or post because they never know the effect it can
have on the receiving person.
This research paper has changed my views on how I view communication overall.
Through the writing of this piece I have seen a different side to what my question was originally.
The other resources base their writing on either pro social media or pro face to face
communication. These sources provide firm beliefs on communication however, this article took
a different turn on the common issue. I feel the difference between this article and the others is
that this piece explains that people in general dictate communication. Whether its online or in
person its how the people act and react towards others that effects peoples views of social
media. If you have a person that is constantly bullied online, he isnt going to like social media
but, if you have someone thats a social butterfly, then they will love social media. I feel that the
way a person is treated, will dictate their love for social media. This is something that really
effected how I viewed my overall question on communication because it showed the importance
of a persons attitude can perceive many opinions.
As I came to my conclusion I noticed that all four of these articles helped me have a wellrounded knowledge of communication. I loved how all of these pieces brought different
knowledge and personal experiences into one common issue. This shows that every person has a
different view on the same topic. The most important thing I learned is social media can be good
and bad depending on how we use it. I feel that if we over use it and are always on social media
then yes, we will be missing out on the world and the communication between others. However,
I also agree that social media is a great way to keep in contact with those you dont see every
day. I think that my beginning question that originally started out with, has social media

impacted face to face relationships?, could go more in depth as to a question asking if the way
we talk to each other can determine whether we like social media or face to face relationships
better? My original question I feel really impacted my life and has made me want to re-evaluate
how much time I spend communicating online and participating in face-to-face communication.

Works Cited:
Chen, Gina Masullo. "Losing Face on Social Media." Communication Research 42.6 (Aug
2015):
Pages 819-838. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 10 Nov. 2015.
Johnson, Chandra. "Effects of Technology on Teens Are Not All Doom and Gloom.
Effects of Technology on Teens Are Not All Doom and Gloom. Deseret News National,
11 Aug. 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.
Johnson, Chandra. "Face Time vs. Screen Time: The Technological Impact on Communication."
Face Time vs. Screen Time: The Technological Impact on Communication. Deseret News
National, 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.
Wortham, Jenna. I Had a Nice Time With You Tonight. On the App They Say, I Say.
Graff, Birkenstein, Durst. New York: Norton, 2015. 394-398. Print