The death of PeRsonal interaction?

Edison phonograph, circa 1899

When Thomas Edison and others began inventing and producing machines that could record and replay sound, there were loud protests. Musicians and concert halls took ads in newspapers and lobbied politicians to ban the devices, fearing for their jobs. They believed that if a person could buy a device and listen to it at home, there would be no reason to see a live performance.

Similarly, there are many who view social media as the death of face-to-face communication. The Internet, some believe, is rapidly turning us into a world of disconnected connections. There are fears that people’s ability to relate to one another verbally is being rapidly depleted.

In one of my classes this week, I told my students of an incidental–but maybe important– change I’ve witnessed as a teacher. I used to walk into a room to find students talking and laughing, and I’d have to quiet them down so I could start.  Now when I walk into a classroom, it’s almost dead quiet. Every student is on a cellphone. They’re not interacting with each other.

So is social media causing the slow death of personal interaction? There is much evidence to the contrary. My students pointed to dating sites, where connections are made that would never have been made otherwise. We noted the dozens of “meet-up” sites where like-minded people arrange to meet in groups to discuss their mutual interests. Store traffic, event attendance, political action, and even revolutions are being driven through social media sites.

The premature predictions of the death of personal contact was illustrated at a September gathering of the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI) when the group met with members of the media. Editors and reporters told us that they still prefer PR people to make their pitches on the phone or in person, and not through tweeting. And while this is changing in some PR-to-media relationships, I believe that face-to-face communication is enhanced by social media and not being killed off by it. Your thoughts?

52 thoughts on “The death of PeRsonal interaction?

  1. publicrelationspro

    The case can be made that social media, the internet, and other things are causing the death of personal interaction. However, I believe that going back to when Thomas Edison made a device to play and record sound, it was breaking through limitations rather than placing them. I believe the same is true for social media and the internet. They have all opened up doors and possibilities previously unattainable without them and puts people at an advantage rather than a disadvantage. When students come into class and get on their cell phones instead of interacting with each other, I feel it’s because they have that option. If they wanted to speak with their classmates they still have that option as well, but they choose to not go that route. Now the issue of being dependent on these devices is a whole other issue. I do believe that people are becoming more and more dependent on these devices, but I don’t think that is necessarily negative. These devices allow for the users to do more in less time, speeding productivity. When people go to work, I’m sure they’re not on their cell phones all day and that they do interact with their coworkers.

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  2. Taylor Albright

    I completely agree and see what you mean about when you walk in to a classroom these days. When I was younger my teacher was trying every trick in the book to try to quiet the students down because we would all be talking, and now, we are all on our cell phones, if not texting playing on some sort of app. I also agree that social media and cell phones are a way to hide behind things and not have to do stuff face to face. From experience I am a very outgoing person and have no problem talking to people, but sometimes I would rather email or call someone then have to meet with them face to face. It is just something that my generation has grown up in and I am sure it is getting worse and worse.

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  3. Kerry Kiddoo

    Social media is an enabler. It enables people to hide behind the internet and interact with others through different internet portal rather than face to face communication. It is an easy outlets to those who want to share their opinion with the world but fear they will be judged on what they say. On a different note, it is a way in which people obtain their news and get up to date stories at the touch of a button. It does carry a lot of positives and a lot of negatives, but I do not believe it is a killer to all face-to-face interactions or communications by any means. As I mentioned, it is an enabler that allows people to share thoughts and ideas whenever and where ever they want, whether it be anonymous or name-included. But, it is also a communication tool that sparks conversation between people.

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  4. Amanda Brennan

    I wouldn’t say social media will be the death of face to face communication but it certainly has shifted the way that communicative methods are practiced. There should be boundaries but when the internet came around and online news sources came about, the newspaper didn’t die. When typewriters and keyboards came into play, handwritten essays and diaries and journals still took a role in every day life. They took a backseat more or less but it really is up to the individual themselves on whether or not social media is killing THEIR personal interaction abilities, not the whole idea of it worldwide.

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  5. Yasmeen Saleh

    I do agree that social media is causing the slow death of personal interaction but there is also the fact that there is no changing this.
    One thing that does help is professors being strict on the “no cellphone rule”. Personally, that has led me to wanting to interact with other classmates face-to-face due to the fact our generation seems to always have to be socializing in some way or another.

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  6. Sherrell B.

    I did not know about the concert hall protests until we talked about it class. Kinda of reminds me of when Bono protestant against Napster, and then came itunes. It goes to show that technology will find a way to become neutral and natural among society when people put their heads together. However, I do believe that interpersonal communication is becoming greatly lost because social networking has become natural

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  7. Kristen Kelly

    I feel that social could both hurt and enhance face-to-face communication. Hurt in the way that some people hide behind their computers, phones, tablets, etc., and don’t go out there to make the effort to have a real conversation. Enhance by giving people the opportunity to express themselves through social media, giving them the confidence to do it in person, giving them something to discuss with people IN person, or giving them the knowledge to create a face-to-face conversation from what they picked up from social media. Social media has been a great PR tool for companies, organizations, politicians, celebrities, etc.. For the younger generations growing up with social media, and the older generations trying to keep up, a lot of information is being relayed through these sites and a lot of people have given up the old fashioned ways of being informed. The way social media affects people communicating all relies on the person themselves. I use social media constantly to keep up to date on whats going on in the news, but it doesn’t affect me from holding a conversation with others. I would rather talk to someone face-to-face than waiting for a response on Facebook, or waiting for them to tweet back.

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  8. Rachel

    Although the world is evolving, I sometimes wish it would slow down. Perhaps I’m just an old soul, but it scares me to think children won’t know or be able to comprehend the games we played only a decade or two ago on the playground. Hopscotch, red rover, the jump rope rhymes that were sung, and other youthful activities will be replaced by children sitting in corners, playing temple run or bubble buster on their Iphone 5’s during recess. As vital as social media can be for connecting businesses with their appropriate audiences, family with long distance relatives, and friends with friends, there is also a great deal of rubbish to be found on social media, and it sucks the time out of the days of many (as some others have said.) I understand the need for social media, but in some ways I detest it. Even the effects of it which i see in my own life. A group of individuals can sit around a table not talking, surfing their own personal newsfeeds, meanwhile forgetting to interact with those in front of them. There’s even a social media way of denoting this commonly known issue. #hangsoutwithfriendsgoesonphone. The nature of the beast is finding balance, which is something many in our immediate gratification-centered society struggle with.
    Or do they even struggle, perhaps they embrace it and loathe the ancient conception of in-person interaction. Soon enough we’ll progress to a strictly writen rathen than additionally oral language. Dramatic? Perhaps. Let’s talk about it…

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  9. passportstories

    Your last sentence pretty much sums up my belief on the matter, “… I believe that face-to-face communication is enhanced by social media and not being killed off by it.” Just like Spencer and many other students on this campus, I am extremely involved at Hofstra as well as the outside places where I work. So much so, my entire day is consumed by classes, work and various clubs and activities. Most of these activities during the day all are social events, where interacting with others face-to-face is inevitable. However, when the day is done and something needs to be communicated after the fact, social media and forms of communication (texting/email) make life so much easier.

    In addition, I have many friends, as well as family members that I do not see very often because they live in the south or in other countries. Social media allows me to stay in touch with them so I can be somewhat involved in their life even if I live far away. Just because we don’t live close together doesn’t mean I don’t care about staying in touch with them. Without social media these long distant relationships would be almost impossible.

    -Molly Sestak

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  10. Kellianne

    I have heard this argument multiple times. For example, my grandma always says “kids put those damn phones away.” It’s just part of our culture this days. I couldn’t imagine not having my iPhone. I got my iPhone stolen in Italy this summer and didn’t know what to do with myself! But, without social media connections wouldn’t be made and connections you have had before wouldn’t stand. There can be both sides to every situation and I understand the argument; however, I know it’s essential to my life.

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  11. Corey Wagner

    In some part I believe that social media sites are causing younger generations to not interact the same as they did in the 80’s or 90’s and even in the early 2000’s. Unfortunately the world is evolving once again and some people are not evolving with it (i.e. older generations.) Although I am a huge believer in human connections and talking to people face to face, I have adapted to this high-technological era and have started to embrace all social media websites that I was originally opposed to. There is no fighting this, social media and the use of cellphones, ipads, computers, etc., is the way of the future for us right now and its the main direction that the world is heading.

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  12. Julie Rafatpanah

    I feel like social media has actually enhanced social interaction. Thanks to social media, I’m able to keep in contact with friends far away, and add music, pictures, and videos to enhance my interactions with them. The connections made through social media end up enhancing interaction, because it leads to interactions that would not have been previously had, like as you mentioned, through dating sites.
    I agree that to some extent, social media can hinder interaction; people tend not to talk as much before class, and tend to seem less social. However, the social connections gained through social media tends to outweigh the connections “lost”.

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  13. Spencer MacDonald

    In my experience with social media, my social life is enhanced. Because of my involvement outside of social media, I am able to use these sites to organize, communicate, and enhance my social life. I use those sites to get in contact with people and organize events that would be much more difficult and less efficient if I was trying to advertise face to face. Social media allows me to get in touch with people to allow the face to face communication. I do not think it is killing social interaction but rather changing it in a way that allows you to be in contact with everyone at once, not just the people immediately around you.

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  14. Kevin Alexander Tamerler

    I’m less scared by the nature of social media than by the tendency of the internet to lead to the waste of extraordinary amounts of time. I have far too many friends who are constantly complaining of being tired, not getting any sleep, not getting their work done, not having time to exercise or socialise, and when you examine how they spend their time they spend hours and hours on reddit or blogging or playing the most assinine Iphone games.

    I think that society will adapt and evolve to handle these kinds of things over time. On balance, for every friendship killed by the internet I think we can point to another friendship sparked, maintained, or aided by the internet. It’s a lot like alcohol: there are a handful of people who can’t handle the internet and will be made non-functional by it, but there are also many people who can use the internet reasonably to aid in a good time.

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  15. Joanna Soares

    There will never be a replacement for face to face communication. You can’t get the same body language, emotion, or expression through media. However, I agree that media is a tool that must be utilized by PR specialists along with face to face interaction. The world is rapidly evolving and we must stay relevant. Depending on the demographic trying to be reached should dictate exactly what medium will be focused on when trying to spread a message. It is obvious that the younger generation will be more responsive to cyber connection rather than the older generation. However, a PR person must sharpen all methods of communication.

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  16. Kellie Sahagian

    I believe that social media can be used to help us connect in ways that we were never able to connect with others before. It helps us to keep in contact with those that we may not be able to go face to face with immediately. This is only helpful, however, if we continue to use face to face contact with one another, so that it isn’t totally pushed aside.

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  17. Caitlyn Hutchison

    I think that social media is positively affecting face-to-face communications in very specific ways. Social media allows for people to constantly be plugged into society and constantly in contact with other people in a different way then before. We still receive the same information, and to some extent more information, but it is this continuous interaction that people are socially conditioned to expect in our society. Social media, texting, email, and Facebook give people the opportunity to stay in contact with the people they want to interact with all the time.

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  18. Rebecca Capozzi

    Social media allows us to communicate more messages in a different way than face to face communication. When you walk into a room and students are quiet, they are accessing and receiving information and messages via tweets on Twitter, videos on YouTube or posts on Facebook. Students and people are keeping up with all of the messages being communicated via all the different types of social media. Prior to social media, if someone wanted to stay informed on current events and the news, they would either read the news paper, or turn on the evening news after work. In today’s time, this is not the case. In order for one to stay informed, I believe that one must be up to date with all aspects of social media; blogs, Pintrest, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

    I don’t think social media has substituted personal interaction, It just allows us to communicate differently with one another. There are certain things I enjoy doing in person like going on an interview, speaking with a family member, or seeing a friend for lunch. Social media has changed the way we communicate, but I do believe that we could not function as a society with out face to face interaction.

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  19. Stephen Steglik

    The benefits social media brings to the 21st century is insurmountable and the impact has both negative and positive effects on our culture. Certainly the positives are that everyone is connected and inside one another’s personal lives way more than any other time in history. I personal have many friends from around the world and seeing their face, hearing their voice and seeing what is going on in their lives is incredibly easy. That being said the negatives have impacted the daily routine of life as well. Personally, a lot of people my age don’t know how to interact with people our own age face to face. I know some personal friends who have waited to talk with girls and guys when they were on Facebook or twitter rather than ask them out face to face. Now this sounds silly and trivial but communication is important for everyday life from personal to professional. As usual though it comes down to being self aware, just like any other tool or option that can be abused. Use Facebook wisely, don’t put your whole life up on the internet because frankly whatever you put up online turns into public domain…forever!

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  20. Nicole Chiarella

    It is sad to see that we have resorted to using electronic devices for everything. I think that Social media serves its purpose but does change the way of communication. In my opinion it is important that the younger generation is more socialized because they are the ones that are now growing up solely on electronics and getting a cell phone on their 10th birthday. The parents will play a major part in the process by limiting the amount of Social media use and encouraging face to face contact. We are all guilty of using our Facebook and Twitter accounts along with other Social media outlets as our main way of communication. Social media will continue to grow throughout the years and we will evolve with it along with some changes in the outlets.

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  21. Anand Patel

    I’m going to be honest, as beneficial as social media has been to contemporary society and culture, it does indeed create a significant void in the area of physical, interpersonal communication. People today spend the majority of their free time not socializing with actual people in real life but with others online or through other technological means. I find this rather disturbing because I myself relish socializing with real human beings that you can feel and see because that is what life is, the tangible and emotional. I really do think that human interaction is dying due to social media. Still, social media is extremely beneficial and convenient for people today because with this, people are able to keep in touch at any time of day and any place. It’s a give or take situation. I still am a fan of the real thing as opposed to the virtual.

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  22. Christine Brazeau

    Social media has changed our society in immense ways, there is no doubting that. I disagree with the notion that it has ruined all face-to-face communication. I will agree that it has diminished it significantly, out of ease sometimes. I think it has made communication happen in a different way. It is possible for people to stay in touch with other people who live across the world. That’s an amazing feat in my opinion. I do agree with the idea that social media might not the best way to get pitches done in a company. Although, I think it might be the way that our profession is heading. The more things move online, anything done on the internet, for instance an email, isn’t look down upon as unprofessional. Things are going online much more frequently which has changed the way the entire world communicates. I think social media has done incredible things for our society, and I am excited to see what it does in our future.

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  23. Katlyn Catubig

    I am all about social media. I actually want to work in social media PR in the future. I am obsessed with the differences Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc can make in a company.
    However, Professor Morosoff’s description about walking into a classroom really struck me. I guess I’ve never thought about the difference. In high school, we were not allowed to have phones or computers in class, so the scene before the teacher walked in was much like the one described: loud, rowdy, and interactive. In any college classroom nowadays, where usage of technology is usually allowed and more acceptable, the class is silent.
    Is social media truly ruining social interaction? Maybe. I do think that the positives outweigh the negatives.

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  24. Jon Fisco

    I think it all really depends on the individual. While all of this new technology makes it easy to avoid face to face contact and regress into oneself it can also be utilized as a powerful tool to connect with thousands more than a face to face meeting could ever achieve. But, there should always be a balance. I feel that people in the PR field need to use both avenues of communication, social media and regular chatting, in order to create an identity as a powerful PR figure. In a time where people assume face to face contact is dying, being able to skillfully talk to someone in that “dying” manner will impress them big time. It’s the same reaction you get from someone when you actually write them a letter with pen and paper. They feel special and singled out like you’ve done something so out of your way just to make them happy. The same goes for a phone call or a meeting, being able to juggle that along with being proficient with social media creates a killer 1,2 punch. So maybe social media and technology are coupled together to create the kiss of death for personal one-on-one talks but, for those willing to utilize both avenues, it makes the latter of the two options an enticing skill to use.

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  25. Kyle Noone

    I’m inclined to agree with the fact that the new technology is destroying our ability to communicate with each other. While it is true that the internet is bringing together people who otherwise would never meet, many of these new relationships are online and few become face to face interaction. I have noticed that it is becoming more and more difficult to talk to people, especially since many people would rather text than have an actual conversation. It is easy to talk to people over texting or on the internet, since the interaction is diluted from the separation caused by the media. If you can’t hear the voice of the person you’re talking to, or see their reactions to the things you’re saying, then the conversation has in fact isolated you further. When we’ve come to the point where people would rather text someone than have a real conversation with the person next to them, I think we can safely say that our real communication is deteriorating.

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  26. Kristin Mancuso

    It is easy to argue that social media is destroying the authenticity of face-to-face communication. Technology allows one to hide behind their texts, tweets, emails and Facebook posts without ever communicating on personal levels through outlets such as the telephone and meeting in person. At my age, it is hard to imagine a time where technology wasn’t a dominant form of communication. Although many people see this as the end of personal interaction, I agree with you that technology is being used to enhance our connections. It is one’s own responsibility to not let social media dictate their lives. I personally find technology useful because it increases the speed of communication and allows me to complete my work in a more proficient and timely manner. Also, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow everyone to get involved and share their content. Social media also is a competitive force for many small businesses. For an example, my father relies on online advertising and communication to reach out to potential customers. Once an online connection and relationship is formed, then my father will meet with his clients. In other words, technology allows people to communicate easily and form relationships that if necessary, will develop into face-to-face communication. We must adjust to the change that is occurring rather than spend time dwelling on what you cannot stop.

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  27. jsuare4

    I found this to be interesting because recently I was away in Dominican Republic and phone reception there has many dead zones. Without having access to Internet 24/7 on my phone like I can in New York, I’ve noticed people are way more interactive and social where as here if its not through a text message, no one seems to say much.

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  28. Lauren Someck

    We can’t deny that the use of social media has replaced many of the face to face interactions we participate in. I agree with your post and almost all of the comments that were left. There are many pros and cons to the use of social media. The question of social media enhancing or eliminating face to face communication may be too difficult to distinguish. I believe it has had both a positive and negative effect on communicating in person. For example, social media without a doubt allows people to communicate on a huge spectrum through several different mediums. E-mail, instant messaging, tweeting, Facebook, etc are all tools that are used to keep in contact with people. On the other hand, due to all of the different mediums out there that are accessible for people to communicate with, some could argue that the proper skills that face to face communication require have been jepordized. In many of my communication classes the question about whether recent generations communication skills are lacking due to social media and advanced technology. These are just two examples, there are numerous different reasons for the advantages and disadvantages of something. I believe everything is made up ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities, it’s just the way you look at it.

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  29. Jenny Rowe

    Although I do believe that face-to-face communication is enhanced by social media, I also think that it is in danger is being killed off by social media. When I was younger, I was extremely shy and if I was exposed to the technology of today at a younger age, it would have affected me negatively and I don’t think I would be as outgoing now. Defining who is abusing social media and who isn’t depends on the user and how they are applying this form of communication. Tweeting a pitch as a PR person seems inappropriate and unprofessional to me, yet a social media based company or employer may see that in a different light.

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  30. Michelle Soslowitz

    Social media is not really killing face-to-face interaction, it’s just helping it out. It’s good because it’s instantaneous, you can send emails and have a reply in a short amount of time. I was actually discussing this with my dad, he just got a smart phone from work and now is constantly emailing and checking his phone. It’s easier because he can do it without having to go to his computer and type out a message, and can send it out just as fast as he got it. Social media also helps keep distant relationships going. All of my friends from my old college talk to me on Facebook and Twitter since I can’t see them as often as I can. However it’s still good to have face-to-face conversations. You need to see the other person otherwise words can be misinterpreted, and emotions and feelings will have effects too. It’s important to have the face-to-face connection so you can really get your messages across.

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  31. jillarchibald Archibald

    I agree with you, Professor Morosoff. Although your anecdote seemed to demonstrate some of the negative results of social media being ever present, I have many anecdotes where social media had positive results. In particular, I made a connection over Facebook with a guy who I knew from around campus, but had never really had the chance to talk to in person. This now new friend of mine, Nick, friended me on Facbeook and days later messaged me while I was at work and we started talking about our internships and our major, public relations. From my experience I can genuinely say that I believe that social networking can produce quality relationships.

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  32. alexcoughlan

    I believe that face to face communication is improved by social media. I find that social media helps you keep and form relationships that might otherwise have fizzled away or never really began. Our face to face communication has absolutely been affected by our online lives but I do find that it is improving it.

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  33. brittanywalshh

    As a public relations professional social media serves as an effective and efficient method of communication. However, on a personal level, I believe that the growing reliance on social media has a negative impact on our ability to socialize. I believe many opportunities are missed in neglecting to interact face to face rather than through a computer. The place where i notice this most is in children. The students who are now in junior high or high school are no longer attending the school dance or the local carnival, instead they are instant messaging or posting photos. They are missing out on great opportunities to potentially meet friends and build character because they are consumed more with their online personality than their real one. Social media has completely changed our method of communication and it will be interesting to see what is next.

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  34. Jenny Zheng

    Social media is a distraction, but it definitely helps us more than it hurts us. Social media is great for connecting to people far away, doing group projects when people can’ always get together, and putting information out there for the public to see. Personally, it gets me out of awkward situations, and I know some of my friends would agree. I also have known people to break up with their significant others by social media. The awkward face to face is eliminated. I admit that it’s not the best way to do end a relationship, but social media acting as the middle man is something that we can rely on. In class, we talked about how pr people rely too heavily on the results of social media, to tell them how a company is doing. If the company isn’t seeing a rise in their sales (or whatever it is the pr firm is trying to draw attention to) then the pr people didn’t do their job correctly. Just because people have seen the message and responded, doesn’t mean they have acted, which is the ultimate goal.

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  35. jackiezupo

    I think the the new technology of social media will never take away from personal contact and relationships. No matter how advanced we become in social media and technology it will never completely diminish human interaction. Social media is a bridge that connects you to people you don’t get to see very often. As adult college students it is extremely hard to maintain all relationships. There isn’t enough time in the day to meet up and hang out or even give someone a phone call. We are constantly on the go yet we have the ability to contact our friends and family at any time. But that does not take away from the desire to want to see them, spend time with them. Life is about experiences and memories. And although I think people definitely get caught up in social media and tend to let life pass them by, people for the most part need such things in their life. Twitter can’t hug you when you’re having a bad day. Therefore I don’t think social media means the end of all personal contact. Instead I think of it as something that connects us even more but no matter how connected we may be there is always going to be a desire for person-to-person experiences.

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  36. hikerprman

    “It’s a beautiful day. I think I’ll go outside and look at my phone.”

    I don’t know if it’s killed off personal interaction just yet, but the times they are a changin’.

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  37. Jeena Liriano

    I believe that social media lets people who we cannot see lets us keep in touch and know what is going on in their daily lives. After high school friends no longer lose touch since it is easy to keep in contact through social media and know what is going on in their lives as well. Social media is an advantage for PR because it allows instant connection to the public. Social media is changing the way we communicate with each other, but people still value face to face communication.

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  38. Lauren Means

    I think that social media can improve and enhance face-to-face or verbal communication, both in social situations and in PR.

    My dad loves to use the Internet to find stores’ listings of their products. He can compare one store or product to another in half an hour instead of spending the entire day driving around town. Then he goes out to the store where he found the best or lowest-priced product online and buys it in the physical store.

    PR professionals also can use social media to their advantage. A huge consequence of social media is that so many people or organizations who were previously hard to reach or exclusive now try to project a friendly attitude toward customers by making themselves easily found on any umber of social networking sites. Instead of drafting formal letters to anonymous editors, PR can tweet or private message a reporter. Companies can be “friends” with each other on LinkedIn. There are so many resources open to the PR industry now that everyone is connected in the blogosphere.

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  39. Jessica Wyatt

    There are so many pros and cons to social media. While it does, as you mentioned, often make people obsessed with their phones and computers, it is a great way to stay connected and spread news throughout a community. While this way of getting “connected” may seem inadequate to some, I believe that balance is key. It’s obviously important to talk in-person as humans need that face-to-face contact. However, with the way that social media has been growing in the last 5-10 years and becoming so much more useful, it seems like adding a little bit of online socialization cannot hurt. It can even build a community and bring people together with their thoughts and ideas. I like the mention of how dating sites are an advantage of social media. It’s true; the internet can make things happen that we never thought possible. Again, balance is necessary. It will be very interesting to see how the next generation grows up as they will be completely immersed in social media and the internet.

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  40. Casey Madsen

    I completely agree with you! Social media can take over your life and ruin your social communication skills, but only if you let it. I think our generation uses media such as cell phones as a safety guard to get out of awkward situations. For example when you’re walking somewhere alone it’s less awkward to look down at your cell phone than to make eye contact with random passerby’s. We’ve been conditioned to feel more confident using technology than communicating face to face.

    I don’t think the development of social media is detrimental to communication skills. Like I said earlier, it can only take over your life if you let it. Social media is definitely beneficial for relationships and friendships as long as it’s not the only communication going on in relationships. I personally would rather call my friends then tweet or text them. Many conversations are too personal for social media websites. You only live once, so more people should focus on living their REAL life instead of only having a virtual life.

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  41. Nicole Risell

    I agree with you. I think people would choose face-to-face interaction over social media interaction, but I think we utilize social media platforms because we’re really busy and it’s easier to stay in touch with people. During my time as an intern at Creative Foods Corp., social media was used primarily to promote engagement and action outside the technological world, so I think social media enhances real world interaction and it’s a growing part of the PR world.

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  42. Kerri Sheehan

    I think that it is valid to say that social media is depleting the need to communicate in person. However, this can be viewed as a good thing rather than a bad thing. We now have so many ways to communicate with people that it is almost impossible to be disconnected.

    On the same note I don’t think that social media interactions will ever replace face to face contact. I may write on a friend’s Facebook wall, but that doesn’t replace meeting up with a friend face to face.

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  43. Ryan Derry

    I don’t agree at all that social media is preventing personal interaction skills. Sure, it might be preventing it from happening as much, but on the contrary, it can also be causing more connections to be made and in turn – making us connect with more people in real life as well. If you friend someone on Facebook, you can then start to talk to them literally whenever you want to. Morning, day, or night, you can contact that person. So, when making friends online that you may not have done in person could then actually cause you to say hi or have a conversation now – in person. There comes a line that has to be drawn between social interaction online, but to say it halts or makes someone personally interact “less” is not so accurate, to me at least. When you make friends online you can keep in contact with them, so that in the future, you can bump into them and be able to talk more comfortably, or make plans so that you can do something in person. Because after all, isn’t the end game when people talk and become friends online that you like the person enough to maybe make plans with them at some point? Or are already friends with them so, odds are, you see them a lot in person anyway? If anything, social media creates more connections and in fact could, be causing MORE social activity which I can never argue is a bad thing. We are more attached to our phones and computers because it is a GREAT thing. Technology is better than ever and businesses have become easier and easier to run because of it. Who has honestly ever sat down and said, “I think my phone and computer have made my life so much harder and worse.” Not many people I’d say.

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  44. Maureen Moran

    When I started my studies at Hofstra two years ago, I was anti-social media, anti-Facebook and very concerned about my fourteen year old’s obsession with her phone and her computer. I was worried that all her electronic relationships would stunt her emotional growth, for that matter, I was concerned for all the youth of the next generation. That was until my eyes were openned to the generation of social media and my interaction with my fellow Hofstra students who were twenty years my junior.

    In my relationships with these students I was able to see that even though social media and the Internet was second nature to them they used technology and face-to-face communication hand in hand. Their is an art to social media, tweeting, Instagram and Facebook that the next generation embraced. I remember one of my public relations classes I needed to create a power point presentation. I had worked on it for weeks. Even though I got an A on the finished product the amount of time I needed to do the project was weeks more than a fellow student that let me know it took him a “few hours” to do and his presentation was seemless.

    I am happy to say that my experience of being a student at Hofstra within the Public Relations concentration has stretched me and given me a whole new outlook on technology, social media and personal growth. I am grateful that I was able to keep an open mind and learn from my fellow students and professors. There is an art to using social media and technology to your benefit and your chosen career. I believe that the tools and support that have been given to me through each professor at Hofstra has made me a more marketable, talented and confident person ready to become successful in my career of choice. I believe that no matter what area of the workforce I pursue, the tools that have been given to me through the Public Relations concentration will surely benefit me on my career path.

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  45. Rebecca Wolfe

    I agree that technology is the death of personal interaction. It is also the death of human beings, releasing toxins into the air we breathe and the screens effecting our eyes, brains, minds and nervous system and the radioactivity hurting our blood. In any common house house you will walk in and usually see people on their cell phones, computers or television. Most social interaction have to do with technology, people chat online, or on their cell phones, or they watch tv or a movie together. All we do is sit and let our eyes droop while we mindlessly focus our brain on something so unnatural and destructive to not only our health but our mental capabilities. This is why i am not a fan of blogging and i am actually against it. it encourages the mindless interaction. As a public relations major i entered this major thinking i could use my voice and my charisma to change things for the better, but so far all of my classes have only been about how to use the computer and social media. I am well aware of how to use the computer and social media, but i am an innovated pr professional and i seek other ways because i see clearly the detrimental effects of television, computer and cell phones to our family lives, social lives and professional lives not to mention our health’s and brain’s lives.

    -Rebecca Wolfe

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    1. jmorosoff

      Interesting perspectives, Rebecca. And I may not completely disagree with at least some of your concerns. However, I must take exception to what you’ve said about the PR program at Hofstra. Yes, using your voice and charisma may help you in your future career–but only to a small extent. PR is much, much more than that. The classes you’ve already taken teach writing skills, media literacy, and understanding the relationships between a client and its publics. You’re also learning the computer and social media because they are among the essential tools of the PR professional. It is knowledge and competencies in all of these areas that have propelled hundredes of Hofstra students to successful careers in public relations.

      Reply
    2. hikerprman

      Good for you Rebecca. I think you’re on to something. Your people skills, and as Jeff says, writing skills, media literacy, and understanding the relationships between a client and its publics will take you plenty far. Right now social media is all the rage and it may stay that way, but the basic skills of crafting a message, getting publics to understand and then act upon that message will always be the most valuable. Personally I let other people handle a lot of the technical/mechanical parts of delivering the message for me because I feel much the same way you do.

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  46. Tha L. Spot

    I used to think that social media was taking away face to face communication but I believe it is only enhancing it. I’ve been networking with numerous people via social media but when I meet them in person I am more comfortable to speak to them. It actually has made me bolder to speak to people even if I never spoke to them through social media prior.

    Also although communication may not be face to face all the time we are still communicating and getting a message across (depending on the topic). One thing social media or even texting can’t fix is a person tone.

    – Jessica Chalmers

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  47. Leia Schultz

    While social media is undoubtedly a pervasive aspect of modernity, I don’t think that it is necessarily “causing the slow death of personal interaction.” Rather, I think different people respond to the presence of the Internet and social media sites in different ways, and this reflects our culture.

    In the majority of my social interactions, there is oftentimes an overlap between reality and the realm of the Internet: in conversations there is frequent mention of occurrences in the social media sphere. It can feel like, even while spending face-to-face time with my friends, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets are inescapable, an integral part of our discussions.

    Yet, for me at least, no device or new technology will ever replace human contact. We are social beings. We will never lose our intrinsic need to engage in personal conversations that involve eye contact, touch, and shared laughter.

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  48. Chloe Lambros

    I have always thought this about social media and the Internet. I 100% believe that forums, such as Facebook and Twitter, are “rapidly turning us into a world of disconnected connections [and that] people’s ability to relate to one another verbally is being rapidly depleted.” People rely on the Internet and the use of all technology way too much. This causes many people to loose sight of social interaction and doing things the “old fashion” way.

    For example, during my internship at Hank Lane Music and Productions, I was given the task to create an electronic press kit. My boss thought it would be a lot easier to have an electronic copy on hand so he could email it to clients that way they didn’t have to make a trip to come into the office and have an official meeting. I did not agree with this because it prevented the client from having a face-to-face interaction and have a pitch that was face-to-face. In person interactions are so much more personal, and in my opinion have a bigger impact.

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  49. Bert Cunningham

    Social media can be used and abused to the same degree as any other communication platform. It’s a matter of moderation. Just as those who send an email to a colleague in the office next to him or her rather than have a face-to-face conversation are missing an opportunity for creative, personal integration. Those who just text friends or Tweet rather than call or meet for personal interaction are also missing an opportunity for creative integration and perhaps the joy of the “Aha” moment of mutual discovery. In the main, however, social media is a huge plus in expanding mutually beneficial connections and rewarding experiences.

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