Are Social Media Changing the Way We Communicate? I’ll give you a straight answer: yes, they are. How? Let’s find out…
I’m going to give you, as always, my opinion based on personal experiences, so it’s nothing globally recognized. Just a little disclaimer, I’m not attacking social media, I use them and I actually have a lot of fun.
I’m going to focus on Instagram, because it’s the social media I use the most at the moment. Personally, I love Instagram because it’s immediate, it stimulates creativity and it’s like a journal. I like to share the photos of the places that I see, the outfits and whatever I find interesting and worth sharing. And I believe that everyone was using Instagram this way at the beginning.
So, what’s changing now? Well…Seems like people are developing a new language while using Instagram! Let me explain.
It happened to me that a friend in my real life kept liking my pictures, nothing wrong with that. The thing is that we haven’t been as close as we used to for some reasons. So she kept liking my photos for years, but what does it mean? Then one day (after years of liking my photos and not talking to each others) she wrote me “I miss you”. So, do I was supposed to understand it through a like on my Instagram picture? We might have reconnected if, instead of liking my photos, she would have said things straight to me.
Also, it makes me smile when someone say “if someone likes my photos on Instagram, what does it mean? Does it mean something more than just a like? “. Well…it only means that he/she likes your pictures. Or maybe not, and that’s where the problem start.
So, seriously are social media changing the way we communicate? If it’s true that behind a simple like on a picture we are actually communicating something, then this might be the beginning of something that could lead to a misunderstanding. Some people believe that a like on Instagram could mean “I’m thinking of you” and things like that.
Personally, I double tap the photos that I do like, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anything else to me. But what if someone else has been double tapping my Instagram photos with an actual meaning behind it? How am I going to understand it? Ask yourself this question when you want to express your feeling to someone and hide behind a like. Maybe you are too shy to say things in person, and hiding behind social media is a huge temptation. But you cannot expect others to read meanings that don’t exist.
What’s the solution? Say what you have to say. If you don’t want to face this person because you are too shy, send an email, a message on WhatsApp, or even a letter. It doesn’t matter how you communicate, but please do it. You need to understand that likes and follows/unfollows are just small actions that don’t have any real meaning. Use words instead, it’s not old fashion! (Not yet at least)