What is greater social impact of social media? Does getting caught up in an online social world somehow detract from real-life interactions? Northeastern University asked Brooke Foucault Welles, assistant professor of communication studies, about the impact of social networks and whether indulging Facebook and Twitter can be as addicting as cigarettes in a recent “3Qs” feature.
As someone with a mild addiction to social media (my wife might call it severe), I was intrigued by Welles answers, particularly on the question about digital technology and social media affecting our interpersonal skills:
Rather than disrupting our social and interpersonal skills, social media appear to magnify our existing social behaviors. If you tend to be socially isolated in the offline world, spending a lot of time online can intensify that.
She adds the opposite is true for social butterflies, that social media can help build those relationships.