• Emily Lee

Does the use of social media affect our communication skills?

Over the past 18 months, the use of social media has soared with increase of 2.3 million new social media users which equates to 77.9% of the total population using social media in the UK. Social media has profoundly changed the way we communicate, and in lockdown the average screen time rose to 6 hours and 55 mins per person. Social media does not only include the main social networks with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in fact there are 6 other types of social media as well. Other social media platforms also include Pinterest, Youtube, Tumblr, Reddit and even TripAdvisor.

It is all well and good using social media in our day to day lives, but we will be discussing whether the use of social media helps or hinders our ability to communicate, both the positive and negative effects of social media. We will be exploring the different types of communication on social media but also the way social media affects different age groups. Let's dive into the impact of how social media affects the different ages from young children all the way to adults.

phone and social media

The Social Media Impact For Babies And Children

Having worked as a primary school teacher, I know first-hand how important the first 5 years of a child's development is. In the last few years, I have seen more and more babies and children with a screen in front of them when they are out and about and when they are eating. So what happens in the first 5 years of their development? In the first 5 years, the babies and young children learn to develop their verbal and non verbal skills through play and interaction with other humans. They also learn about their own behaviour and begin the inquisitive process which is part of their cognitive development.

baby language development

But does having a screen in front of babies and children, whether they are watching educational TV programmes on Youtube or playing games, affect their communication skills? There are some benefits of watching educational TV "to help toddlers with their language development, shape and colour recognition, numeracy and literacy." But there are no set guidelines for the recommended screen time for babies and young children, it is up to the discretion of each family. According to the RCPCH, “there is not enough evidence to confirm that screen time is in itself harmful to child health at any age, making it impossible to recommend age appropriate time limits."

baby communication skills

On the other hand, the