Social Learning: Can Social Networking improve interpersonal Skills?

During a Parent Teachers Association (PTA) meeting organized for parents—with children under the age bracket of 10-14 years—to air their views on how they felt about the prominent role social media platforms play in their kids personal life, approximately 80 percent of the parents involved in that session believed that their kids were being negatively affected by their online social activities.

A majority of the parents in attendance believed that the use of social media, as an interacting tool, was responsible for the poor grades kids of today’s modern era seem to produce while another sect stated that social networking affected their kids ability to interact with their peers in a physical setting. And anyone who sees his or her kid spending most of their free time tapping mobile keyboards and grinning sheepishly as if sharing a private joke, might be forced to take a negative stance on the role social media platforms play in the life of today’s children. But looking closely at the effects socializing on the web has on kids, you will be surprised to realize several statistical educational facts such as:

Effects on Shy Kids

While growing up, we might have fallen under the group of kids who were known as the shy ones or we knew one or two people who fell under that category and the younger generations are no different. And in the days of yore, most shy kids had no choice but to become shy adults but with the widespread use of social networks, the shy individuals of today have been gifted with informal online educational platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.—to develop their interpersonal communication skills.

When kids write posts on their Facebook walls and receive comments or feedbacks from their friends, their brains file the different reactions that particular posts elicits from their peers and this gives them an informal insight on how people think or react for future references.  This means that the average child will be able to sample his peer group and use the results obtained in everyday communication.

Effects on Young Adults

The rat race mentality of young adults where everyone believes he or she comes first and deserves the best from life regardless of the situation of one’s peers does more harm than good in the long run as this way of thinking produces a youth class of un-empathetic people. Social networking combats this issue by providing its users with an avenue to share their daily experiences, photos and feelings with one’s personal circle and if a friend either likes or commensurate with your posts, you are more likely to respond in a more empathetic manner to that person’s post or situation.

This sharing of information and personal moments on social networking platforms develops an interpersonal relationship amongst people who share similar likes, dislikes and peculiarities while also creating an online learning and communication platform for young adults to receive real-life education.

Developing ICT Skills

Not everyone will be a young Mark Zuckerberg but socializing on Facebook and other social networks provide an avenue for learning the rudiments of app development and receiving inspirational entrepreneurial ideas that can be put to practical use. This form of online education can make young people more productive for it eliminates the rigid setting that is experienced in formal classrooms.

 

Author Bio

Kamy Anderson is an eLearning advocate who has a passion for writing on innovative and emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He has years of experience working with eLearning authoring tools and learning management systems; and is an expert when it comes to developing and implementing LMS Best Practices. With his background in learning pedagogy, higher education and virtual learning, Kamy is an ed-tech enthusiast who likes nothing better than to explore and write on technology and learning trends.