Today, social networking is synonymous with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. People’s lives are changing as the social media replace their traditional forms of communication. Over time, speaking directly to each other is declining because young people opt for Twitter or Facebook communication, despite the proximity of their residences.
The communication through technological gadgets is easy when compared to face to face communication because of the psychological theory of mind and emotional involvement. In an ultimatum game, the divider is in charge resource distribution with a second party. In most cases, money is the resource, which the divider has control over and can choose as much as he wants. The recipient must accept the consequential offer if he is satisfied with the share. Alternatively, he can reject it in protest, especially if the money does not fulfill the intended needs. Failure to agree on the share means that both the players have no financial shares.
If the offer is unfair, the chances are that the other party is more likely to reject it. It means that the recipient has a strong emotional reaction if the offer from another human being is unfair. Neuroimaging data reveal the activation of brain regions that the scientists associate with distress and pain in the case of unfair offers. In comparison, the social media activities and computer interactions activate specific brain regions that are responsible for inference deductions regarding other people.
Human beings have a unique social cognition attribute that enables them to construct a model of other’s thoughts and perception. In this way, it is possible for people to make inferences regarding others without necessarily being consciously aware. In the absence of face-to-face contact, the ideas expressed through the social media platform gives a reader on the receiving end a chance to think about the intentions of the writer. The predisposition mandates that the message recipient has to understand the facial expressions, hence complicating the social interaction process.
Human interaction calls for extra emotional involvement and cognition as compared to social media interaction through electronic gadgets such as smartphones and computers. Besides, the activation strength between the communications that involve humans and those with computers are diverse. The main reason is that years of evolutions have resulted in people’s inability to control emotional involvement when interacting with each other. The concept of social media is still new; hence it is hard for people to attach emotions to it since the brain is yet to automate the activation process.
Daily facial interactions are mostly based on non-verbal cues. When people interact with each other, they ought to constantly process wordless signals such as body language, physical distance, and tonal variations. Therefore, the non-verbal interaction constitutes a fruitful interaction between two or more people. Both parties cannot decipher the true meaning of the interaction unless they study additional non-verbal cues.
It is a different case in online social interactions through Facebook or Twitter. In fact, Facebook and other social media platforms have summed up such facial expressions through emoticons and emojis. People can project the images that they deem fit for revealing their feelings to the recipient. Alternatively, the social media platforms enable people to safeguard their identity by becoming whoever they want, unlike in face-to-face communication.
In summary, research is ongoing to understand why the youthful generation can easily interact through social media platform specifically in times when they are drained or tired. However, the common knowledge is that a technological device or platform does not require emotional and cognitive investment, thus easing the interaction process (Bandura, 2013).
- Bandura, A. (2013). Social Cognitive Theory of Mass Communication. Media Psychology, 3(3), 265-299.