Date: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Participants (from 14 countries)
USA: Rick | Argentina: Johny | Italy: Ibrahim | Kurdistan: Suren | Poland: Mario | Iran: Hanieh, Sara, Elham, Rojhano, Rose, Behnam, Noorola, Amir Alipur | Vietnam: Amina | Russia: Alexei, Salavat | Azerbaijan: Salima | Tunisia: Marwa | India: Yusuf | Egypt: Haitham | France: Djamila | Algeria: Soso
Panel PRO (Team A): Mario, Marwa, Behnam, Hanieh, Yusuf
Panel CON (Team B): Djamila, Johny, Sara, Haitham
Audience (Team C): Elham, Rojhano, Salavat, Soso, Noorla
Just Listening: Alex, Amina, Amin, Rose,
Late: Suren, Gunelly, Salima, Ibrahim, Amir Alipur.
Team A summary
Marwa: It is a Tool of communication: social media is a double edge sword. We communicate using a common language but nowadays everything has become virtual. Instead of laughing and smiling face to face we use emoticons, smiles, etc.
We spend more time on the internet than with our families and this has a negative effect, for example, when people have to interact face to face, they feel shy.
Mario: People spend less time communicating and less time improving the communication skills especially among teenagers. Social media has positive things but it also affects our interpersonal communication skills. When using social media to communicate with people through texts we cannot know if the other person is smiling or what expressions they have. This affects people, especially in interviews because interviewers can realize our deficiency on practice when it comes to the way we express things through our body language.
Behnam: 55% of the communication is done through body language. Gestures and body language are essential for an effective communication. Time is limited and we are not having the same kind of interactions that we had in the past. People nowadays use their time online and not in the real life.
Hanieh: Lack of Social development: children do not learn from looking parents in the eyes. They don’t develop their physical communication skills because parents or even the children spend too much in internet.
Azamu: With social media we know more about what is going on with people miles and miles away than what we know about the people around us.
Team B summary
Djamila: Social media is just a tool and like all tools, it depends on the way we use it. Like most things, it comes down on the moderation; if we use it excessively of course that will bring negative consequences. But the social media has also evolved and has become more interactive, more personal. We can see people, we can talk with people using webcams even if we can’t touch the person, we can still have all the body language that we would normally use in a face to face interaction.
Social media doesn’t prevent people from going outside and interacting with people. We can still talk and communicate perfectly despite the hours we spend on internet. We don’t become introverted; on the contrary, we can get to know different people from different countries and cultures and learn new codes, messages, and ways of expressing ourselves and learn new ways of approaching a person or a subject. Social media is an amazing tool; you just need to know how to use it.
Johny: Social media does not destroy people’s interaction. When we use Skype for example, we learn things from one another; things such as respect, how to address to each other, how to have touch when we speak about sensitive topics and no social media tool is telling people not to go outside and interact with other people face to face. It is just a tool and it depends on you the way it’s going to be used. It’s not the social media who says “don’t go outside”, it’s the people who prefer to spend their time on it.
Social media does not prevent people from using body language when they communicate especially nowadays that most messengers have video features where we can turn on our webcams to hear and see all those gestures and body languages.
We can even learn more from the people around the world using the social media than what we can from interacting with the people in our cities.
Haitham: The social media is beneficial in terms of bringing people closer, keeping them in contact 24/7. Some people are jobless and the only thing they do is spending their time in internet but it’s not the internet which causes this, it’s just the lack of other things to do, such as jobless people, divorced people, depressed people, people with other reasons that prevents them to be outside, etc. They just don’t have anything else to do.
Social media can help naturally introverted people by helping them to interact with other people through the internet as a first step to solve this problem. It has also helped people find their love; many people have used the social media to find their life partner so this means the social media does not destroy people’s interaction, it rather helps them and it builds relationships between people as well as strengthen them.
Team C summary
Elham: We can’t deny that the social media has helped people; however, it destroys people’s face to face interaction because it is too attractive and makes us choose to use it instead of talking with our families. Even if it does offer video features, it’s not natural. We don’t get to feel someone’s energy by looking at their eyes as when we are in front of the person in real life. Children are not as active as before the internet and social media.
Soso: We need to focus our attention to the word “destroy”. Social never destroys the face to face relationships and it never will. Face to face interactions are essential and so is the social media. It will never prevent us to meet each other after using it. No one would ever say that after meeting someone online and after feeling some interest towards each other, he or she won’t want to meet each other face to face. For some people, social media is the only way to know people from other countries and places and even if we want to stay with our family and wives, we would never spend all day with them, we need to have something to get a diversion from, like reading a book, going outside to take fresh air, taking a walk in a park the bottom line is that you won't do what you think you will do if there is no social media.
Generations are different and we should not compare them. We had what we had in our childhood because those were the things we had. Nowadays children have tablets, Wi-Fi and PlayStation and this is their way to enjoy their childhood. In the future there will be other things they would tell their kids about the Tablets and Wi-Fi, etc. But people will still interact with people face to face in the future so this tool we have now – the social media – will never destroy that.
The lack of interaction between people is not the social media, it is the lack of people to talk with that causes people to spend more of their time in internet and when people don’t know what to say or what to joke about when they are with people is not because they have used social media, it’s simply because they don’t have anything interesting to talk about and people find what interests them within social medias.
Rojhano: Team B has exposed their arguments objectively and they were not driven by personal experiences. The social media has eased the interaction among people either by groups or in one to one conversations. Maybe it just takes people’s time and maybe that is why people think that it’s destroying people’s relationships but it doesn’t. Not matter how many hours we spend in it, when we interact with our families and people face to face nothing is destroyed. We don’t lose our manners or have a bad behavior after using social media. On the contrary, we learn new things from people who are far from us.
- Elham voted for team A.
- Soso voted for team B.
- Rojhano voted for team B.
Team B won this debate. Thanks everyone for participating. Below are the links to listen to this discussion.