The speech “How Social Media Makes Us Unsocial” raises several questions regarding how people communicate in a social media-driven society and how this phenomenon destroys connections and relationships among different people. The speech begins with an attention-getting video of different people on their cell phones and how this practice limits or eliminates their direct communication with each other in the process. The structure is well-organized with a clear intent and thesis, accompanied by a series of transitions which are designed to capture the interest of audience members. The speech revisits an attention-getting resource towards its culmination and then ends with a series of simple yet profound ideas regarding the impact of social media on human existence, along with how to disconnect from this process and reengage in human interactions with others. The speech throughout is thoughtful, timely, and appropriate for the audience, and the speaker has an engaging yet assertive approach to the subject matter because it is of critical importance to her and to society.
The content of this speech is relevant in a variety of ways because social media is one of the most important and relevant topics in today’s world. The speaker drives home the point that people have become largely disengaged from each other due to their addiction to their cell phones. Furthermore, people would rather text each other than have a conversation on the phone, which is disheartening to the speaker. The speech also addresses some of the challenges of social media relative to losing connections with others, along with the loss of rich vocabulary due to clever acronyms which do not have the same significance. This is explored clearly by the speaker and supports a critical understanding of the key factors which impact how humans interact and the lack of strength in this area. In addition, it is supported by evidence regarding the impact of social media on writing skills in young people (Cullington 90).
The content of this speech is very relevant because I am one of the people that the speaker is referring to, as I am on my phone very frequently and am often disengaged from other people, even when they are directly in front of me. This behavior is common but it is disheartening because it reflects the lack of connection between human beings and recognizes that many people do not value this basic concept, instead preferring to be on their phones rather than to share ideas with others verbally. These issues are critical because individuals have a tendency to put their phones first above all other priorities, including human relationships. The examples of family members at dinner or couples on dates who are so engrossed in their phones at the table that they essentially ignore each other is all too familiar and is disheartening. The speaker is credible in her remarks because she is a historian of social media and has significant experience with the topic. This information is relevant on many levels and demonstrates the importance of adapting to different learning situations and applying knowledge effectively in these instances. In addition, it supports the concepts related to relationship development when individuals use social media texting as their primary means of communication (Novak 274). This is an important discussion to have and the speaker offers an excellent perspective on the topic for the audience.
The language used by the speaker is clear and concise, and she uses words which are easy to understand. Her language is highly appropriate for the topic and the audience and demonstrates that there are significant issues to consider relative to the topic. Social media poses many challenges for users which impact how they share information with others and removes much of the human connection between people. The speaker’s words are strong in addressing this issue and demonstrates that she has expert knowledge of the topic. Her delivery is strong and she is capable of getting her point across effectively. In addition, she uses different words to capture the intent of her speech effectively and uses a serious tone to address her findings. She uses the time well and is engaging in her efforts to get her message across, keeping the audience interested from start to finish. Her language appears to challenge the audience and provide an ultimatum of sorts that individuals should take the impact of social media very seriously to determine how the tools of this world have a significant impact on human relationships and negatively influence communication in different ways.
Delivery – Nonverbal and Paralanguage
The speaker uses an adept skillset to deliver her message and demonstrates the importance of sharing information in a serious manner that has serious undertones. She also embraces the use of eye contact, using her hands and looking to both sides of the room, facial expressions, and other tools to enhance her message effectively. These tools are significant for the speech because the message given is very distinct and appropriate for the target audience, and the speaker uses a form of delivery that is designed to leave a lasting impression on the audience. These efforts are important in addressing the content effectively and in a serious tone because the issues in question are not positive in nature and have negative consequences for individuals. The speaker’s message that social media is a danger to human communication is evident and is strengthened by her delivery of the message throughout the speech.
- Cullington, Michaela. “Texting and writing.” Young Scholars In Writing 8 (2015): 90-95.
- Graham, Allison. “How social media makes us unsocial.” TEDxSMU, 10 November 2014.
- Novak, Joshua R., et al. “The impact of texting on perceptions of face-to-face communication in couples in different relationship stages.” Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy 15.4 (2016): 274-294.