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The relationship between your social media use and body language

Readers Lounge By Esther Muchene
Social media has changed the way we express ourselves (Shutterstock)

We can’t deny the power that social media has these days. Platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram have changed the way we express ourselves, how we feel about ourselves and basically, how we perceive life itself.

There are so many advantages of social media but this hasn’t prevented the criticism that comes with either. Below, we break it down and try to find out the impact social media has had on our body language.

One area being researched on right now is how social media has affected our body language, which is the non-verbal mode of communication that reflects our emotions and thoughts. Since we spend a lot of time behind the screens, the things we see are bound to have an impact on this form of human interaction.

For example, think of all the emoji’s and gifs you love to use when you’re trying to send a message to someone. Have you been guilty of using the exaggerated laughing emoji’s while in fact, you’re doing anything but laughing in real life, because I know I have. That shows the distance between the digital world and actual body language.

Have you been guilty of using the exaggerated laughing emoji’s while in fact, you’re doing anything but laughing in real life? (Shutterstock)

Another thing people experience is the communication gap when you meet people in real life. I’ve heard countless times how awkward real life interactions can be even when you’ve been communicating with that person on phone for a long time.

In fact you’ll find that some people have less charisma in real life than what is perceived on social media. And since people are used to a certain online personality, real life interaction becomes strange and far from the image he or she was portraying online.

As experts analyzed this concept further, they found that social media addiction has affected our body language as well. It has formed an unhealthy codependency with devices where people have the urge to constantly check their phones. You might look uneasy or subconsciously tap your screen when someone else is talking to you, which reflects disinterest. Even if you’re actually listening to them, they might still feel like you’re not taking them seriously because of what your body language suggests.

These platforms have also affected people’s true personalities. This is something that has impacted a lot of social media users, especially the younger generation. There’s a certain pressure to look and behave a certain way, which then forces some to ditch their true personalities for a fake one.

It’s a fact that many people watch how their favorite celebrities behave and then mimic the same. It’s important to realize that celebrities also put up a certain front and because we don’t have the true picture of their normal lives we assume that what we see is true. Basically, you slowly end up losing your true unique personality because of what you perceive on social media.

Still on this topic, social media has impacted people’s body confidence in a significant way. There has always been a link between body language and self-confidence because actions speak volumes.

Let’s say you post a picture and a troll comments on the shape of your nose. Even though it’s a perfectly normal nose, you subconsciously start avoiding eye contact with people because you think everyone is starring at your nose. Social media can affect your life for a long time but that shouldn’t be the case.

Digital communication shouldn’t make us abandon the value of real life communication (Shutterstock)

t the same time, it’s not all bad news for social media because digital body language has given life to how we express ourselves online.

But we still know that this type of communication shouldn’t make us abandon the value of real life communication.

We can unlearn some of these negative effects social media has had on our communication styles by paying attention to what message our bodies are sending when we interact with others in real life.

Practice how to be present and resist the urge to check on your phone all the time.

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