Social Media Impact on Language
Social media has a significant impact on language in the United States, which is evident without any doubt. Language is an essential tool in society because it gives people a sense of belonging and can express different emotions and things (Tamasi and Antieau, 3). The development of the internet has increased in the emergence of social media platforms that have affected the way people communicate around the country and the world. Social media has been adopted not only by young people but also by older adults as they want to catch up with the new trend that technology has brought. For instance, various social media platforms have emerged, for example, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and linked-in, to name but a few, which significantly impact the way people communicate and engage in their daily lives. Social media has had both positive and negative effects in today’s world and, most notably, how people interact with each other. Social media has created a place where people can share their thoughts, perspectives, and beliefs on the matters that affect them in their daily lives brought about by aspects like social, economic, environmental, and politics. Social media has transformed the country and the world into a global village because people can maintain relationships despite their work. English is without a doubt the most used on the internet and the native language of the US. Social media has impacted language through the new ways of communication, the introduction of new words and their meaning, and the current pressure.
There is a demand for quick communication around the country with the use of social media. People have to maintain their relationships regardless of where they are, and one cannot sustain these many relationships using the normal English words that have always been used. People have developed new ways of communicating, which has impacted English is a great way (Reed). People have the urge to send messages and share with as many people as possible without using proper grammar2 or proper English. For example1, Facebook has an average of three hundred friends, and in that list, one knows only ten percent and feels the need to maintain friendships. This causes a lot of pressure, so developing new ways of communication is very important. Social media has employed slang3, which has forced many people into adapting informal language, incorrect spelling, and new grammar (Wil). Slang has been adopted in a manner that some words have been employed in everyday English communication.
Multilingualism4 has been witnessed in the US due to immigration and the traveling of different people worldwide. Social media has created a language that all these people can communicate and understand one another. For example2, acronyms5 such as LOL (Laugh out Loud) and OMG (Oh My God) have been employed as new ways of communication to save the time to speak and write English in social media. Some of these words have been adopted in the original English touch outside of social media. The use of emoticons such as 😉 have been used as well to add flavor to communication or sometimes annoy people with their service. Language has been impacted by communication that is not comparable to how people used to communicate in the past. Social media elements have also been employed in the way people speak and write in regular communication; for example3, Twitter syntax6, a hashtag used to categorize tweets, has been utilized in other social media platforms and popular culture (Davies). Therefore, it could be said that the use of these new types of communication is due to laziness which has impacted proper English but also, on the positive side, social media has created awareness in English as it identifies errors when people make comments.
Social media has created new words and new meanings in the English language used by different people today. The original English seemed to be simple and understood by many people through the use of various vocabularies. Some English vocabularies have been used in social media platforms to mean different from how the English language intends. The English language has become prone to synonyms nowadays (Dalzell and Victor, 120). Social media has created a platform where people can contribute to language evolution whereby one does not have to be part of a publication community to impact the language trend that is used by the population. For example4, a wall in the original meaning in the English language means a surface that describes a place, maybe a house or a street. Still, social media platforms like Facebook define the details that one puts in their profile to check to understand more about the user. Some words have been created that were not known to people until recently when social media began. Some of these words have been incorporated into the English dictionary, thus showing how much impact social media has changed and impacted language in the country (Horobin, 111). For example5, the word “Selfie” emerged on the internet a few years ago, which means a photograph that individuals take of themselves and share on social media platforms.
Such things have been made possible by developing technology that has seen the growth of smartphones with front cameras. Some of these new words introduced trend significantly fast and are discarded within a short time due to the changes in language in recent years. Despite the status6 of the American people, social media has incorporated everyone, even those who use English as a second language7 because of the common language they adopt and use collectively. The constant change in language through social media has caused older people to feel the pressure of being current as they also use social media (Foster). Social media through language has created acceptance8 among the youth, notwithstanding their different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They feel left out when they see the posts on social media by the younger generation, yet they feel the need to relate with their teenage children so that they will understand. For example6, my mother struggles to understand the social media language sometimes and makes her curious to understand so she can speak to me in a more trending way; sometimes, it is weird when using our slang (Slim and Hafedh). Social media has had effects on language, that is, the English language in the US, in a significant way where the older people feel left out. For many individuals in the country, incorporating informal language and trending speech has enabled communication. Nevertheless, the need for critical and deep thinking in communication may be eroded because of the new use of words.
English is without a doubt the most used on the internet and the native language1 of the US. Social media has impacted language through the new ways of communication, the introduction of new words and their meaning, and the current pressure. The need for quick communication and the stress of maintaining relationships has caused the condition to utilize new communication methods to make communication easier. Therefore, it could be said that the use of these new types of communication is due to laziness which has impacted proper English but also, on the positive side, social media has created awareness in English as it identifies errors when people make comments. Social media has created new words and new meanings in the English language used by different people today. The original English seemed to be simple and understood by many people through the use of various vocabularies. Social media has had effects on language, that is, the English language in the US, in a significant way where the older people feel left out. For many individuals in the country, incorporating informal language and trending speech has enabled communication.
Nevertheless, the need for critical and deep thinking in communication may be eroded because of the new use of words. It is conclusive to say that language in the US will continue to be impacted by social media. There is a need to adapt to the changes and ensure that the original English language is not affected or eroded.
Dalzell, Tom, and Terry Victor. “The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English.” Google Books, 2017, pp 455 https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=h0mcBQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Dalzell+%26+Victor+2017&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZ46r7xa3xAhXT3oUKHR-ECp0Q6AEwAnoECAcQAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
Davies, Simon. “How Has Social Media Has Changed Language?” Socialnomics, 2016, https://socialnomics.net/2016/10/27/how-has-social-media-changed-language/
Foster, Hermione. “How is Social Media Changing the English Language?” Language Services Direct, 26 May 2021, https://www.languageservicesdirect.co.uk/social-media-changing-english-language/
Horobin, Simon. “The English Language: A concise introduction.” Google Books, 2018, pp 143. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=5L9EDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+English+Language:+A+Very+Short+Introduction&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=The%20English%20Language%3A%20A%20Very%20Short%20Introduction&f=false
Reed, Jon. “How Social Media is Changing Language.” OUPblog, 20 June 2014, https://blog.oup.com/2014/06/social-media-changing-language/
Slim, Hadoussa, and Men Hafedh. ERIC – Education Resources Information Center, 2018, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1204643.pdf
Tamasi, Susan, and Antieau, Lamont. “Language and Linguistic Diversity in the US: An Introduction.” © 2015 Taylor & Francis, Routledge, 2015, pp401 https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=d5bfbfd388&attid=0.1&permmsgid=msg-
Wil. “Has Social Media Changed the Way We Speak and Write English?” EF English Live, 5 Feb. 2018, https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/english-in-the-real-world/has-social-media-changed-the-way-we-speak-and-write-english/