Research indicates that when humans overuse digital media, this can negatively influence their cognitive and behavioral development and even their mental and physical health. Nowadays, many people live in the digital world rather than in the real world. This has often resulted in a myriad of superficial relationships and a great reduction in intimacy, directly affecting the way people operate, the values and expectations that people have, and the way people think of others. Technology has shaped the way children see and interact with others and with the world, greatly affecting their development.
A survey revealed that 74 percent of Millennials prefer to talk digitally rather than in person. While this helps them to communicate more efficiently, it decreases their communicative effectiveness. The more people use digital communication, the more interpersonal communication skills will diminish. Our need for quick information supersedes our ability to clearly express our thoughts and ideas when we talk to others.
Communities have always been fundamental to our relationships, but digital technology allows people to create communities across wide geographical areas. Social media sites such as Twitter have provided a space for like-minded people to share ideas, whether discussing a television program or forming political movements. These sites have been particularly valuable for traditionally marginalized groups, as they have played an important role in creating protest movements and support networks. An example is the LGBT community.
Studies show that LGBT youth have substantially more online friends than non-LGBT youth, and 50% of LGBT respondents say they have at least one close friend on the Internet, compared to only 19% of non-LGBT youth. Social media has also changed the way we interact, mainly the way we have lost some of our social skills. Some people are completely unable to hold a normal conversation or interact with people in person due to their reliance on social media.