Social Media Impact on Language and Communication in Asia

Technology in the modern world is developing at a high speed, and social media has become one of the main sources of information. Social media has also changed the way people interact and communicate in industrial society, both online and in real life. China is one of the countries where online platforms are actively developing. Both internationally developed social media and local platforms are in use. The development of social media has a direct impact on changing communication in China.

There are completely different social media directions that are developing in China. The areas covered include platforms for the consumption of information and study, communication and entertainment. China’s social media content is also different depending on the purpose of its publication. Some individuals and companies are exclusively aimed at commerce, which is receiving profits. There are both direct and indirect promotions represented in the online space. Another type of content is more creative, which may include the publication of personal thoughts, photographs and works. Thus, the goals pursued on social media by the users may differ.

A large layer of social media aims at promoting communication between people. Platforms that were originally created to distribute content nowadays have the ability to communicate with users through messages or calls. This radically changed the approach to communication both in real life and in the online space. Social media allows communication with people with whom this was previously impossible due to the difference in location, time or employment (Zhu et al., 2019). In addition, it is much easier to find people with the same interests or desires due to the wide choice, since it is no longer limited to personal acquaintances.

The format of communication on online platforms differs from real life. Some people communicate with acquaintances through online platforms as this reduces the time spent for a personal meeting and makes it possible to keep contact regardless of the distance between people. Others are looking for communication with complete strangers (Zhu et al., 2019). The goals are also different as some meet online for communication in real life, while for others it is exclusively an opportunity to communicate in cyberspace.

Social media is starting to be widely applied in corporate culture. The use of social media in companies affects the turnover rate and employee satisfaction (Zhang et al., 2019). Social media performs a role of a variety of platforms to exchange knowledge, both acquired in everyday life and professionally (Davison et al., 2018). This shows the widespread use of online communication and its impact on people’s opinions and perceptions. The application of social media in corporate culture is more formal in the type of communication and expressions used.

Based on the fact that social media is currently one of the main sources of information it is effectively utilized for delivering news and other content. Social media advertising has also gained popularity and is used by brands and individuals (Bai & Yan, 2020). Dialogic communication between brands and consumers has become popular in China (Ngai et al., 2020). Thus, brands have the opportunity to get feedback on their products or services and increase audience engagement (Zhu et al., 2019). Media makes it possible to publish, discuss, collect opinions, engage with the clients and promote the content.

The language of communication in the online space is also different. Only a small fraction of people communicates on social media in a formal way, and this is often for business purposes. For the majority of people, social media is a space for informal communication and self-expression (Zhu et al., 2019). Due to this, the language utilized and the types of communication in cyberspace differ, and new formats are being developed that are used both online and in real life. The languages used vary, with international platforms mostly using English as the primary language of communication, in parallel with the types of Chinese between people of the same nationality. This allows people in China to practice international languages in day-to-day life. However, lack of permission to operate international social media in China will affect the development of languages and their utilization among residents. In the case of using international platforms, people living in China would have the opportunity to practice other languages more often.

Slang and acronyms are typical for use in communication on social media platforms. They appear due to trends and the convenience of abbreviations when writing (Trimastuti, 2017). Some trending words and expressions are also starting to be used in real-life communication. This is one example of how nowadays the online world has an impact on real life.

Social media and online communication have both positive and negative sides. For example, people get used to communicating only remotely and this leads to stiffness and anxiety in real life (Ho et al., 2017). It becomes more difficult for people to meet and communicate due to the difference between communication in cyberspace and offline. Lack of social skills leads to the transition of communication of some people to exclusively social media and the inability to adapt to communication in real life at work, school or other places of interaction.

Social media communication in China is monitored and limited by the government. Messages and posted content fall under control, filtering and censorship. In the modern world, artificial intelligence and machine learning help with the optimization of these processes on the part of the state (Qin et al., 2017). On social media, it is rare for anyone to use expressions of extremism, apolitical views and jokes on the topic of politics in order to avoid consequences (Luqiu, 2017). Thus, communication on social media in China cannot be considered free to express any cardinal opinions or criticism and the appropriate language is limited. Thus, the situation of using social networks in the country is unstable due to political relations, state control, and the corresponding censorship and blocking.

The development of technologies including social media in China is one of the fastest compared with the whole world. As a result, some international platforms have been adapted in China, while others such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter are blocked in the country (Xu et al., 2020). Instead, Chinese citizens use local platforms including Renren, Weibo, WeChat and YouKu (Shu et al., 2017). WeChat has become one of the most popular online communication platforms in China. However, given the specifics of the fact that it is a local platform and is not popular in international utilization, this also reduces the use of English in communication. It also affects the development and study of international languages ​​in the country, as communication is mainly in Chinese.

WeChat, being one of the most popular platforms, is used mainly for communication. However, there are other motivations, for example it is used to find information on health topics. In addition, WeChat is utilized as a means of advertising and promotion by the companies (Zhang et al., 2017). Therefore, it is a multifunctional platform applied in the country as the main social network for various purposes.

Social Media is one of the main sources of information. In social networks, people daily absorb information in large volumes on completely different topics (Bai & Yan, 2020). This allows to constantly develop, learn and acquire soft and hard skills. At the same time, the flow of information is so large that if it is not filtered by the person who spends time in the online space, it causes negative consequences. This is especially true for children whose psyche is receptive and easily influenced. There is online bullying and negativity that leads to further aggression, anxiety or depression. Aggression can be both verbal and physical since some people find it difficult to understand the difference between the consequences of certain statements and actions on social media and in the real world (Ho et al., 2017). This leads to difficulties in social adaptation and communication.

In conclusion, technology has a significant impact on human life in the modern world. Social media usage and permissions in China are not stable. However, even though many of the world’s social networks are limited in use, social interaction platforms are widely popular. Social media is utilized for different purposes, but the type of online communication is different from real life. It brings changes in human behavior both in cyberspace and in everyday life. Social media is simultaneously developing and being limited in China, which leads to corresponding changes in society that have to adapt. It is changing the culture of communication as new expressions are emerging along with the opportunity to practice international languages.


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