Automatic isn't automatic, photographers!
What does a wide angle lens do? It's easier to see for yourself.
I used one lens for these two photos, the Sony Zeiss 24-70 lens. The top photo was shot at 24 with me standing very close to the family, and the bottom was shot at 60 with me being further away from them.
Notice the difference? Look at the size of the dad's head, the width of the son's shoulders, and the distance the wide angle creates between the parents and their kids.
Many people will tell you never to use a wide angle lens for portraits. But I say, break the rules! Do what you want to do and create your own style. That's what photography is all about.