Social media is a relationship that is there between a network of people. Thank you for the creation of social media, people now exchange information, pictures, and videos at a truly astonishing rate. Since the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook emerged as essential tools for communication among students, they have had a lot of influence on their daily lives(Ahn, June (1435-1445.). The impact of social websites can be useful for students, but if we have a closer look at the real impact of social networks today, it is ruining the future and careers of students.
Many Students are spending too much unnecessary time on social media rather than studying. They most of their time on their online accounts and forget to work on their assignments. They tend not be prepared for class, and instead of taking time and trying to deeper analyze the task, they rush through it. The time that should otherwise be spent in the library is spent updating their online profiles. It is very difficult for a student to keep track of time when they engage in social media activities hence they may end up spending a lot more time than they intended in the first place. This automatically limits the time they have for doing other activities that have a higher priority like studying or doing their assignments.
The second concern about the negative effect of social media that comes to mind is the distraction to the students who are present in class (Chen, Baiyun, and Thomas Bryer (87-104). As teachers are not able to recognize who is paying attention in the classroom. Students that spend much of classroom time on social media sites do not pay attention to the tutor and end up losing on a lot of important content that is delivered during the lesson. Explicit material that can be posted on social media is always a distraction to a student in a classroom or when they are studying on their own. The distraction extends even outside the class; even when doing other activities that are not related to the classroom setting, students often get distracted from what they are doing to tend to their online accounts
Students that tend to focus on their online accounts do not pay attention to their tutor during lessons and can be caught off-guard if asked an impromptu question. This proves that social media draws their focus away from classroom proceedings (Chen, Baiyun, and Thomas Bryer (87-104). Students sometimes try to multi-task, but their ability to concentrate on the task at hand is significantly reduced. Students that attempt to multi-task by checking their online accounts while learning, show diminished academic performance. Social media also affects a student's focus even when they are studying on their own. This eventually affects their performance since they never grasped or read most of the content they were supposed to.
The more the time students focus on social media; the less the time they spend mingling with other people physically. Due to the lack of body signals in addition to other nonverbal cues, e.g. tone and articulation. Social media is not a suitable substitute for direct communication. Learners who spend a lot of time on social media are less able to communicate in person well (Sponcil, Megan, and Priscilla Gitimu (1). This will affect their participation in class ideally leading to poor grades due to lack of interaction with their teachers and fellow students. This kind of students that spend more of their time on social media, rarely concentrate in class or study hence leading to poor grades. Such students tend to focus more on their virtual accounts than in studying or working on their assignments, and hence they perform poorly in examinations and other education-related activities. This does not come as a surprise since they are always distracted even when the teacher is teaching and therefore miss out on points or other important concepts that the teacher may explain verbally.
The speed and ease which users have in uploading videos; stories or pictures has given forth to an increased amount of sharing of innovative works. The ability to get an instantaneous response from other students on their creative channels assists students to develop their artistic skills and can provide much-needed self-confidence or help them choose what career path they might want to follow. Social sites like YouTube have provided a platform for students to access learning materials in the form of videos (DeAndrea, David C., et al. (15-23) They can also receive online video lessons from their teachers. Students can also hold online video conferences for group discussions. This helps them interact with their fellow students directly when they are not in the same place.
Social sites have improved the way that information can be shared easily among students. They can send files and documents to each other very fast regardless of their geographical location. This reduces the need for students to be together physically to share files and documents. Teachers can also send students notes and other academic materials via social media sites thus saving time that would be spent to gather the students together to physically hand them the learning material. Sharing of files amongst students and teachers is again fast in that students don't have to manually copy reading materials given to them by teachers or among themselves.
Students can communicate with experts in their field of study through social media sites. The students can get advice from them without probably having to travel far to see them in person. Students also seek help on their assignments from other students or other people with expertise in the field that the students are studying. This also broadens the students' scope of study helping them gain more knowledge on the particular subject they are researching on. Online forums with students and teachers from diverse places help broaden a student's scope of knowledge on the topic they are discussing.
Social media as the name suggests is a platform for communication. Social media sites provide a wide platform for meeting new people and sharing experiences with them (DeAndrea, David C., et al. (15-23). This helps students improve their communication skills since they get to meet new people and interact with them. Students can communicate with other students in other schools (local or international) and share their experiences with them. This boosts the students' ability to express themselves even to people they interact with in their daily lives. Social media also helps students with communication problems to improve their communication skills. In social media, as compared to real life communication people are less judging hence enabling students to express themselves freely. This gives students a sense of acceptance and grows their communicating abilities.
It is evident that social media has major effects on students' education and even other aspects of life. It has greatly helped them in their daily activities especially those pertaining their studies. Social media has also made their access to educative materials and sharing them with other students very easy, helping them greatly in their knowledge-seeking journey. However, despite its great help to students, it has its shortcomings as discussed above. When students overspend their time on social media, it turns their focus from studies into their online social life and the fantasies it comes with. This loss of focus on their education leads to poor grades and other concentration complications.
Ahn, June. "The effect of social network sites on adolescents' social and academic development: Current theories and controversies." Journal of the American Society for information Science and Technology 62.8 (2011): 1435-1445.
Chen, Baiyun, and Thomas Bryer. "Investigating instructional strategies for using social media in formal and informal learning." The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 13.1 (2012): 87-104.
DeAndrea, David C., et al. "Serious social media: On the use of social media for improving students' adjustment to college." The Internet and higher education 15.1 (2012): 15-23.
Sponcil, Megan, and Priscilla Gitimu. "Use of social media by college students: Relationship to communication and self-concept." Journal of Technology Research 4 (2013): 1.
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