In the global world today, technology has become a vital part of student's lives. This has also led to the evolution of social media, with the online world changing dramatically every single day. Through social media, students can exchange information, ideas, videos, pictures and feelings. According to Wang 70%, 0f American teenagers use social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Sim City among others. With hours being spent on these sites, social media is likely to have an impact on the users both negatively and positively. This is report is, therefore, going to look at how social media has affected students in classrooms and social situations.
According to Assary the use of social media platforms like Facebook has become a norm in that 75% of the young people are connected to these sites. This has caused some challenges for students in universities and colleges as they try to differentiate between personal and professional boundaries. Social media has caused other problems in that, incidences of unprofessional conduct and academic suspension have been on the rise. College management and students as well have come to the realisation that social media can be of benefit if clear policies and procedures are used in a thoughtful manner when using social media. This article by Assary reveals that social media has relevant influence on college students both in a positive and negative way.
According to Heffner, when too much time is spent on social media, students, in turn, lack sufficient time to concentrate on their studies. This has led to the deterioration of academic performance for those students that spend most of their time on social media. This is also brought about by the fact that most students use electronic gadgets while doing their homework or while in the classrooms. This multitasking according to Yayeh is likely to increase the levels of distraction which affects a student's performance in the long run. With the social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter gaining popularity among students, they have also created means to procrastinate while students try to complete their homework. In a study by Hasnain, Anum and Hamza social media has made students less productive in their academic and personal lives.
Consequently, the student's research and learning capabilities have also been affected by the use of social media. Students mostly rely on information that they get from the social media sites and the web, and this has affected their research skills. In addition, others opt to search for study material online, but they get so much attracted to the social media sites, thus diverting their attention from academic work. Most of them visit the sites to kill the boredom and because their levels of motivation have reduced. Time wastage is also a factor that has affected the learning capabilities of students (Karadkar). Delivering their academic work on time has become a challenge because of the distractions and because the students forget why they are using the internet.
However, there has also been a positive impact of social media on college students. According to a study done by Al-Rahmi, Waleed Mugahed, and Mohd Shahizan Othman, social media has over time gained considerable acceptability and usability. It is also coming up as one of the most central tools for communication among students especially those that are taking up higher education. Social media is also seen as having closed the communication gap, and thus the social media environment such as Facebook and Twitter have gained a notable attention. They are emerging as ways in which people communicate directly with others. This has influenced the decision making in the learning environment by making it fast. According to the authors, social media has affected the learning environment positively as the students have a platform to engage with their tutors and other learners in order to boost their academics.
In addition, social media has benefited the students in that students can easily get academic support and assistance. Social media enables people to enhance their connections with others, and due to this aspect, it has provided the students with a platform to explore their problems or interests with other students and even with the academic support. This has also strengthened their communication skills and increased their knowledge on major issues (Wooley). Students who are also reluctant to communicate and speak out their views have also benefited from the use of social media. This is because they are participating in discussion blogs and writing their thoughts for real audiences. Learning is also being enhanced by the emerging web tools that make education easier (Brydolf).
In summary, though social media has had tremendous benefits on the learning culture of students, it is undeniable that it is also affecting the efficiency of students and their grades. This is because most of their time is spent checking the social media sites. It is, therefore, important that educators and other stakeholders should be concerned about the negative impacts and try to find ways to solve these challenges.
Al-Rahmi, Waleed Mugahed, and Mohd Shahizan Othman. The Impact of Social Media use on
Academic Performance among University Students: A Pilot Study. UTM Space. 1 Dec. 2016. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.
Brydolf, Carol. "Minding Myspace: Balancing the Benefits and Risks of Students' Online Social Networks." Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review. 73.2 (2007): 4-8. Print.
Essary, Alison C. "The Impact of Social Media and Technology on Professionalism in Medical
Education." The Journal of Physician Assistant Education 22.4 (2012): 50-53. Print.
Hasnain, Hira, Anum Nasreen and Hamza Ijaz. Impact of Social Media Usage on Academic
Performance on University Students. IRMIC. 27 Aug. 2015. Web. 28 Feb. 2017
Heffner, Tara. The Effects of Social Media use in Undergraduate Students. Rowan. 13 May.
2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2017
Karadkar, Abhishek. The Impact of Social Media on Student Life. Technician Online. 13 Sep.
2015. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.
Wang, Qingya, Wei Chen and Yu Liang. The Effects of Social Media on College Students.
Scholars Archive. 1 Nov. 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.
Wooley, Sarah. "Constantly Connected: The Impact of Social Media and the Advancement in
Technology on the Study Abroad Experience." The Elon Journey of Undergraduate Research in Communities 4.2 (2013): 40-47. Print.
Yayeh, Yirga. "The Impact of Social Media's on Technology Students in Assosa University,
Ethiopia." Research Journal of Science & IT Management 4.11 (2015): 16-19. Print.
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