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Social media and the student

January 12, 2017

 

As we all know, now, more than ever before, students are living in the age of technology. Every aspect of their lives — from what they eat, to how they dress, to when they study, is somehow influenced by social media. Although social media undeniably has many advantages, it can slowly wreak havoc in a college student’s life.

 

Recently, Louisiana Tech University has made an effort to keep up with Internet trends and use the wide appeal of social media. The university has also used its power to raise students’ awareness about these many disadvantages.

 

One of the most apparent dangers of the increasing incorporation of social media into students’ lives is the struggle most already face with time management. With the world at their fingertips, it is easy for some to get distracted and waste valuable time. Without realizing it, students begin to neglect their studies by spending time on social networking websites instead of focusing on classroom lectures or finishing homework. This diversion from could negatively affect grades or academic standing.

 

Outside of the scholastic realm, social media also tends to blur the line between student and teacher relationships.

 

For example, after “friending” a professor on Facebook, students often fail to realize that professors can then see everything posted—including pictures of drinking or parties, comments about classes, personal family information, etc. Upon seeing this, a faculty member’s opinion of the student can be severely jeopardized.

 

On the other hand, by allowing access to their social media, teachers may be causing students to subconsciously view them more as a friend than an authority figure.

 

While much attention has been directed to the negative effects of social media, there is an obvious positive side to it as well. As an educational tool, social media is a new and exciting way to enhance the learning experience.

 

One benefit being an increase in student collaboration.

 

Students and teachers now have unlimited access for virtual interaction where they can exchange ideas, answer questions, study, debate, and much more. As students become more comfortable communicating with each other, they increase their retention levels and may even become more involved in their projects.

 

Social media also creates a new platform for students to connect with others in a quick and efficient manner. It gives them a virtual space to find people near them who share their interests and opinions without taking much time out of their busy schedules.

 

As Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” As for social media, it can be a useful and powerful tool in advancing our education system if used correctly. However, if it is not used correctly, its disadvantages can ultimately serve as a danger instead.

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