Impacts of Social Media on Students

Impacts of Social Media on Students

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Today, social media is as one of the most essential aspects of a student’s life. Although many students use social media such as Facebook as communication tools to arrange group meetings, discuss assignments as well as organizing study groups, these channels can often have negative impacts on students.

According to Mashable, although Facebook allows students to communicate with one another, it has led to 20% lower grades than non-Facebook users. Moreover, research has shown that 80% of Facebook users work less than 5 hours a week at their part-time job, as opposed to the 16 hours contributed by their counterparts.

In fact, Facebook can continuously affect a student’s studying behaviour as the social media website is highly addicting. When students are away from Facebook for 24 hours, they felt “very anxious, extremely antsy, miserable, jittery and crazy.” Apparently, Facebook addiction is 350 times more intensive than cigarette addiction.

Back in 2009, ChannelInsider.com, Ohio University had conducted a study which showed that students who went on Facebook had a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5 and studied one to five hours weekly. In contrast, those who didn’t use Facebook had a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0 and studied 11 hours or more per week. Another study done in 2010 had shown similar results, where students who didn’t use Facebook spent 88% more time outside of school than their counterparts.

How do social media websites affect students’ studying behaviours negatively? A clear explanation is distraction! Professor Paul Kirschner of Open University in the Netherlands mentioned that the problem with students today is that we have social networking sites, email and instant messenger open in the background while working on other tasks. The result is that constant multi-tasking leads to lower efficiency and more mistakes.

Don’t get me wrong, social media does provide many benefits for students, such as allowing them to network with one another, receive instant news and watch videos during study breaks. However, using these websites at the wrong time can have negative outcomes. I am not suggesting students to completely stop going on Facebook and Twitter because that is nearly impossible. I am recommending students to tone down their social media usage during work or study hours to increase productivity, which means fewer hours spent on school and more time working at a part-time job or hanging out with friends!

From my experience, having Facebook opened in front of you while working on an assignment or studying is often a bad idea because I often become distracted by wall posts or Youtube videos posted on the site. A good way to avoid this problem is obviously not opening these while working or studying. However, this is often easier said than done. Therefore, in order to stay focused on my assignments, I started to go to local libraries or cafes that don’t have WIFI. This way, I was able to fully concentrate on finishing the assignments without logging on to the Internet. In addition, places such as libraries are perfect for studying in general as the whole atmosphere is created for people to study or read quietly.

Moreover, another way to avoid distraction is to go to the library without bringing your laptop. For instance, if you can study for your exam without your laptop, it might be a wise decision to go to the library with just your textbook and lecture notes so that you won’t be side-tracked by Facebook or other social media websites!

Overall, I think the best way to make your study sessions more productive is to isolate yourself from social media because students are easily distracted by all the interesting content on the Internet. Also try taking breaks between study sessions, such as going out for a walk or stretch, this will help your brain to wake up again so you can concentrate more fully!

Posted on August 05, 2012