There was a time, a long time ago, when social media was a vision that we were yet to realise. Then came Facebook, Twitter, IG, 2Go and so many more social media platforms. Some were able to withstand the tide of time, and others are now a fading memory.
In the past decade or so, several studies have been conducted on the impact of social media. Its use is felt in almost every aspect of the human life and the education sector, notwithstanding. We will focus on how the adoption and increased use of social media by students, affect them.
Maybe you were working on a capstone project nursing online, but you can stop checking your social media accounts. The below are positive and negative effects of social media on the education sector.
• It encourages collaboration
These platforms are social networking sites that encourage sharing of content. For a student, they have made collaboration on an assignment or project, easier. One doesn’t have to meet physically, to work together. By communicating on WhatsApp, spread the word using hashtags on Twitter or joining a Facebook group.
• It enhances learning
With the advent of the internet, students can access vast information that may not be available in their school library. They can interact with friends in other localities and share ideas to help sharpen their way of thinking. This exposure has a significant impact in the out of the box thinking of students.
• It increases familiarity and desire to venture into technology
We cannot ignore the rate at which technology is causing a significant paradigm shift in our daily lives. More and more millennials are venturing into technological fields. Thus social media, through usage, understanding its operations plays a role in increasing focus on technology.
• It facilitates online learning
Different social media platforms meet or are designed for a specific audience. Some platforms are purely for socializing while others offer more than social networking opportunities. One can find platforms that relate to a particular course, school, environment, etc.
Have you ever been working on a capstone paper then without noticing, you have your phone on hand and are perusing through social media? I won’t deny, but it happens to me too. It can be a distraction when you could use your time on important matters like studies, yet you are always online, responding to messages, commenting on photos, etc.
• It could be blamed for poor writing among students
Many students use abbreviated words on social media. It reaches a point where even in writing an essay, for example, one may not be able to distinguish between “your” and “you’re.”
The abbreviations to represent a sentence or emojis, don’t encourage the use of proper writing skills.
• It promotes overreliance on the internet
Students are used to “googling” answers, to the point where they aren’t able to depend on themselves to come up with the appropriate solution. Cheating in exams is not uncommon in many institutions of learning. Students heavily rely on the internet and their gadgets to get answers in the tests.
• It gives room to cyberbullying
In today’s world, bullying isn’t limited to physical or verbal attacks. Social media platforms have opened another avenue for bullies to operate. Since there are no restrictions on the type of words used online, several kids are bullied by other students, on social media.
• It can corrupt morals
I choose to believe that you have a social media account or you once had at least one. On social media, there aren't many filters on what one posts on their account. This freedom gives leeway to sharing pornographic content. It influences one's behaviour, and students are engaging in activities that were once abhorred but are now considered cool, e.g., the use of drugs.
The effect of social media on education is not all black and white. It can be a distraction as you look for my capstone project or you could use it to collaborate with others on a project. It all depends on how you as a student, choose to use it.