What are the effects, advantages and disadvantages of social media to students? Since the advent of Social media in late 20th century, humans who are Social animals have been inclined to make use of Social media to enjoy its numerous benefits which includes: Social networking and Communication with one another. The development of more sophisticated and enticing Social media however has made Social media become a habit amongst students.
While there are numerous advantages of Social Media, its disadvantages flow in the same vein.
This article highlights these advantages and disadvantages of social media to students, and I trust that by the end of this article every reader will become acquainted with the meaning of Social media, its advantages, and disadvantages to a student.
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What Is Social Media?
According to Wikipedia, Social Media are interactive digitally mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities.
The Merriam Webster dictionary further defines Social Media as the forms of electronic communication (such as website for social networking and micro blogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other contents.
The above definition implies that Social Media was created for purposes of: Sharing information, exchanging personal messages, viewing videos and images, sharing ideas, and posting. Examples of Social media includes: Whatsapp, LinkedIn, Tik tok, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Quora, Telegram, Wechat, Pinterest, amongst others.
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Advantages of Social Media To Students
1. Social Media aids research: Social media is beneficial to students, especially students of the university or other tertiary institutions who are charged with term paper, project, and other forms of academic activities which require research, as it aids their research.
The social media aids research through vital information provided on various social media platforms, blogs, and websites. This enables students to make a search on a particular topic and instantly get results. Also through the Social Media, such student will be able to ask questions to friends and even strangers; as there are currently some social media platforms where question and genuine answers on any particular topic or question is entertained. This will help the student in acquiring the necessary materials and information for his or her research work.
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2. Social Media is a tool of receiving information: Nowadays, a student can barely survive without Social media. Information even to the barest minimum are usually communicated to students of tertiary institutions and above via Social media. Hence, your unavailability on Social media will mean that you are bound to miss vital information’s. However, where you are available on Social media it will be a tool of receiving information.
3. Communication: Social Media is very important to students as it helps them communicate with one another without requiring physical contact or connection. Hence through the social media, students can make friends, develop relationship, and build connection with others. This is what we refer to as networking and it is essential because it often helps students to discover opportunities while in school, not to mention where such connection may lead the student outside school.
4. Improves Learning: Social media improves learning of students as individuals, and standard of learning of a school. As an individual, through the social media a student comes across materials, articles, stories, quotes, status update, documentaries, amongst others which will make such student learn one or two important things. I for example became grammatically eloquent through words I learnt from the social media.
Same is applicable to every student who must have learnt something vital via the social media, even something as basic as personal message on social media could ensure you learn a lot each day depending on the person you are chatting with.
As an educational institution, Social Media improves the standard of learning thanks to the advent of modernized and sophisticated social media platforms which has resulted in schools introducing online classes and programmes wherein students will learn from the comfort of their home.
5. Brand Development: It is often said that School should pass through you as you pass through school. Sequel to this, students are usually encouraged to start up an initiative or build a brand while in school. Social Media which boasts of a very large audience is the potent tool for students who have a brand to develop and promote such brand even without spending money.
6. Social Media helps students to express themselves in ways such as posting pictures, posting videos, creating contents, writing articles, poems, short stories, posting on blogs, making podcasts, amongst others.
Disadvantages of Social Media To Students
The following are the disadvantages of Social media to students:
1. Social Media is distractive: A wise man once said that “Distraction leads to destruction.” Thus via the Social Media a whole lot of students become distracted, and this often leads to the destruction of their academic excellence; which is the major reason why they are in school.
2. Social Media is addictive: This flows from the fact that Social Media distracts students as a result of their overreliance on it. This overreliance makes students become addicted to social media, and this will have a negative effect on such student within and outside school. This is the reason why you may see a student pressing phone in a crucial meeting or chatting on Social Media while in Church.
3. Leads to poor time management: Time is of essence in school where there is always an academic calendar which must be adhered to. Failure to work alongside this calendar is detrimental to the student’s bid to move into the next class. This is why time management is very essential for students in school. However, Social Media impedes time Management as you could see a student spend hours on Social Media forgetting all other thing he or she was meant to do.
4. Cyber bullying: One devastating disadvantage of Social Media is Cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of intimidating or threatening nature. Cyber bullying is prevalent on Social Media, and has led to numerous cases of students taking their own lives.
5. Social Media makes students Lazy: Social Media makes students lazy as most students will rather stay at home and copy and paste the opinion of the author of an article rather than go to the library to make findings, enquires, and formulate an independent opinion on such topic or subject of discourse.
6. Social Media facilitates Criminal activities: Social Media induces students to be either victims or perpetrators of fraudulent activities. There have been numerous cases of students who have been duped online, resulting in them becoming stranded to cope with the financial demands of school. On the other hand, Social Media has induced some students to become perpetrators of fraudulent activities of scamming fellow students, lecturers or citizens, and in no mean time leading to such student losing focus in school activities, and dropping out in the process.
For more on the advantages and disadvantages of social media to students, I highly recommend that you watch the YouTube video below. Trust me, you are going to learn from it.
In conclusion, while there are numerous disadvantages of Social Media to students, its advantages seem to outweigh its disadvantages. I therefore submit and urge students to be disciplined and courteous in their use of Social Media. This way they will be able to maximize the benefits of social media rather than fall prey to its disadvantages.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ChMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.