Social media has become a vital part of our everyday lives in the digital age, particularly for students navigating the ever-changing world. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter and TikTok have become more than just a space for social interactions but spaces for learning. How one uses social media can have a significant impact on one’s relationships, academic goals, and personal well-being. The ongoing debate has always been – does social media do more doing more harm than good to students? Let’s examine the different ways that social media affects students’ lives in 2024.
Connecting and Communication
One of the positive aspects of social media is bringing people together. Students can easily stay in touch with friends and family using platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok. For international students or students who move away from home to pursue their studies, these platforms provide a virtual space for sharing experiences, photos and updates. However, concerns about privacy and the quality of relationships in the digital world have been raised. The more time we spend on the internet making friends we may forget how to make friends in person.
Being able to connect and communicate with people on social media is very important as a student. It offers you a chance to interact with people from different backgrounds and experiences. Using platforms like LinkedIn to optimise your learning and engage with other professionals could open up employment opportunities.
Social media can provide students with the opportunity to develop necessary digital knowledge and online skills. This includes knowing how to use various platforms and tools, as well as understanding what is appropriate to share or discuss online. By developing these skills, students can better navigate the difficulties of the online world and use social media professionally and effectively.
Social media platforms offer an excess amount of academic resources and networking opportunities. Students can join groups and communities related to their fields of study, engage in discussions and gain insights from experts worldwide. There are so many groups for different fields of study on different platforms, for example, there is a social media marketing group Connect365 on Linkedin. they focus on ways to elevate your knowledge of digital marketing and social media.
There are many educational influencers on social media. One outstanding individual is popular education YouTuber Vee Kativhu who uses social media platforms to share resources and tips on studying, setting goals and empowering students.
Social media’s selective content can encourage a culture of comparison, which may harm students’ mental health. Receiving likes and comments on social media might unintentionally affect a person’s self-esteem. Students must develop a balanced perspective, understanding that what they see on the Internet is not real. Therefore, people post want they want others to see. Cyberbullying is another problem as students face the pressures of maintaining a positive online presence while dealing with potential negativity from peers.
Time Management and Productivity
Social media and time management usually don’t go hand in hand. Although it provides entertainment and an opportunity to relax, it can cause procrastination and impair academic achievement. Striking a balance between staying connected with friends and maintaining focus on education is important for students aiming to maximize their productivity.
According to Pew Research Center research, 72% of students said they frequently or occasionally viewed their social media platform notifications while completing their schoolwork or studying. One way to keep track of your social media usage is by setting time limits for different apps so you know when you have exceeded the limit for the day. Setting limits on how long you spend on social media is a great way of ensuring that you don’t waste your precious time.
Although social media is a big source of information, getting too much information all the time can be a lot to handle. Students need to go through a lot of posts, tweets, and updates to find what’s important. Learning how to pick and understand information is important to avoid feeling overwhelmed with too much information.
As a student myself social media has helped me in so many ways and one app that have found value in is LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn to connect with like-minded students as well as networking with professionals. This has helped me enhance my writing skills as well as gain professional knowledge in my field (marketing).
Students must approach social media platforms carefully as they navigate this online world. A balanced positive relationship with the online world is ensured by appreciating positive aspects while being aware of the possible drawbacks. Maximise the benefits of social media by navigating and connecting with people, and using the resources it provides while being mindful of its impact on your mental health.
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