More than half of the world’s population uses the internet. This is highlighted by social media users increasing by 21% since 2015, with 2.8 billion users reported globally in 2017.
The primary reason we use social media is to stay connected. The modern world is a place where connection between individuals is simplified by the various channels and platforms available to us on the internet. The impact of social media on millennials and Generation Z has been more evident as compared to older generations.
In fact, according to a report by the non-profit child advocacy group Common Sense Media, one in five teens said social media makes them feel more confident, compared with 4% who said it makes them feel less so. In the survey of more than 1,000 13 – 17 year olds, 28% said social networking made them feel more outgoing versus 5% who said it made them feel less so; and 29% said it made them feel less shy versus the 3% who said it made them feel more introverted. When it comes to relationships with friends, more than half (52%) of teens said social media helped to improve relationships versus just 4% who said it had a negative impact.
Students, especially, can now communicate and share thoughts through various social media platforms in real-time, regardless of their geographical locations or distance. This is just one of the positive impacts of social media on student life.
College and university students spend a lot of their time on social media. Why? Maybe it’s because there’s a huge amount of freedom in these platforms. Students are free to do as they choose and socialise with whoever they like. Through social media networks, they can create new friendships, express their views and opinions, and even create ‘new identities’.
Social media also exposes students to a whole new way of learning. Research has shown that students who are frequent users of social media are more innovative and exhibit better memory. It opens up new avenues for researching, encouraging students to get creative and think outside the box - which in an age where innovation is highly prized, can go far!
Unsure how well an essay or a project is going? With social media, your friends, family, and lecturers can provide insights throughout the process, hopefully leading to a better, more refined end product.
In summary, social media can be an asset for learning, keeping students connected and engaged with their field, course, and peers. The trick is figuring out how to navigate the fine line between productivity and procrastination.
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