Potential Negative Effects Of Social Networking On College Students

1360 words - 5 pages

Readily accessible to a majority of the population, the internet has become a daily tool in our lives. Through social media networks, people can communicate with each other wirelessly and nearly immediately. In 2009, Facebook had at least “200 million active users” (Fewkes and McCabe 1). Membership levels surpassed 500 million by 2011. That same year, it was estimated that users spent an average of 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook (Fewkes and McCabe 1). A never ending feed of information on our friends, family and public figures lives is available at the end of our fingertips. The positive implications are numerous. Social media is used to shine a light on newsworthy events, assist worthy causes, collaborate on projects, and stay in touch with loved ones. However, researchers have concluded that “[p]sychologist and educators are concerned about the potential negative effects of misuse or overuse of Facebook® and the related psychological, social and physical problems (Andreassen, Torsheim, Brunborg, & Pallesen, 2012)” (Uysal, Satici and Akin 1). Take a look around any college campus and within minutes you will notices students glued to their computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Although most students use technology devices to aid in their education, many are also engaging in activities on social networks. Are students connecting to Facebook and Twitter too much? Are social networks causing negative effects in students’ lives that can be unhealthy for them, affect their grades, and potentially cause them to lose their future jobs?
The use of social media during educational studies is common, and “the benefits that using Facebook … are many, including collaboration, participation, and communication” (Fewkes and McCabe 5). However, during one study, “about two-thirds of the students reported using electronic media while in class, studying, or doing homework. This multi-tasking likely increases distraction, something prior research has shown to be detrimental to student performance” (Jacobsen and Renata 5). Students have also admitted that they find “the use of Facebook [to be] too time-consuming and distracting” (Turan, Tinmaz and Goktas 4). A sleep study of undergraduate students in Peru noted that “a poor sleep quality could have an impact on academic performance” (Wolniczak, Cáceres-DelAguila and Palma-Ardiles 1). There is no simpler way to state the fact, social networks are a diversion that takes student focus away from their assignments and can subsequently cause students to do poorly in their classes if they do not control their usage of these sites. Overuse of social media can begin to be noticeable to students and educators when it begins to affect students’ classwork and grades.
The ultimate goal once a student graduates is to find employment. Unfortunately, here again, social media overuse has affect the students’ lives. Students graduating find that their online profiles are a treasure trove of information that...

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