In last ten years, social media has changed almost everything-be it communication, business, or education. Now, students spend a lot of time being connected on different social media platforms. According to a survey, 85% of college students and teenagers use social media networks on their devices such as smartphones, Tablets, iPhones, laptops, palm-tops, or iPads.
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Why do Students use Social Media?
Social Media has become an invaluable medium not only for communication & marketing but also in the field of education as well. Students normally use social media to share & get information, reviews & solutions to their problems. Social media plays a crucial role in a student’s life since it help in providing, and retrieving a lot of information, communicating with friends, teachers & colleagues. Teachers often use this medium to get connected with their students making an ideal use of this platform for gaining & providing education.
Social media is useful for students as Web-based social networks can provide relevant information relating to examination, and detailed information on different topics or analytics and insights on various issues for study purposes. Social media is also important for an educational institution since it results in better student training methodologies while shaping culture of students.
Advantages of Social Media to Students
Social Media offer great opportunities for interaction as well as learning. There are several advantages of using the social media for education.
1. Educational Benefits of Social Media
Social media in recent years has gained a lot of credibility as a trusted source of information, and a platform where organizations can freely interact and get connected with their global audiences. It’s a great tool for teachers who can improve their technical skills, and bring students’ involvement in studies. It creates an ideal atmosphere in the classroom while making better communication with students.
2. Sharing of information
It has become easier for students to share information, links to important articles, or sites to their friends, classmates, and other contacts. They spend a lot of time connected to the internet through smartphones, laptops, PCs, tablets, etc. for sharing views, opinions, tips, study materials, school projects & various other kinds of useful reading material to each other. They use various social media channels to exchange helpful information about their exams, and classes.
3. Provides Social Credibility
During the lockdown, most schools, colleges & universities have begun virtual classes, and got connected with numerous students through various social media networks, such as, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, etc. These channels prove very useful in imparting and communicating school news, educational information, issue notifications, and provide students with valuable data. This improves coordination between the faculty members, and students, that take care of many student-related issues.
4. Virtually free of cost Communication
Social media is an amazing medium that is almost free for the end-user. It is an outstanding technology that is not just used for communication, but also to promote things such as events, new courses, and various advanced research. It can be used for every activity that adds to improvement in learning.
5.The Ease of Connectivity
It’s an excellent tool for getting connected 24×7. Any time connectivity ATC) has become possible since the arrival of social media websites. Now, you can post your queries on your preferred channel and get the right solution to your queries in real time. We now live in a world that is largely connected, and we often receive queries from around the world. Because of the social media presence, these geographical barriers don’t matter, and people can interact around the clock.
6. Information and Knowledge Sharing
Social media is an ideal platform to share knowledge and gain credibility in one’s chosen field. You can acquire important information and valuable insights from the online community.
Despite all the advantages, social media has also been criticized because of the effect it has on the students gaining & retaining information. Social networking sites usually dominate the attention of Indian students, and consume bulk of their time. It distracts them towards non-educational and unsuitable actions such as useless chatting, spending time in unnecessary searches on the internet. Addiction of anything is not good, and same is true of the social media.
There are numerous Social media applications like games, entertainment, advertisements, and online video conferencing, live television, etc. that users can use absolutely free on their devices. Most Social Media applications are based on 2D and 3D technology, and being glued to screens for long duration creates multiple health issues like insomnia, high blood pressure, bad eyesight, obesity and depression.
Social media addiction makes students careless about their eating habits, and affects their attitude towards education. Spending too much time in the virtual world has a flip side in the form of lack of confidence in facing the challenges of real life that needs more of personal interactions.
The make believe world of social media hampers their thought process, taking them towards other activities. This makes them lose interest in studies and career. They become more concerned with how others view them on these platforms, and activities such as profiles, likes, comments, actions and other activities become more important.
Of late, the growth of social media sites shows an important change in the behavior of Indian Students and teenagers. The social media websites have become an integral part of students’ life. If proper precautions are not taken, it can adversely affect the future of Indian students and education. It’s important for parents, teachers, and authorities to regulate, and keep a check on students’ social media activities.
Social media is tantamount to a double-edged weapon. On one hand, it is monumentally useful for students, teachers, coaching institutes, and the educational institutions in the sense that it makes the whole process more efficient, and productive than what it has been traditionally for so many years, while on the other hand if it’s not handled prudently, it can affect the studies, health and career of students in the long run.