Instructor: Alyssa Buckley
Negative Effects of Social Media on Its Users
Our lives seem to be more and more consumed by technology as great advances in this area have continue to be made, especially when it comes to social media. Many researchers have begun to notice that depending on how much time individuals spend on these social media sites, they can negatively affect their daily lifestyle in very significant ways. For example, social networking has become a huge distraction for students and it can affect their grades depending on how often they check their various accounts while doing class work. Researchers have also come to find out that social media can contribute to the development of psychological symptoms and mood disorders, such as anxiety, depression, narcissism, and addiction. It has also changed the way people manage their relationships and interact with each other. In today’s digital age constant use of social media can have various negative behavioral, psychological, and social effects on its users. What many academics have initially expressed as a major concern is how the use of social media has been affecting student’s behavior in class. Several studies have shown that social media sites, such as Facebook, have become a distraction for students, negatively impacting their studies. The results of these research studies prove that grades for students at different academic levels have been declining since social media came in to existence. Because social media gives users access to everything they need to know about others so quickly, students now expect to learn class lessons at a quicker rate since they now have answers at their fingertips. Social media is a major distraction to students while trying to complete assignments, which ultimately affects their ability to manage their time effectively. The need to feel “always connected” has come to a point where it takes over lives and can negatively impact important aspects of it, such as earning goods grades in school. Study habits are not the only thing being affected by social media. It also affects classroom learning in the same manner. Students today are either bringing in their tablets, PDAs, laptops, or smart phones to class under the pretext they will be using them to take notes. However it has become evident that they spend a good portion of their time in class checking popular social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Social media has made it extremely easy for students to do other things when their attention spans waiver. In his article titled “Social Media’s Impact on Kids A Mixed Bag”, Dr. Rick Nauert states, “Facebook can be distracting and can negatively impact learning. Studies found that middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period got lower grades.” As a result, frustration has risen in students due to not understanding what was discussed in class. They quickly ask their instructors for help before looking over class readings or attempting practice questions. In turn teachers are now feeling like they need to be more entertaining with their class lessons in order to keep their students’ attention. This is a sort of domino effect that does not benefit anyone involved. Students who do not engage in social media usage during class do not escape its negative effects either; watching students on social media sites during class can be a distraction in itself. Because these sites are always available to its users, they engage in excessive use and struggle to keep the amount of time they spend on these sites in check. For a student, being unable to manage your time effectively and keep up good grades can be stressful to the point where it causes anxiety. A study was conducted at Stony Brook University where researchers discovered that anxiety and depression were associated with social networking experiences. Researcher Brian Feinstein...
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