Social Networking - Education or Entertainment

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Social Networking - Education or Entertainment
            The history of social networking started in 1994 with the first social networking site called Geocities. This website allowed people to communicate with others they did not know. By 1997 AOL started instant messaging services. ("The History of Social Networking.") That’s when the amount of the youth in America accessing the Internet increased drastically.   More and more people took advantage of the convenience of instant messaging and researchers realized that social interaction on the web was becoming a huge, new trend.  When that happened, an enormous amount of new social networking sites flooded the web and became the most popular phenomenon. It has continued to expand and maintain its excitement. However, as it continues to develop, students are more and more captivated and therefore spend increasing amounts of time utilizing the services. The attention and time spent on Social Media emphasizes individual interests such as parties, clothing, new phones, photos, and personal problems. Social networking has made Americans more social rather than more intelligent.             Although increasing amounts of money get poured into the American school systems, the quality of our education has deteriorated. Elementary schools are not preparing children well enough for middle school. The cycle of falling behind continues through high school. Many colleges are finding the need to provide remedial courses to bring students to average levels.  The ranking of American education has plummeted from 15th in 1994 to 26th in 2011.             In order to elevate our educational standing in the world again, we need to understand why our status has fallen so drastically low. The problem is related to changes in motivation and priority setting. The new emphasis is on socializing and seeking acceptance. Where energy and focus used to be on intellectual pursuits, popularity has now become the essential goal.             Young Americans today are spending a lot of time socializing by texting, video chatting, or messaging on Facebook. They constantly keep themselves entertained with video games, social networking sites and even TV on the go. Energy is being transformed into entertaining themselves, so they now don’t have the strong drive to push themselves to learn. Effort is now directed toward finding the quickest path to immediate satisfaction. “For example Bill Gates, who dropped out of college, started his own company, now he is one of the richest man in the world.”            American students have poor study skills and work habits so their ability to do well academically has deteriorated. Even when teens are attempting to be dedicated to their work, it becomes a difficult task because distractions are everywhere. Whether researching online or using one of many social networking sites, distractions seems to find a way to deter the youth. The avenge teen spends 7 hours and 38 minutes online everyday which comes to about fifty-five hours a week. When online, there is no guarantee that students are using the Internet for educational purpose. Even on educational based sites there are many side ads advertising popular stores, new fun games, or perhaps the next big social networking site. There are other types of diversions, such as self-distraction. When people don’t want to do certain things, it is easy to find something else to do. Teens tend to distract themselves with video game, and cell phones Therefore it becomes a struggle for adolescents to stay focused.

Today the American education system is no longer the best in the world. Many believe that the initial problem with America’s public education today is the lack of focus. Students aren’t expected to meet the high standards that other countries students are expected to meet. Many have questioned whether our current educational system is working do to the declining test scores and poor academic achievement. America is known...
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