Social Media Usage and Students: What Can Be Done?

Social media usage is truly a global trend and is not only present in Israel, however, several researchers are showing that Israel is ahead of countries in North America and Europe regarding social media usage. For example, according to comScore, an American marketing research company, Israelis are spending an average of eleven hours daily on social media networks, which is almost double the world average of six hours and is ahead of countries like England (seven hours) and America (seven hours). While approximately ninety-four percent of adult Israeli internet users are also using social media networks. Of course, social media usage has its benefits, for example, it can be used by you and your friends and family as a point of contact and as a way to stay in touch. It is a great way to stay up to date with your friends and family news since most people use social media to share almost everything going on in their lives. Everything used in moderation is fine, but once you reach a certain threshold you can start questioning whether you are too dependent or reliant on the activity you are engaged in, and social media is no different.

Today, social media is being leveraged to help students grasp information and new concepts in school. For example, professors can stream their lectures live on social media, or to provide course or assignment updates. Of course, there are positive uses for social media, however, are students too dependant on or spending too much time on social media? For example, social media is making everyone, not just students, more solitary and isolated because they are spending more time with online communication rather than having a real conversation. Social media is also very distracting when students are studying and on their phone at the same time, they are effectively multitasking. When you are multitasking and doing two tasks at the same time, your brain is effectively switching between the two tasks, because it cannot process doing both tasks fully at the same time. This causes you to take much more time completing both tasks, almost 2 or 3 times longer, and your retention of the material you just learned will be lower because your brain was not fully focused. If you attend classes in school, you will usually see several students on their phones during the class lesson, and as a result, their comprehension and retention of the course material will also be lower. Therefore, students’ grades can be negatively impacted.  If social media is used continually for prolonged periods of time, it can lead to eye strain, bad posture, along with physical and mental stress, and can contribute to mental health issues. If you have a student who is struggling with mental health or stress problems related to social media usage you should take them for teen counseling, do not delay because these problems generally only get worse as time progresses.

In conclusion, there are many benefits to using social media, which have been well documented, but we must keep in mind the negative aspects of social media if it is used for prolonged periods of time. Everything used in moderation is fine, but we must remember to use it moderately.

About the Author
Frank Coutinho is passionate about business and entrepreneurship. After studying Business Management at university he started his own e-commerce company. He enjoys reading the daily business news, especially news on startups and the technology industry. In his free time, Frank enjoys reading, soccer, hiking, and watching documentaries.
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