Matthew Kim, Entertainment Editor
We live in a world full of technology. With cell phones and computers readily accessible, we have almost all the information in the world at our fingertips! Of course with that, we have to be able to control the technology that is given to us. Social media is one of those things that we have to control as well. Social media can either benefit us or break us, depending on how often we use it and how much we prioritize it in our lives.
Now, this isn’t to say that social media is always bad and has the sole purpose of ruining the academic lives of students. There are some good qualities to social networking. One of them is that it increases the rate and quality of collaboration for students. With the introduction of social networking, it allowed for more ease of communication with other people and easier share of work when doing group work for more productivity for any business. Also, by being in the presence of social networking, students can also develop more familiarity with the electronic devices and allow for them to have more ease in its access in the future where the skill of technology is heavily required. Finally, the option of customizing web pages or profiles allow for a greater awareness of basic skills of design and layout that might not be easily taught in schools. This skill can be really useful when writing resumes, making online portfolios or making a business site, this is something that can be taught right at the comfort of your own home.
Of course, if social networking becomes way too much of a distraction from the more important things in life, then that’s where all the negatives pop in. For one, students that spend too much time on social sites also spend less time socializing with other people in person. Social media is not an adequate replacement for face-to-face communication so students that spend that time on the sites tend to have less effective communication skills when talking with someone directly. Another major problem is that with the addition of spell check programs on the web and on social media, many students have developed a bad attitude towards proper spelling and grammar, relying too much on the spell check feature instead of checking grammar and spelling themselves. And finally, social media has been the case of unaware students uploaded unfiltered information on the web that could possibly harm their future. This includes personal information, rude or offensive text, misrepresentative pictures, etc.
Many can see how easy it is for social media to reduce one’s academic performances (especially when students find out that trying to multitask between keeping up-to-date on social media and academic studies might not work out for them). According to Los Angeles Times, 36.4% of students say it regularly interferes with school work. Although that number may be pretty small, it still shows that the possibility of social media getting in the way of doing well in school is still out there. Technology can be a scary thing, but not when one can control it. Some tips of preventing social media from being too much of a problem can be: turn off the phone or computer when doing homework (make sure that you have your full concentration on your work), reduce the amount of screen time you get per day, mute notifications when in class so you’re not tempted to make class time screen time. Simple changes like these can uplift the positive things about social media while suppressing the negative things. It’s easy to get carried away. You are the deciding factor of where technology will take you.