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How Social Media Influences Your Learning

In recent years, educators have begun to integrate social media into the classroom as a way to enhance learning and engage students at a higher level. But how effective is this really? Let`s take a closer look at how social media affects students` education and of course, some of the disadvantages that we might face if we rely on the digital world too much.

Sep 6, 2023
  • Student Tips
How Social Media Influences Your Learning

1. Social media helps us learn fact from fiction

In an era where "fake news" is becoming more and more prevalent, it’s important that we all learn how to tell fact from fiction online. Anyone who’s scrolled through a newsfeed or a Twitter account knows how to respond to different types of information.

There’s so much “noise” in social media that to be an effective consumer of it, you have to learn what’s important—and what’s not—fast. So fast, that you need to make split-second decisions about what to read, what to keep, what you want to respond to, and what you need to bypass.

While there are many questions regarding the impact of social media on today’s younger generation, it is clear that with proper guidance and education, it can be an invaluable tool in helping students learn how to sort through information and learn about what is happening in the world.

2. Social media enhances student collaboration

Social media allows students to collaborate and share information across different platforms with ease. For example, with Facebook groups you can communicate quickly with your peers no matter where you are in the world. With Twitter hashtags, people can find personal topics of interest through the search function without being inundated by conversations they’re not interested in. The bottom line? Students can share information quickly online—and work on projects simultaneously, drawing from resources all over the world.

3. Social media can help you to stay organized

Social media is a great way to stay organized and connected with your professors. Many tutors use social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter for sharing class assignments with their students. Communicating in this way can also help to make classes feel more personal because everyone feels like they're talking and working together collaboratively.

4. Social media gets students involved with university communities

As social media continues to be the main way for students to communicate online, more and more universities are using it to connect with their students. A study published in Computers in Human Behavior, showed that the popularity of a university’s Facebook community directly affected how students identified with their chosen place of study.

In addition, social media can be a great tool for getting involved in student activities on campus. Many universities have official social media accounts dedicated to upcoming events. So if you`re looking to get connected with your university community, social media is a great place to start.

5. Social media helps students learn new information

Social media has become an important tool for many students to learn new information that relates to their area of study. From watching videos to how-to tutorials to reading articles written by experts. Online learning can be fun, interesting and help students to retain their new-found knowledge better.

6. Social media encourages creativity

One of the great things about social media is that it offers a variety of opportunities for self-expression and creativity. For students, this can mean using social media to share their work with others, connect with other learners, or get feedback on their work too. This can help students learn in new and innovative ways and it can also help them develop their skills as writers, artists, and thinkers.

7. The downside of social media

Social media is an amazing tool that can be used for many things but it also has its downsides. One major problem with social sites like Twitter and Instagram is addiction-related issues. Students often find themselves spending too much time scrolling through digital news feeds instead of studying.

All of that rapid-fire instant information may have a negative impact on your academic studies. A 2013 study of freshmen women showed that many spend up to 12 hours per day on social media. While it helps for collaborative projects and information sorting skills, the research found deleterious effects of spending that much time online. While social media can help with studying and coursework, an effort should be made to reduce unnecessary screen time.

Although social media can be distracting, it can also be used in positive ways to enhance student learning. When used wisely, social media can help students build important information sorting skills, collaborate more effectively, become more involved with university communities, and develop a better understanding of how to use new technologies responsibly. Your take-away? Take a line from this famous Beatle’s playbook: “All the world is a birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.”

This article was updated on 04 May 2022.