R3SEARCH

ABSTRACT

In my paper, I will research a number of studies and statistics to determine, “Does social media has a negative effect on college students academic progress?” In my research I have broken down what social media is, providing you with analytics and studies to give you a clear understanding on the breakdown of different factors that can contribute to my claim. I have provided you with research that is supported by credible sources and  professionals who conduct these studies for a living. My studies begin by providing statistics and a demographic on college students and their use of social media. Second, I’ve conducted research to explain, why as a college student you should spend less time on social media, providing you with information that contributes to my opinion. Next, I discuss how spending to much time on social media affects the attention span of students, and how it affects the brain and body; causing serious health issues. After, I transition into how social media affects peoples interpersonal communication and the effects this can have on students while in college and after. Lastly, concluding all of my research, analytics, and statistics to align with my claim that; ‘Too much time spent on Social media is negatively affecting college students academic performances’.

INTRODUCTION

Imagine you are on a college campus, and whether visiting or attending you decide to go to the schools café. While you wait in line, you decide to take a second and look around at your surroundings. More than likely you’ll see fellow college students, but what do most of these students have in common? I’ll give you a hint, more than likely they’re not socializing with each other ! In fact, if you are friends with them on social media they might be looking at your latest snap chat or Instagram story. Did you know that over 98 percent of college students use some type of social media? (HUFFINGTON) If you are not familiar as to what “social media” is , Merriam Webster defines it asforms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos). (WEBSTER) With apps like, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat; which college students love to indulge in , it has become one of the greatest outsources for laziness and complacency. College students usually spend closer to 6 hours a day on Social media. Over the last eight years the usage has increased 1000 percent. Thanks to social media college students can now exchange personal information, feelings, ideas, pictures and videos at a faster rate than ever. While social media may help students develop important knowledge and social skills, people may question what’s the main purpose for college students using social media platforms like Facebook; being the number 1 used social media site for college students followed by YouTube and Twitter.

RESEARCH

Being on social media for a college student in 2018 is nearly a no brainer, but just in 2005 only 10 percent of college students between the ages of 19-28 owned a Facebook account. In 2009 , that number increased to nearly 85% of undergraduate students having a Facebook account. That’s a 75% increase in 4 years. The rapid advancement of media technology has been a very impactful on the way people communicate on a daily basis. Over the years, social networking among students has become very popular. It is a way to make connections, not only on the students campus, but with friends outside of the schools campus.  Social networking is a way that helps people feel they belong to a community. I believe that the use of technology, particularly the internet, is one of the most important factors that can influence educational performance of students negatively. In an article written by, Billi Gordon, PhD, he states: “Society is considerably more complex and diverse than it was 56-million years ago when our ancestors formed groups to increase survival odds, but the need to be social to survive remains the same”(Gordon). This means that our need to be socially connected is nothing but a mere thought. Once college students understand this concept, I believe it can be a starting point to controlling this bad habit. While college student may not recognize that being socially connected is mental, they are very aware that social media has a negative effect on their academic studies. “Caylan Harrison , a sophomore at William Peace University’, says: “I am just always interested in what everyone else is doing. It does negatively affect me because I could be spending my time doing other things to improve my life and academics, but I choose not to.” (HARRISON) Just like Harrison, a lot of other college students feel the same way about social media. To attain some clarification to my claim, I decided to conduct a random study with 10 fellow college friends. Some who’ve graduated and some who still attend colleges. I conducted a quick questionnaire with two questions. First, asking them how they felt about social media and its impact on their academic performance while in college, and second, how do they feel about social media? The results were accurately similar in all of their responses. Marcus Coleman, now an alum of Syracuse University and a close friend said; “ I would compare social media to the strongest drug on the market”… “You just get so consumed in other peoples lives that you lose track of what’s going on in yours.” “ It makes me feel trapped in a way…” Another close friend and now an alum of Rutgers, Camden, Joseph Castanet says; “ Social Media for me in college caused a lot of late submissions”… “ When I’m on social media it kind of feels as if I stepped into another realm or universe”… These are just a few quotes on how the former students feel about social media ; all having the same stigma that social media is a major contributor to complacency and bad habits. Everyone in my study also claimed, when asked separately, that when they spent more time studying and less time on social media their grades increased substantially. Another Contributor to my research is Miriam Hospital. They had a team of researchers conduct a study tracking first year (female) college students at Northeastern University. Researchers claimed they, “found them spending nearly 12 hours a day using social media on average”(MIRRIAM). In surveying 500 first year freshman about their weekly media use and collected their GPA’s at the end of the semester, “The study found a correlation between lower GPAs and higher social media use”. (MIRRIAM) As a result of both Marriams and my studies , I’ve come to the conclusion that students spending more time on social media and less time studying will receive lower grades on average opposed to more time studying and less time on social media, which correlates to higher grades.

Social media/networking has dwindled people’s attention span. Around 18 years ago humans attention spans were close to 12 seconds. “In just the last decade it has decreased from 12 seconds to just 8 seconds.”(TIME) Which is currently less than the attention span of a gold fish; sitting at 9 seconds. Clive Thompson, writer and author of Smarter Than You Think says: “The distraction issue is real and significant, you can’t get certain types of important thinking and work done if you’re constantly darting around from one thing to another,” Thompson told The Verge. “The problem is, we currently have this information ecology that has been designed to capture as much of your attention as possible,”(THOMPSON) speaking on social media. The decreasing of our attention spans has contributed to humans being forgetful. Researchers have found that nearly 1 in 10 people forget their own birthdays, as well as being less productive in their work (The Week). Study’s contribute this to social media sites, which triggers the release of certain hormones in the body, like adrenaline; which is addictive (The Week). This can be very critical for college students who are required to take lecture courses. Having a short attention span can affect students ability to retain information, causing poor exam scores, due to the combination of, lack of study time and simply not retaining the material on particular subjects . Students have also been losing their ability to form complete sentences, substituting abbreviations for words in papers. Ex: “U” for “you” and “4” opposed to “for” or “four”. I believe that this is a result of students spending an excess amount of time on social media, causing their brains not to realize when to make the switch between slang and proper grammar. . . 

 

CONCLUSION

In my research I wanted to find out does social media have a negative impact on college students academic performance. While conducting my research I noticed that college students spend an unnecessary amount of time being consumed by social media, just north of 8 hours a day on average! I believe if students were to cut that in half and use the other half to study grades will increase substantially. I also noticed that students are aware of the negative effects of Social media , but due to the increase in technological use, the world views social acceptance as important, encouraging students to hold social accepted higher than their academic progression. Next, I found that consuming social media for hours at a time can lead to anxiety and depression which is a leading cause for poor academic performance by college students. Social media also is shortening students attention spans, creating a problem with the retention of work, which opens up a window for complacency and procrastination. Finally, I’ve concluded that social media adversely affects peoples interpersonal communication skills , which can set you up for failure when interviewing with jobs, internships, and working with classmates in a group setting , ultimately resulting in poor grades. Also, it may hold you back from being a part of different organizations or fraternities, which can be a boost to students resume’s. In conclusion, I would have to agree with my claim that social media negatively affects college students academic progression.

 

 

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