How social media affects students

Staying connected, making friends, and reading news are all great aspects of social media, but who really knows the true impact it has on college students?
Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, are all highly used social media platforms. The social media usage of college students has the potential to affect their grades, social-skills, and time-management skills, but it could be positive or negative effect.
Caylan Harrison, a sophomore at William Peace University, says she updates her feed every hour or so mostly when she is bored.
“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,” said Harrison.
Like Harrison, many other students deal with the same problem of staying on social media. Students often find themselves updating their feed when they should be working or studying.
Chandler Strickland, a sophomore at WPU, agrees with Harrison about her phone being a distraction.
“I really pay too much attention to my phone. I believe it has negatively affected my life by consuming my free time when I should be studying,” said Strickland.
Although some students suffer from their social media usage, there is a handful that aren’t affected at all. In fact, according to Tara Heffner, a psychologist of Rowan University, social media can be a benefit for college students and their success.
“Using social media to cope with academic frustrations can be a good outlet, especially if the student is connecting with another student that is having the same problem,” explained Heffner. “Social media allows students to discuss class material via social media as well as help them network.”
Erienne Dickman, a sophomore at WPU, claims she manages her time well and does not let herself get distracted by social media and only uses it to her advantage.
“I use social media to interact with others, to learn what’s going on in the world, and even for educational purposes, I never waste my time on my phone when I have other important things to do,” said Dickman.
According to a study conducted by Heffner, students who were able to utilize Twitter for educational purposes increased their grades and GPAs. 38 percent of the surveyed students claimed that their GPA decreased, 25 percent declined to answer, and 38 percent said their GPA increased.
Although social media is sought to be a huge distraction for college students, it also helps with their learning and adjustment to “college life.” Social media opens a whole new technological world for students, however students choose to adapt to the new “world” is the ultimate decider of their academic success.

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