Social media and education
By Rameez Mahesar and Rasool Bux Bodani
Advice about social media during orientation is needed
By tracing the history of social media, it can be argued that its face now is quite different from what was once deemed to be social media. It is vibrant for all and sundry nowadays but it was not like that around a decade back. Users could create their profiles and could also invite people as their friends. This way of communication lasted till 2001.
The social media entered the educational institutions donkey’s years ago. But they are now supporting education night and day. Cheap packages have attracted the ground of its users throughout the world. Students, round the clock, use them to convey their academic activities to their colleagues. Also, they make groups to discuss these activities. Whatever is concerned with their education, they forward as well as receive in a brisk manner.
The biggest role social media plays in education is that of “time saving”. It simply saves students’ time, decreases their expenses, and reduces their distance in the bargain. Not only can students share information concerning their class activities, but also the books, slides, assignments and notes. This is undoubtedly the biggest triumph of social media.
But, the studies done on social media have derided the academic performances of students. In the eyes of those studies, students consume a lot of their time on using all these tools of communication but the use of these tools makes their academic achievements and performances deline slightly. For example, The American Educational Research Association executed a research study therein it declared that social media users study less and generate lower grades. On the flip side, San Miguel engrossed on the link between time consumption on Facebook and students’ academic performance. The overall conclusion declared that “more time on Facebook equals slightly lower grades”. Moreover, the average Facebook user had a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5, while the non-Facebook user had a GPA of 3.5 to 4.0. Besides, the middling Facebook user spends 1–5 hours on his/her study per week, while the non-Facebook user would consume 11–15 hours on his/her study per week.
Since the studies have confirmed that the use of social media sites had negative effects on the students’ academic performance, there is a dire need for the introduction of students to the availability of information sources or materials that can support them academically
Englander and others done a collective research in which they found social media negatively linked with students’ academic performance and lot more harmful than its advantages. Also, another study done by Sánchez-Martínez and Otero had found a correlation between “intensive” mobile phone use and school failure.
In Sindh (with special focus), in the days of examinations, many students display disgusting and negative remarks concerning examinations on their walls on social media. They waste their valuable time on these kinds of repulsive things that negatively affect their capabilities. In doing so, their prized time goes faster and their paper day comes to them in no time. They brood over their grave mistake after they find themselves in the list of those who have been failed in their papers.
In Pakistan, there is a dire need for this kind of thing to be stopped. Students must be woken up to the significance of their phones having internet facility. They should be encouraged to either use it to do their research work rather than the usual chatting with friends round the clock. Students must limit the time they consume on using social media sites aimlessly and rather additional those hours to read their relevant academic books to expand their knowledge.
Since the studies have confirmed that the use of social media sites had negative effects on the students’ academic performance, there is a dire need for the introduction of students to the availability of information sources or materials that can support them academically. Moreover, students must also be advised during orientation of the dangers of addiction to social networking sites. Above all, the research papers concerning the detrimental impact and perilous effects created through aimless use of clone-media /social media throughout the academic institutes must be presented to the students per month. This is the best way to deal with the prevailing problem.
The writers are teaching assistants at the Department of Media Studies, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Shaheed Benazirabad.