Student opinions via Podcasts:
The words “college students” and “social media” are paired together almost as often as “peanut butter” and “jelly.” Most have deemed social media as a negative aspect of our society, as it can become a distraction and may inhibit social skills. But are there benefits to being connected on sites such as Twitter and Facebook?
“Not enough attention is really paid to things like what social media or technology, in general, affords us to do now that we weren’t able to years ago,” Brian McFadden, a journalism and media studies professor at Hofstra University, stated.
Never before have college students been able to attain news so immediately. There are numerous apps, such as the CNN or New York Times apps, that send students alerts on their phones whenever a major news story breaks. Even without these applications, students are able to find out news through Twitter and Facebook as soon as they occur. And they may just as quickly share their own opinion on news.
Social media gives students a voice. They are able to like and share posts they agree with, while also adding their own comments if they decide to. Because of this, they are able to join together with others who share similar views.
“Having people like or comment on one of my posts makes me feel important because it says to me that people care about what I have to say,” Austin Woolman, a sophomore at Hofstra University, stated.
Sites such as Facebook, which allow students to make pages and have group messages, can also be useful for class assignments. Students can easily send each other messages to inquire on homework questions or to work together on a team project. Posting questions or tips on a group page allow everyone in a class the opportunity to respond or have their own questions answer.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn also allow students to follow companies and future employers who they may work for one day. Employers (especially those in the news field) like to see that you follow them on social media sites. It shows your desire to stay updated and connected with their company.
Although many believe that social media hinders social connections, it actually allows students to stay more connected to their family, friends, peers, and the rest of the world. Students still engage in social interactions during class time, but are now able to bring those interactions beyond the classroom. Social media has opened up a whole new world to college students.
“Social media is the ultimate equalizer.” Amy Jo Martin, founder of Digital Royalty, stated. “It gives a voice and platform to anyone willing to engage.”
College Students’ Use of Social Media for Educational Purposes: Chart