Every technology has its pros and cons. For instance, automation in the workplace is associated with job losses as machines replace people. However, this transition also marks increased productivity and reduced inefficiencies and errors.
This principle also applies to social media. Besides increasing accessibility to real-time communication and news, these platforms also enhance collaboration and make communication easier.
On the other hand, social media can be addictive and may provide avenues for sharing harmful content. Unscrupulous individuals can also use social platforms to bully or manipulate others. Despite these challenges, the advantages of technological advancement more often than not outweigh the disadvantages. In that case, what are the benefits of social media for students?
Educational Advantages of Social Media for Students
Collaboration and Communication
The primary objective of any social media platform is communication. Social networks are developed primarily to connect individuals with similar social characteristics. Hence, one of the major advantages of social media for students is communication. Students can interact with peers and share critical knowledge and information regarding their lives and education.
As a result, they can collaborate with others in learning and discussions. They can also involve parents and teachers in their discussions, expanding the conversation to a wider audience. Communication and collaboration also make it easier for students on social media to share their experiences and communicate challenges to the responsible authorities. These platforms create a community-based approach to education.
Similarly, social media enables newer learning approaches for students. Social networking sites such as Brainly and Youtube offer learning opportunities for students through virtual classrooms and discussion platforms. Learners can get assistance with coursework and other questions from teachers and peers. Some organizations, such as Ted, provide avenues for social learning through influential discussions held on social platforms.
Job-Related Pros of Social Media for Students
Students also derive important information that could be useful in school and later in life. Social media allows individuals to share unscripted details of various activities and experiences, enabling others to learn through modelling and imitation.
They also learn various life hacks for use during crises. For instance, struggling with an urgent assignment for a strict instructor often spells doom for most college students. However, social media provides access to online essay writing services students can use as guides in completing their papers from scratch.
These platforms have professional native and non-native English-speaking academic writers who complete personalized research papers, reviews, and essays from various fields. Students learn through such platforms online and get help writing their papers.
Cultural competence and attunement
As the world becomes a global village, integration and diversity have become integral to community development. Learning about other people’s cultural norms and practices is essential in understanding and respecting differences.
Based on social media’s communication and learning benefits, online interconnection exposes people to different cultures and languages. Students learn about cultural differences by interacting with people from various backgrounds.
As a result, they develop friendships based on character and personality, eliminating biases and prejudices that inhibit integration. They also learn cultural attunement by practising humility by interconnecting with people respectfully.
Employment and networking
Social media also exposes students to job opportunities and networking avenues. Learners can now attend webinars and other social gatherings virtually, enabling them to network with others based on similarities of ideas.
Top social networks such as LinkedIn allow access to professional opportunities where people can chat with experts in their fields and access job adverts. The platforms also connect students to the corporate world, creating an avenue for current and future employment.
Social media marketing
The Covid 19 pandemic helped establish social media dominance in global marketing strategies. As people stayed home, organizations needed to restructure and reinvent their business strategies. Access to brick and mortar stores became limited, forcing even the smallest shops to search for customers online.
Due to the limiting cost of mainstream media, businesses resorted to affordable paid and organic social media marketing to increase traffic to theory websites and communicate to users. Students played a critical role as influencers and writers for most of these businesses.
In the post-pandemic era, young influencers, mostly students from institutions of higher learning, will continue playing a vital role in social media marketing. They are also more likely to venture into businesses and utilize their skills to market their products and services.
Social media marketing is also an emerging academic field attracting a significant portion of students from across the globe. As a result, social media is creating a new employment sector and academic field.
Social Benefits of Social media for Students
Similarly, social media provided a useful avenue for content creators to share theories and creativity during the pandemic. Social platforms allow users to demonstrate their artistic prowess through images and videos. Particularly, students can express their creativity by showcasing their talents to peers and educators.
Besides, social media sites allow cheaper content creation methods such as doodles and editing technologies for creating and sharing unique ideas. As a result, students can exercise their skills in video and audio editing, music production, and other creative arts subjects.
Source of entertainment
Social media has replaced mainstream media as the primary source of entertainment for the younger generations. Social media sites such as YouTube provide access to entertaining content for people to enjoy without limit.
With videos, images, memes, and podcasts, students can listen, watch, and share interesting ideas, good music, and jokes to entertain others. Access to free entertainment also makes these platforms preferred destinations for students.
Cons of Social Media
However, no technological advancement lacks disadvantages. Notably, social media platforms provide an opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to practice various vises. For instance, terrorists and governments can use social media to spread hate and propaganda. Similarly, bullying has shifted from traditional context to online platforms.
Cyberbullying is now a worrying trend and a contributing factor to growing mental health problems. The lack of ethical and moral limits online also encourages harmful behaviour on these sites. These behaviours can be harmful to society, including disconnections and war.
Social media etiquette as a solution to the cons
Society has learned the importance of social media etiquette for students and other groups of users. Social media etiquette makes users more passionate and empathetic towards others. Students learn to engage in meaningful conversations while demonstrating respect and value for integration.
Besides, unscrupulous behaviour can impact one’s future employment opportunities as the internet stores conversations that employers may use to gauge people’s personalities. Social media contributions are easier to track as users leave a trail of evidence about their activities. These records are used in professional networking and assessment for employment.