The Pros & Cons Social Media has on Students

Courtesy of Online Education this graphic shows some of the advantages and disadvantages social media has on the college student.

A few of the most notable facts include:

  • 96% of students use Facebook
  • Almost half of all students on Facebook consider themselves sadder than their friends
  • Grades are positively affected by collaborative work online
  • “Facebook Addiction” is searched 350x more than “Cigarette Addiction”
  •  Social media users feel more “connected to their institution”
  • 1 in 3 students use social media for educational purposes

Is Social Media Ruining Students?


10 responses to “The Pros & Cons Social Media has on Students

  • Andy

    My hunch has always been that FB – while great for networking with peers and friends – generally won’t integrate well with academics because it’s such a time suck and so distracting. The graphic – a really cool one, by the way – seems to confirm this. Twitter is, I think, better adapted to academic networking and info sharing.

    And then there’s the specific verdict on FB making us more vain, which struck a chord with me. Recently, Meg told me the other day how FB makes her think her life is boring compared to the adventuresome whackiness that appears to characterize other peoples’ lives (gauging the images and updates folks post on fb).

    My impression is that’s what most of us do on FB, at least when we’re using it for personal and not business reasons – we edit our lives and share what we want to share on a highly selective basis to advance a favorable image of themselves to others. FB, in other words, is a kind of performance. (Maybe even a kind of competition in which I try to make my life look more exciting than yours?)

    Any way you look at it, it seems self-evident, at least to me, that FB makes us more vain, but whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing I can’t entirely say.

    I’m of two minds, I guess. Maybe all of the editing and the performance, and even the competitive aspect of FB, is a good thing. Maybe it’s all a way to extract meaningful experiences from the listless trickle and routine of life, which, in turn, we can turn around and share with those who are important to us.

    Or maybe the editing and performance is vain, pure and simple, car-salesman-self-marketing. Maybe it’s just a way to promote a version of ourselves that doesn’t necessarily correspond to reality, which also reinforces the (unhealthy?) cycle of competition that characterizes human relationships.

    I don’t know….

    What’s your take on the vanity verdict? Does FB make us vain? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?

  • MacKenzie Hizon

    Great insight, Andy. There has definitely been evidence that the “younger” generation is much more narcissistic. That would be evident by noting how much time they spend talking and posting about themselves in their online space. But we apply these labels because we are making a direct comparison to our/the previous generation. I am not saying that being vain is a redeeming quality, but it could be (read: is) a side effect of a completely revolutionized way of engaging with the world.

    I was talking with my friend who is a tech consultant and he is doing research on how social media and competition in charity giving has had a huge impact. For example, Facebook applications like Causes allow people to see their friends donating to good causes and it then encourages them to give as well. So isn’t that a positive way to influence your community?

    With everything, there are two sides to every coin. Facebook and social media isn’t going away (although who knows what the next craze will be in 5 years) so we need to learn to live with what we have; focus on the positives and try to diminish the negatives.

  • donna

    You may be making some assumptions in your logic. For example, to state that grades go up 1/2 a point in classes that use twitter; is the use of twitter the only variable? I suspect that classes that use twitter are taught by a professor that actively seeks ways to connect with the students; that may account for the grade increase.
    While students love facebook, I don’t see it adding to their academic success or their professional success. Here it comes – turn off facebook and open a textbook.

    • MacKenzie Hizon

      Please keep in mind that these figures were reposted from:

      I like your perspective on Twitter in the classoom; do you think that is an appropriate and viable solution for class participation?

      In the end, I agree we should never turn our back on books but I do believe social media can be integrated into learning in certain instances.

      Thanks for your thoughts, Donna!

  • Harold Fraley

    Most of the individuals commenting on using twiitter and Facebook as learning tools. Twitter is used to get quick information out to other people. Educators, sports figures, celebrities and many others use this tool for various purposes. These individuals all have one thing in common, the desire to put out information that somehow benefits others in certain ways.

    Educators can get information out to other people without having to go into great detail. This is just a quick strategy to inform others of pending assignments and other important events relating to content or curriculum. Twitter can be a significant tool to educators and others if use appropriately.

    Facebook puts out valuable information as well. However, you can put out more information and even chat with colleagues about educational matters. Most people use it to communicate with family and friends.

    Again, both twitter and Facebook are valuable educational tools. The problem is that many do not use these tools appropriately. Some individuals are known as trolls. These individuals love to make a nuisance of themselves and abuse the rights of others. Trolls cause problems and ruin the twitter and Facebook experience.

  • Harold Fraley

    You can’t stop new fads or technology that students and adults partake in whether for educational purposes or leisure. The statistics above demonstrate the academic benefits of Facebook as a collaborative tool. So, what is so bad about something that benefits someone academically? Old fogies and those who stumble with technology need to wake up and smell the roses.

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    […] is simple: Is my social media use going to get me better grades? The answer is both yes and no. According to a study by Online Education, if the class uses Twitter to help students work together and remind the class […]

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    Real education is learning through self-experience while interacting with people. It is when discover new things in actual not through surfing…

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