Technology becomes an essential part of our lives as advanced technology, such as internet, has made every aspect of our lives easier in many ways. Social networking sites, for instance, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, E – Mail, and Skype, have helped people gain recognition in society, for everyone can connect with anyone around the world no matter how far the distance is with just a few clicks of a button. In the field of education, social networking sites provide students with countless information that is useful for their academic learning process. Because of these accessibility, people spend most of their time engaged in online activities uploading or downloading and looking for news, articles, or materials concerning their career or school work. However, despite having fruitful benefits, social networking sites also have some negative impacts for students.
First of all, a remarkable positive impact is that social networking sites allow students to have a boundless relationship with the people of the Earth and express themselves to the world. Most students do their interactions online, and they are likely to come across a different person from a different place every single day. Moreover, adequate personal information provided in social media such as, Facebook and Twitter, is easily accessed, so they can both select a friend to get to know with and add as many friends to their friend list as they like. Also, students nowadays love to speak their voice regarding their feeling, condition, or just anything by updating status every now and then on their social media accounts. This gives a function for social networking sites as a tool for self – expression. Consequently, students’ infinite chain of network produces an immense knowledge for them. Students often go online to search for references that they need for their assignments, so the information they obtain from various sources broadens their intelligence. Furthermore, there are many education institutions today, such as colleges and universities offering an online course for students around the globe. With only a computer, an internet connection, and supported applications, students wherever they are in can attend class and listen to their lecturer from a faraway land.
Second, a more practical benefit of social networking sites is that they help students improve their skills in business, design, and technology. As an advantage of being able to keep a good maintenance on the relationships with people and organizations or companies through online relation, students can rely on their (already) broad connections and vast linkage to develop a career or build a business. For an instance, students can share their products or advertisements online, and it will be easier, faster, and more convenient to spread worldwide. Also, being constantly engaged in online activities where students can enjoy the work of many people and upload themselves their creations, such as videos, papers, and presentations causes them to be aware of basic aspects of design and layout. They want their work to be worth seeing and draw as many attentions from the public as they can get. Therefore, a skill and creativity in art is imminent. Another thing is that students become familiar with computers and other electronic devices. The time they spend with these devices cost them a better recognition and understanding of them. Often, when there is something wrong with their gadgets, students would rather repair them by themselves than have a technician do it for them. They have become intimate with the gadgets, so they know which to fix.
Next, as there is a price for everything, social networking sites also bring about inevitable disadvantages. That is, social networking sites encourage students to be less involved in real human contact which may result in the reduction of their communication skills ability. Students fail to notice the importance of having a direct interaction as all their families and friends can be reached through online media. As a result, students often feel reluctant and awkward to begin a conversation in real life with friends they usually talk to online. As an illustration, it is not a rare sight nowadays to find two friends or more in the same classroom texting each other even though they are only a few seats apart. Eventually, this creates a distant feeling among students in a way that they are more comfortable communicating online than performing face to face interaction. An even further damage is that this lack of communication skill permits a crack in the relationship among students. Those who are less active in social media feel disconnected, ignored, and upset because their friends are always busy with their phone.
At last, another unfavorable disadvantage is that students experience the side effect of multitasking, and their capabilities in learning and research are weakened. Students cannot keep their focus and fully concentrate on class because they are distracted by their phone. It is usually occur to them that when students are given permission to use their phone to look for information regarding the materials discussed in class, they cannot help themselves but to also open unnecessary websites and check on their social media accounts. Additionally, students take social networking sites for granted. They repeatedly depend on them when completing their tasks and often forget to filter the information that they get from them. They get used to copying other people’s work from the internet, and such behavior frequently arises the issue of plagiarism among students. On top of that, it degrades the capacity of their brain to yield creativity. Hence, students become very poor academically.
In conclusion, not only have social networking sites benefited students by being a media of communication and network building, but they also are a means of skill development. However, it must not be forgotten that they also cause prominent detriments, such as degradation in real life communication skill ability and poor academic performance. The significance of social networking sites is undeniable because of the benefits that have been listed above, but it is also important that students are conscious of the negative effects so that they can measure their need for online practices and spend their time on the internet only when necessary.
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