Should young people be kept away from Facebook or Twitter?

They do use weird lingo and waste time, but social media can help a person in many ways

education Updated: Apr 10, 2012 11:34 IST
Raunika Sood
Raunika Sood
Hindustan Times

Well it all depends on how you choose to use it. Social media is usually perceived as posting updates, sharing jokes and doing all the nonsensical fun things that people do. But it can have huge advantages as well.

On college campuses, students use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with friends, to collaborate with classmates, and sometimes even professors. Besides communication, social media can be effective in keeping the students updated on the latest happenings in a particular sector or to post or view status updates on campuses. Plus, social networking is a good way to make connections with people with similar interests and goals. Facebook, for example, conducts polls and surveys which may provide insights to students on various issues. Also, there are various tools available on social media through which students can improve their knowledge skills.

Therefore it will become difficult if these services were taken away. Colleges and universities should discuss the positives and negatives of social media among students; it sometimes is ridiculous for an institution to block websites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc.

At the same time there are a few drawbacks of these social networking sites. Most students don’t know where to draw the line on social networking platforms. Sometimes, posting inappropriate information can be detrimental to the student’s future as some prospective campuses/ employers these days make it a point to check out the student’s profile for irregularities. Secondly, social media can prove to be a waste of time, if the student gets no benefit out of it. One can get addicted and spend long hours on it without really getting anything in return. Thirdly, students are getting so used to the peculiar language and shortcuts while communicating with each other via social media, such as IDK (I don’t know), GTG (got to go) , BTW (by the way), that many even start using all of it in their assignments and answersheets.

There has been a dramatic decline in the writing abilities of students due to Tweeting, Facebook, and texting - say teachers and professors. Many advise that even during exams students should refrain from accessing social media websites because at that point in time it can cause a lot of destruction.

Times have changed when it comes to college admissions or job interviews, gone are the days when the top recruiting companies could recruit a student/ candidate through his/her resume/C.V. Now the top most companies also view your Facebook/ LinkedIn profiles, so be be careful).

A study has found that the time spent on the social platform had a negligible impact on grades. So we can assume that students do study while they are on Facebook. It has also been noticed that students who socialised and shared information were good at academics.

A lot of colleges, institutes have fan pages on Facebook, and usually they keep updating it by giving dates for various exams, seminars to be held in colleges etc. A study says that a student might not visit the official website as often but updating information on Facebook really helps. It is like a two way process, it helps engagement for the institute/college page on Facebook and also keeps the student aware of the latest happenings on the college.

First Published: Apr 10, 2012 11:27 IST