There’s a positive Side of Social Media too……

There’s a positive Side of Social Media too……

Today’s world is a global village. Everyone is connected to one another in this vast network generated by the Internet. Social networking communities in this era are here to stay. Facebook has over 500 million users, while Twitter has over 200 million. It illuminates the lives of thousands of people by spreading knowledge internationally, thereby making us global citizens.  There’s no doubt that even students are actively engaged in online communities, but what kind of effects are these sites having and how can we counteract the bad and bolster the positive?

Social networking has increased the rate and quality of collaboration for students. They are better able to communicate meeting times or share information quickly, which can increase productivity and help them learn how to work well in groups. Social networking teaches students skills they’ll need to survive in the business world. Being able to create and maintain connections to many people in many industries is an integral part of developing a career or building a business. The ease with which a student can customize their profile makes them more aware of basic aspects of design and layout that are not often taught in schools. Building resumes and personal websites, which are increasingly used as online portfolios, benefit greatly from the skills obtained by customizing the layout and designs of social networking profiles. The ease and speed with which users can upload pictures, videos or stories has resulted in a greater amount of sharing of creative works. Being able to get instant feedback from friends and family on their creative outlets helps students refine and develop their artistic abilities and can provide much needed confidence or help them decide what career path they may want to pursue.

However, getting too involved in social media can lead to an addiction that inculcates bad habits. Students prefer to chat with friends for hours, and this leads to a waste of time that could have been used for studying, playing or learning new skills. It is often said that a long-term friendship or relationship is developed when people meet each other, spend time and share their experiences. But this virtual way of communicating with each other does not lead to a natural, friendly experience and hence cannot produce a healthy relationship with those friends. Also, these relationships tend to terminate easily due to a lack of personal contact. 

Can  the negative aspects of social media be mitigated while improving upon the positive results? Moderating the access to social media is one excellent method. Most of the negative aspects can be overcome by reducing the amount of time spent on social network sites. Giving ample time for face-to-face social interaction, like having some family leisure time in which discussion about their studies and friends take place in a relaxed atmosphere or inviting friends and family over for cookouts.

Paying attention to the academic progress and addressing any issues will go a long way towards keeping the negative aspects of social media from influencing studies. So, too, will providing fun, face-to-face social interaction with loved ones.

The author of this article is Asst. Professor, Pioneer Institute of professional Studies


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