Nowadays, Chromebooks and iPads are just as present in classrooms as students. Perhaps even more present than some students. Like that one guy in your philosophy class who scrolls on Facebook for the entire lecture.
According to consumer insight service Experian Simmons, more than 98 percent of college students use social media. It doesn’t stop at school. With devices such as cell phones and tablets, social media affects students outside of the classroom as well.
It is hard to find a platform that does not foster unrealistic expectations for teenagers. Being young is difficult enough as it is, but seeing others who are deemed more attractive, more wealthy, or more fortunate certainly does not help anyone’s situation.
Some may argue that the increase in social media usage could be directly correlated to the increase in mental health issues in young adults.
In “College students’ mental health is a growing concern, survey finds”, an article published by the by American Psychological Association, a survey conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Directors found that 95 percent of the counseling directors surveyed alluded to the growing concern of students with psychological problems.
It is impossible to stop students from going online and communicating with one another, all while exposing themselves to just about everything on the internet. While their susceptibility can complicate mental health issues, there are countless programs that actually use social media to bring awareness to those issues and offer support services.
Perhaps the anonymity of the if internet is what makes it so appealing and enthralling. People can hide under any facade they choose, though some may not feel like they are hiding at all. Instead, they may feel like they can actually be who they are, open up, and express themselves in a way that allows other people to notice without paying too much attention to who they are.
Students who are struggling with mental health issues, for example, can talk to people they can relate to without having to give details. Mental health hotlines also allow people to work through what they are feeling if they do not have any trustworthy adults in their lives.
It’s important to note that none of this would be possible without technology. People cannot maintain their humanity without communicating with each other, and sometimes that means finding people through a device versus in person.
There are endless resources that people can easily find via the internet, and learn things that they cannot anywhere else. Experiencing things in real time, face-to-face with people, can be amazing. But other times, people need to find something out in a timely manner.
Some frown upon how addictive social media can be, for they find themselves looking at one thing, and ending up on a completely different site in minutes. However, Googling something that can lead a person to page after page like that can actually result in them being engaged in the content they are reading and possibly learning something new digitally.
Technology is part of society’s lifestyle, and its evolution is inevitable. So, instead of trying to avoid it and solely acknowledge the negative aspects of it, we should be embracing it and making an attempt to evolve with it.
Instead of thinking about all the memories we are missing out on by spending time online, think about all that would not be possible without social media. It is simply another means of communication.
Self-awareness is the first step to solving any problem, so let us use the internet to our advantage and learn about how we can better ourselves, broaden our horizons, and understand each other more.