BY CLAIRE HUSHON
Whether it’s posting selfies, sharing articles or stalking Justin Bieber to find out if he’s really dating Kourtney Kardashian, most college kids use some form social media every day. As the use of social media has grown over the past decade, it has often gotten a bad reputation.
When you’re sitting in class trying to pay attention to the lecture and your phone vibrates, it’s hard not to wonder what the notification is. Social media can sometimes be a dangerous distraction when trying to get work done.
Dr. Jennifer Cox of Salisbury’s Communication Arts Department says social media makes it harder for the millennial generation to stay focused. And social media also seems like one more challenge that millennials have to balance.
However, she says, “I don’t think this generation has any less of a work ethic.”
It is important to point out the ways that social media can be a good thing, especially for college students who spend so much time on it already.
Social media apps can be very useful to students academically and otherwise. Facebook “groups” can be used for classes to keep in touch and make plans for studying.
Twitter can be a good place for students to keep up with the news, as most big companies and networks have an account and tweet links to articles.
Even YouTube has countless educational videos that can walk students through math problems, or explain politics in a way that is easy to understand.
Dr. Cox points out that social media can be a very good resource to use in the classroom. In her mobile journalism class, students use blogs, Twitter, YouTube and even Periscope to share their work.
“The worst thing you can do as an educator is ignore social media,” says Dr. Cox.
Professors can use Twitter and Facebook to remind students of assignments and deadlines. They can also use YouTube to share informational videos in class.
While social media sites may not have a place in every classroom, they can still be used to find and share news, learn new things and stay connected with fellow classmates and professors.
Social media can be a very good thing when used properly, but it is important to know the image of yourself that you are portraying to the rest of the world.
There is a responsibility that comes with using social media.
“It is public,” says Dr. Cox. “If you think you’re hiding, there are ways to track you.”
Everyone knows that employers look at social media accounts before interviews, but it is important to know that even if your account is private, there are ways of viewing your posts.
Nothing you put on the internet is ever truly private, and any of it can be recovered if necessary.
So keep using those social media apps, just remember: post responsibly!