When was the last time you studied for an hour without distractions? When was the last time you had a good night’s rest because you did not want to open Instagram or Twitter? What about the time when you paid attention in class because you turned your phone off during lectures? if you realize that you have not done these things in a while, then this article is for your Social media has helped further globalization, improved businesses through advertisements and has helped in giving voice to the public yet ghanaian university students are failing because of their dependence on and addiction to social media. Pick an ideal university student for example. Let’s call her Evie. She wakes up to the alerts on her smartphone, intrigued by the pop-up she sees on her lock-screen, she swipes right to view the ‘full story‘t. She likes the picture, comments her thoughts and waits for a reply, Lured by other alluring photos, she swipes up or down to like and comment on any nice picture or video she finds. She gets a reminder signaling the start of a lecture.
Unenthused, she lumbers towards the bathroom to shower, Eventually, she ends up in the lecture hall. This time, she is early. During lectures, the alerts on her phone divide her attention. She can’t concentrate and is behind in class. She makes up her mind to study, but her study time is not fully utilized. Still charmed by the world of social media, she is unable to focus on her books for more than an hour. She learns little to nothing a day and sleeps feeling unproductive. According to Owusu-Acheaw and Larson (2015), 1508 students were asked whether they had phones or not and only 1408 had phonest Of those> 85% had internet access, all of whom used social media. Further later in the survey, they were asked how long they spend on social media in a day.
The responses ranged 7 1001 said close to an hour, 485 said close to three hours, and 22 said close to five hours. According to Asano (2017), the amount of time people spend on social media is constantly increasing, with teens now spending up to nine hours a day on social platforms. Sorry to bore you with facts, but this was meant to prove that evie is not alone. When we look deeply at ourselves, we find that we all have a little piece of Evie within us. To those of us who have realized that we are every bit as addicted as Evie, we may wonder, “Why is this a problem?” During my research, I found fascinating things that you might find interesting. There are actually a lot of negative effects of internet addiction that can affect you mentally, emotionally, physically, and academically if you do not fight. Walton (2017) stated in her article that social media addiction can trigger sadness and negatively affect wellbeing. People who spend most of their time on social media gradually shift away from personal communication altogether.
She wrote about a study where a team looked at how much people used social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn In, lnstagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat, and Reddit, and correlated this with their “perceived social media isolation.” It turned out that, the more time people spent on these sites, the more socially isolated they perceived themselves to be. This, in turn, triggered sadness when they realized how lonely they have become Sadness because of social media dampens our spirit. Our self-esteem level declines. We feel that we have no purpose since we have few friends online. We also feel boring 7 especially when we compare our lives to the pictures and videos our friends post online daily. This low spirit is transferred to academics. We tell ourselves that we are not good enough; we say we are not smart enough. We stop learning when we do not understand how we are connected.
It may seem unreal, but a major mental problem associated with social media is jealousy. Walton (2017) argues that most people admit that seeing other people’s tropical vacations and fun times sparks covetousness amongst friends and followers, Feelingjealous can also make individuals want to make his or her own life look better, post jealousy- inducing posts of their own in an endless vicious cycle. This can slowly forget the important things in life: education, family, friends, and others. Both of you end up wasting time over this unnecessary competition; leaving little time for your books Huang and Leung (2009) used surveys to figure out how instant messaging addiction is affecting teenagers in China. They found that teenagers who score high in shyness were heavy users of instant messaging because they depended more on instant messaging. Teenagers who feel alienated by friends, family, and school might compensate that alienation by finding friends online for social support. People who have only internet friends will depend highly on social media because that is where they can converse with others; therefore social media addiction increases shyness and alienation.
Moreover, this focus on online communication prevents an individual from improving his social skills He or she will not be able to work in groups, They will slow their team down since their cooperation skills are below average. Apart from team exercises, he or she will find it difficult to ask questions in class, They will also find it difficult to ask classmates for help on assignments too They will struggle, especially if they are not good at those subjects, to understand what is going on. Eventually, they will fail to preform well on tests or examst Another effect of social media use and/or, according to Landa (2013), is weight gain. Individuals who use social media are more likely to crave meals at the wrong. Distracted eating is also a cause of obesity. Under the influence of social media, one can finish a full meal without even realizing it because they were not paying attention to what they were eating.
People who spend a lot of time on social media also see a lot of food advertisements that aggravate their lust for foods, especially fast foods. If this is done consistently without exercise, obesity is inevitable. This does not directly affect academics, but it is healtherelated and is a serious effect of social media use Obesity can reduce energy and blood flow throughout the body. Less blood flow to the brain means that the brain’s activity will not be as effective as before and it also means that blood pressure will increase. The main reason social media negativel impacts students’ academic performance is that they can’t go about 10 minutes without opening Facebook, lnstagram, or any other nubmer of socila media sites. Carter (2013) stated, “Freshmen women spend upwards of 12 hours a day using some form of social media.” He also noted that, “Nearly four in 10 college students said they could not go 10 minutes without checking one of their mobile devices, about the same amount of time it takes to walk to class.”
This means that students spend an unhealthy amount of time on their mobile phones This reduces the amount of time spent on personal studies outside the classroom and affects the overall performance of the student. Funny enough, the same social media platforms can also help us immensely, provided we use them responsibly. YouTube is a platform where users upload videos. Teachers can take advantage of YouTube to impart knowledge, as users who are more inclined to a visual learning style can watch videos on various topics and even ask questions in the comment section to gain more insight. Students and teachers can also create groups on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to share ideas and enhance the learning experience Aside from these regular social media platforms, there are others that are engineered for the sole purpose of education, such as Twiducate, TweenTribune, Blackboard, EDU2.0, Wikispaces Classroom, Edmodo, and MinecraftEdur Each of these platforms has unique capabilities to fit every type of learner.
MinecraftEdu, for example, harnesses the power of video games to involve learners this game allows students to explore and solve problems whilst learning about science, economics, history, and maths teachers can even alter it to fit their curriculum. Some of these platforms are specific to an area of expertise. Sololearn, for example, is only for those interested in coding Schools can also take advantage of social media to post announcements and share course outlines and notes to make life in school easier for students. While social media can be used as a tool to connect people and help students succeed, addiction to social media can have the oppostie effect, Students must be careful to use social media wisely and take advantage of the benefits without falling into the pitfalls Smart students use everything in their possession to their benefit, Find friends and teachers; connect with them and ask questions. Knowledge is power, and everyone could use some more power.