Layers: Research-Based Problem Solving
Social media is constantly depicted to negatively affect young adults in a learning environment. However, it is not limited to an academic detriment, it can be seen affecting those who walk on the streets. Facebook, one of the most popular social media platforms, and is used by anyone of all different backgrounds. Every day one walks out, they can expect to see other people attracted to using Facebook. Facebook is constantly distracting people from their daily lives, expanding to social interaction and behavior with others.
Facebook has over 2.8 billion monthly active users. A majority of these are young adults, 65%, are addicted to social media (Mohsin). Unlike common drug and alcohol addiction, Facebook is easily accessible through mobile. As of April 2021, 98.3% of users have the mobile app and it ranks first among all social networking apps (Mohsin). These statistics tie in with the current issue of social media addiction. It is concerning that many students are exposed to addiction at an early age. Though it is expected that people are glued to their phones on the train, however; it is unacceptable at family restaurants. The addiction affects all members of the family at the table. According to a “Tech Timeout” survey conducted by Harris Interactive: “61 percent of people surveyed agreed that the overuse of technology has had a negative impact on family life.” The atmosphere created by Facebook addiction is perceived to be negative by the majority of families.
Facebook is not only ruining people’s social lives but academically. Facebook® users reported having lower GPAs and spending fewer hours per week studying than nonusers (Kirschner and Karpinski, 5). Though intentionally, Facebook was used as a method to connect with peers and family to gain access to new information. However, that is not always the case. Facebook and social media are often an excuse for distraction, in fact “over 78% of students reported social media use as distracting, with levels similar to distractions from in-person interactions” (Emerick, Caldarella, and Black). The primary source of using social media to be a medium for information seeking is being transitioned into a source of entertainment. A research was conducted by sociologists to observe the long-term outcome of social media. It was found that “for every hour of electronic media exposure reported by students on average, GPA was reduced between 0.05 and 0.07 points” (Jacobsen et al.). It is clear that using social media as a means of assistance will increase distractions, which will negatively impact students’ learning experiences.
A student’s low GPA will often encourage them to use Facebook as a way to cheat. In recent times, technology has evolved in a way where people can interact and start a conversation with multiple individuals instantaneously. Unfortunately, school administrators often mention the ongoing issue of academic dishonesty when discussing the dangers of allowing students to use social platforms like Facebook in a learning environment. In a study conducted by Finn and Frone, “the results show that cheating is more likely among lower-achieving students when they do not identify with school” (115). However, academic dishonesty is a temptation that affects more than the lower-performing students. According to International Center for Academic Integrity, McCabe’s surveys of over 70,000 high school students at over 24 high schools in the United States demonstrated that 64 percent of students admitted to cheating on a test, 58 percent admitted to plagiarism and 95 percent said they participated in some form of cheating, whether it was on a test, plagiarism or copying homework (Simmons). Cheating affects even the most prestigious students, in 2012, 71 students that attended Stuyvesant High School were caught cheating in the New York State Regents. The most bizarre part of the event was the scandal was organized by a single student and 69 other students decided to help him; the other student was caught in an unrelated case. Despite being in a highly prestigious school, students will not hesitate to cheat for their own benefits. Though individuals may briefly benefit themselves, the act of cheating may hurt others in the future due to their incapability and lack of knowledge. According to Monster’s 2019 State of the Recruiter survey, 85% of recruiters said that candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resumes. Consumers would feel cheated off of purchasing services from someone who cheated their way into a career.
Online disinhibition is causing future generations to gradually become more violent than ever. Human interactions with another online would be completely different, the effect encourages cyberbullying, groupthink, and even threats (GoodTherapy). On a social media platform like Facebook, where users have free reign over their comments, there is no strict limitation on their actions. In a university study, experts created 240 Facebook profiles for their university students. The experts observe the activity of those Facebook users in terms of “the quantity of interactions, the positive or negative quality of those interactions, and also the degree of narcissistic self-presentation present” (Khalis and Mikami). One’s profile is a strong indicator of a reflection on their actions in real life. Thus, it is important to pay attention to users who demonstrate a dangerous level of violence and negativity in their profile.
In addition to the negativity presented online, many extreme users will take actions offline. On September 9, 2013, Rebecca Ann Sedwick committed suicide due to cyberbullying from her peers (CNN). There were multiple death threats texts received by her bullies, including “You should drink bleach and die” and “Die please” (Sullivan and Orlando Sentinel). Sedwick was a victim of online interactions with people who felt that they could act a certain way behind their screens. Sadly, suicide is only just the beginning, more crimes are being committed due to an influence over social media platforms, mainly Facebook. Other than Facebook’s popularity, Facebook Live is a function that allows an individual to live stream to an audience. The main purpose of this function is to bring attention to a topic or even entertainment purposes. However, the desire for fame may turn dark, on January 22nd, 2017, three men broadcast in a private Facebook group video raping a woman in an apartment in Uppsala (Solon). The reason behind their actions was simple, yet disturbing: attention. These men did not want to be recognized as unknowns, but rather felt it was better to be famous for doing terrible acts. Facebook is giving the incentive to commit acts for attention, despite the consequences.
Though many scholars and young students may argue for the importance of social media in their daily lives, it does not outweigh the negative effects that come along with it. In higher-level courses, technology dominates over the traditional methods in academic learning (Ali et al.). Social media is used as a communication platform for a collaborative learning experience. However, a collaborative learning experience online is often awkward and is less efficient compared to in-face group collaboration. As mentioned previously, there are distractions everywhere in an online environment. Even more so, online learning requires more discipline and self-motivation as it lacks that attendance requirement in a face-to-face environment. Whereas, in a traditional classroom engaging with peers often gives more motivation and helps the likelihood of a better social life (Pitt). Offline interaction is statistically a better social experience and a better learning experience compared to using online platforms like Facebook.
Social media is often perceived as accessible to communicate with people locally and overseas. However, the intentions of the user are often unknown. It is already difficult to determine a person’s true intentions in person, online relationships make it that much more difficult. Provided personal information online is extremely dangerous, yet social media stars do it all the time. Blinded by their own success, safety precautions are not a priority for them. However, it should, Kim Kardashian was robbed in 2016. The robber had accessed her personal information, thus allowing them to threaten the celebrity at gunpoint and stolen over $10 million worth of jewelry (France and Verdier). Facebook as a communication platform is not safe since it provides personal information to strangers.
Facebook is an advanced technology that allows individuals all over the world to communicate with each other. Though it may offer positive intent, the effect of using such programs without any regulations proves to be harmful to these individuals and the community as a whole. Social media usage needs to be limited as it negatively affects our generation and will continue to do so throughout human history. Facebook deters academic progression, alters human interaction and behavior, and causes multiple media-influenced crimes. It would be foolish to use Facebook to socially interact with our community as a replacement for offline relationships. Limitation of social media provides a healthier social life and major improvement for local communities.
Ali, Murad, et al. “Strengthening the Academic Usage of Social Media: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of King Saud University – Computer and Information Sciences, Elsevier, 10 Oct. 2016, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319157816300787#:~:text=To%20understand%20the%20primary%20use,33.33%20percent%20for%20socializing%20purposes.
Finn, Kristin Voelkl, and Michael R. Frone. “Academic Performance and Cheating: Moderating Role of School Identification and Self-Efficacy.” The Journal of Educational Research, vol. 97, no. 3, 2004, pp. 115–122. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27548020. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.
France, Lisa Respers, and Camille Verdier. “Kardashian Heist: Police Say Social Media Made Her a Target.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Oct. 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/10/04/entertainment/kim-kardashian-police-social-media/index.html.
Jacobsen, Wade C., et al. “The Wired Generation: Academic and Social Outcomes of Electronic Media Use Among University Students.” Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, 19 May 2011, liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/cyber.2010.0135.
Khalis, Adri, and Amori Yee Mikami. “Talking Face-to-Facebook: Associations between Online Social Interactions and Offline Relationships.” Computers in Human Behavior, Pergamon, 27 July 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563218303558.
Mohsin, Maryam. “10 Facebook Statistics You Need to Know in 2021 [New Data].” Oberlo, Oberlo, 24 Mar. 2021, www.oberlo.com/blog/facebook-statistics.
“Online Disinhibition Effect.” GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog, www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/online-disinhibition-effect#:~:text=The%20disinhibition%20effect%20of%20online,him%20or%20her%20in%20person.
Pitt, Darienn. “Face-to-Face Learning Is Better than Online.” The Crimson White, 8 Apr. 2020, cw.ua.edu/64870/opinion/face-to-face-learning-is-better-than-online/.
Simmons, Andrew. “Why Students Cheat-and What to Do About It.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 28 Apr. 2018, www.edutopia.org/article/why-students-cheat-and-what-do-about-it.
“Statistics.” International Center for Academic Integrity, www.academicintegrity.org/statistics/.
Sullivan, Arelis Hernández and Jerriann, and Orlando Sentinel. “Cyberbullying-Suicide Suspect: Yes, I Bullied Girl Who Killed Herself.” Orlandosentinel.com, Orlando Sentinel, 18 June 2018, www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-rebecca-sedwick-cyber-bully-arrests-20131015-story.html.
“Why a Rising Number of Criminals Are Using Facebook Live to Film Their Acts.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 27 Jan. 2017, www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/27/rising-numbers-of-criminals-are-using-facebook-to-document-their-crimes.