Social Media’s Affect on Education

Not so many years ago, all the cool kids hung out on MySpace, looking for the cuties and talking to random people you would never meet in real life. Today, MySpace is ancient history, but the realm of social media is expanding. We need blogs, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn, and even Facebook to help connect to potential employers, get into social networking, and help us land a job. This need and use of social media has helped to transform aspects of college education and college life in general.

As a student in S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, it’s hard to escape the importance and prevalence of social media. Magazines, companies, films, celebrities, and just about everyone else can now be found on some, if not all, forms of social media. In essence, it’s the way of the future. Schools often now suggest creating blogs so employers can get a sense of your writing and personality, and managing a professional Twitter to get an idea for what your industry is like and perhaps catch the attention of a certain employer.

Social media is no longer just a way for high school students to find other students who also like puppies. It is a full blown industry that can close and open doors for you depending on what you’re talking about on your profiles. There are now college courses taught on the various social media platforms, how to create a professional profile, and the importance of maintaining these profiles.

While some argue that social media distracts from school time—which is true if kids are sitting in class on Facebook chat; surely their parents are super proud and putting that tuition money to good use—it can actually be seen as the student taking the future into their hands. By encouraging the students to follow, for example, different magazines, magazine editors and writers as a magazine major, this can only serve to exemplify the passion they have for their future careers. Further, students then have a chance to potentially interact with professionals in their field, by posting a Facebook comment or sending a tweet. Social media can revolutionize students getting ready for the job market as they can see first-hand some of the skills and day-to-day tasks of people in their field on the job, which can help them choose courses and find the best internships down the road.

Through teaching social media or using social media in the classroom, a student’s education is broadened. The Internet connects the world and with social media, the world has platforms on which to communicate and build significant connections for their future. The class can have discussions through a Facebook page or on Twitter, instead of having to deal with emails back and forth. Professors can hold a Twitter Q&A with an old colleague still working at a company students in the major would love to hear about. And remember that time James Franco taught a class via Skype? The opportunities are endless and with more unique social media platforms, more doors are opening.

Though many people still don’t understand social media and see it as a waste of time, it is quickly becoming the way of the future. Social media has already helped land thousands of people jobs and internships, which in turn has made it a necessity to be taught in some form in school so students understand how to make best use of these platforms on a professional level. So, embrace your Facebook, be kind on your Twitter and learn, learn, learn!

-ToonyToon

I’m reading Western Civilization 1715

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