Social media is the new order of the day. All the buzz, entertainment, engagement, relationships, and simplicity makes life so easy that one would say, it’s one of the best things to happen to man.
While this is true, it’s also false. I mean, there’s no doubt that through social media, you get to communicate with different people in different parts of the world, reach out to fellow students, and do lots of amazing stuff.
But amid this enjoyment lies some negative results. Addiction, distraction, and abuse, to name a few.
The truth is, there are as many disadvantages as there are advantages, to social media.
This article highlights all the disadvantages of social media, most especially for students.
Let’s get started.
What are the Disadvantages of Social Media for Students?
Social media has grown tremendously over the years. From developed nations to under-developed nations, everyone is utilizing the power of social media to their benefit.
However, we are so quick to be into the benefits, that we fail to see the damage it has done to us.
Teenagers abuse this privilege so much that it negatively affects study time, as well as relationships with friends and family.
Below are the most prominent disadvantages of social media for students.
#1. Causes distractions
The major disadvantage of social media is that it’s a major source of distraction for them.
A student who has a smartphone and full access to all social media networks become less interested in doing other offline activities that make up his/her study.
You realize that these students oftentimes become unaware of what happens around them. Social media now becomes a means to feel popular, important, and just fit in.
More so, it becomes a yardstick for measuring who is more valuable because students now compare who has the highest number of followers on either of the platforms.
This disadvantage is not limited to students alone, as adults also face this problem.
It takes up to 25 minutes to become focused on your task after you have spent between 30 minutes to one-hour scrolling through your feed on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
To limit this disadvantage, start by turning off notifications on your phone and browser. If possible, keep your phone far away from you when it’s study time. You’d want to focus more on what truly matters, which is the studies that a million followers you have most likely don’t care about you.
#2. It disrupts your sleep cycle
All social media platforms are operated from a mobile device. Hence, the light emanating from these screens can disrupt your brain program from thinking about sleep.
This is because, when you expose your brain to electronics, it can change your mind from wanting to go to sleep to constantly staying engaged on social media.
This is very frequent especially when you’re a new user and you are caught up in the freedom, buzz, engagement, and talk.
As a student, you need to get a maximum of 8 hours of sleep to concentrate and focus on your academics with an active brain.
So, when you are tempted to reply to user001 on Facebook and it’s 30 minutes past your normal bedtime, just switch off your phone and go to sleep.
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#3. Lacks emotional connection
Due to the addictive nature of social media, students cannot relate to each other adequately.
Most of the so-called friendships are developed on likes and no. of followers instead of genuine emotional connection.
When issues arise, you send a text instead of talking it out in-person. And the bad thing about this is that messages can be misinterpreted or misunderstood, worsening the situation.
So, instead of telling Jenny that she hurt you over a text which she’d probably read as a normal text and not understand the depth of what she did, consider talking.
It can save your friendship.
#4. It is used to hurt people
Nothing hurts as much as being openly disgraced on social media. Where everyone is a saint, and a judge. Situations like this can drive people to depression, low self-esteem, or even suicide.
Because social media is free, many people can do anything and get away from it.
More so, because you can create multiple accounts makes it even harder to control what people do.
#5. Conveys inauthentic expression of feelings
Social media has brought about the use of texts and emojis to replace physical acts like laughing and crying.
This shorthand has become the new normal when chatting on any social media platform such that people now use “LOL” or “HAHAHA” when expressing laughter.
The worst thing about this is that the individual in question may not even be smiling, let alone laughing. But because he/she is behind a screen, he/she can conveniently type that just to get the conversation going.
Come to think of it, isn’t the beauty of laughter, in the act of actually laughing? That you feel happy and decide to let it out by laughing is the real deal.
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#6. Students who excessively use social media have low grades
Due to the addictive nature of social media, students are more likely to spend most of their time there.
A recent study shows that about one-third of students say that they are on social media while studying or doing their homework in ways that are not educationally productive.
This non-educational activity reduces the quality of their school work, which leads to lower grades.
Non-users of social media had a GPA of 3.82 in the United States, while those who continued to use Facebook and similar sites had an average GPA of 3.06.
Students who use social media while studying score up to 20% lower on their tests compared to non-users.
For young adults in college or at a university, their grades drop 0.12 points for every 90 minutes they spend on networking sites each day. Four hours of screen time is enough for a student to drop a full grade.
#7. Social media leads to more waste of time
Internet users between the ages of 16-and 60 spend at least 2 hours every day on social media.
That accounts for about 30% of the time they spend online doing nothing reasonable.
Most people say that staying online and scrolling through feeds is one of the most productive ways to waste time asides from other stuff like watching television and playing sports.
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#8. It intensifies peer pressure
If you struggle with peer pressure, wanting to fit into what your group of peers do, then you might feel the need to behave in a certain way for them to accept you.
Sometimes, you’d lay or create a skewed image of yourself just to be like your friends. You just want to share the best times of your life to make others feel you’ve never had a bad time in your life.
Students are more affected by this the most because they comprise young teens and adults.
More so, it’s easier for you to feel more affected because cyberbullying is worse online, and perpetrators can be anonymous when sitting behind a screen.
#9. Reduces thoughtfulness and understanding
Since social media became the new trend, the quality of conversations has dropped.
This is mostly because people are spending much time online having conversations that have no emotions or value.
More so, because they don’t understand the emotion/character of the person they’re talking to, they have careless conversations.
The quality of conversations that happen in person, cannot be compared to online conversations.
#10. Social media exposes us to a lot of information
When social media first started, it was a platform for meaningful communication, where you can reach out to friends and family with the important people in your life.
More so, you could share photos, videos, and messages with people who genuinely want to listen.
Now, its because a dumpsite for any kind of information, useful or not. Because of the increasing number of users on the platforms, you have access to all kinds of information.
I heard a quote sometime that said, “If you can’t find it on the internet, then it doesn’t exist”
And I totally agree to it.
More so, between the political arguments, posted selfies shared links, and brand videos that enter the average news feed every day, It can be overwhelming to have access to all the information at once, and this can likely affect your mental state as a student.
#11. It could lead to personality disorders
Another disadvantage of social media is that it could lead to personality disorders.
Research by University of Pittsburgh shows that use of multiple social media platforms is more strongly associated with depression and anxiety among young adults than the total amount of time they spend on social media.
People who report using seven to 11 social media platforms had more than three times the risk of depression and anxiety than their peers who use only two platforms, even after adjusting for the total time spent on social media overall.
The addictive qualities of these platforms can lead to an enhancement or increase in narcissistic behaviors and personality traits.
#12. False information can spread faster through social media
One of the major channels for transmission of information is Social media. And because more than three-quarters of the world’s population are on any of the social media platforms, it gives reporters a wider reach.
The problem with this is that the information lacks credibility and verification before it’s passed.
Oftentimes, people post these news just to either chase clout or gain more engagement and followers without caring about its impact.
In general, people just want news that sounds best to them.
#13. Social Media increases laziness
The continuous use of social media leads to laziness in individuals. This is because instead of making efforts to visit a friend, or host a get-together of all your friends, you’d rather stay on your bed and create a WhatsApp group for all of you.
More so, instead of visiting the library to get a book you need, you’d rather search for its electronic version to read on your phone.
Of course, you’d say it just makes life easy. But that ease breeds laziness gradually.
#14. Reduces Family time
Spending so much time on Social media can separate you from your family even without your knowledge.
When a family is spending family time together, watching a movie, and playing games, most children are on their phones rather than spending time with their friends.
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#15. Glorifies drugs and alcohol
One of the disadvantages of social media is that people follow others who are drug-addicted and share their views and videos on the web.
This eventually inspires others to follow the same and get addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Their excuse most times is that their favorite celebrities are doing the same.
#16. Constant use of social media leads to a sedentary lifestyle
Another disadvantage of social media is that it leads to a sedentary lifestyle. Because social media is done online, it can promote spending so much time in one spot for too long.
Although some people check their feeds doing something else, it most commonly happens when you’re bored and in a place doing nothing.
In fact, it is at that point that you spend the most time online.
More so, if you’re using social media for 70 minutes every day in a seated position, then this habit can start to create changes that lead you toward a sedentary lifestyle.
#17. Social media replaces offline interactions
Constant engagements online quickly replace our offline interactions way before you know it.
Due to social media, you can easily pull up the profile of your friend, comment, send a message, like, or even share one of their posts.
We tend to substitute this action for offline face-to-face interaction, thereby reducing our level of social skills.
#18. There are privacy issues to consider with social networks
Due to the high volume of data being shared on these social media platforms, the level of privacy dwindles by the day.
Most of the user agreements you sign may contain a license that allows the platform you’re using to share some of your information with third parties.
The worse of it all is that you may never know. Most of these privacy policies are so long that you don’t even get to read them before you click on “I agree.”
More so, because you can share lots of information online, you can easily be tracked or queried on any piece of information you put out there.
So, as a student, you really need to be careful.
#19. It makes you build your whole life around a device
Rounding up my list of disadvantages of social media is that it makes it almost impossible for you to live without a phone.
Due to the addictive nature of social media, you could lose your sense of self-control.
Also, due to peer pressure, you are constantly glued to your phone, waiting to see the latest update or post from a friend.
It’s so exhausting.
Social media is good, no doubt. In fact, it has made life easy by making communication and studying easier.
But, it doesn’t change the fact that it still has disadvantages that need to be tackled.
I hope this post helps you stay informed.
All the best!
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