“He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?
Social Media effects everyone, (students included), in a variety of ways. . It changes the way we interact with each other, how others look at us, how we view our selves, how we access information and even how we think and our ability to focus. Social media overall has a positive impact when it comes to the aspect of collaboration versus distraction that social media encourages. . I found this to be true in my personal experience. My class established a MySpace exchange where we could collaborate on projects, tutor each other and socially interact. Teachers could sign in as well, and they did, answering questions and sometimes herding us back to work when out exchanges ranged too far afield. This was a positive influence in my lower school experience and helped me immensely. As a result, I have no problem now putting social media aside while I study, which is a habit that helps me maintain my 4.0 grade average. It also taught me about how teachers could look on the Internet to check on their out of school behavior.
At its best social networking increases collaboration among students and teaches them how to maintain business and social connections. It also helps students learn technology and how to use it to develop an on line presence. . However there is a down side as well it speeds up life. Then the grammar or lack thereof has language teachers around the world up in arms. While people are learning to express themselves more succinctly, 140 characters or less sends proper grammar and spelling out the window. Students now need grammar and spell check to complete a scholarly paper. In English speaking countries, 2 on the Internet substitutes for synonyms like to, too, and two and students no longer know how to when to use the correct word form
At its worst, social media is a distraction lessens a person’s experience with doing accurate research, and their ability to work face to face with others. At a deeper level, it is actually affecting our brain chemistry, and rewiring our brains. Formerly generated by face-to-face interaction, Oxytocin spikes when social media users go on line. The body sends out Adrenaline spikes as well, just as if a user changed their physical location. . Studies reveled that the average attention span dropped from 12 minutes in the year 2000 to five minutes in 2012. That is not just a number it represents serious consequences, productivity loss, property damage and social problems are just a few of the documented problems attributed to social media. . Some people develop a “sound byte” thought pattern and find it difficult to focus on longer pieces of prose. This is Nicolas Carr’s lament in The Shallows: Hal and I . In this, he expounds upon his growing lack of ability to focus on reading long pieces of prose. In this situation, I find his argument to be somewhat disingenuous since he retained the ability to write a book. However, I cannot deny that there is a general tendency for everyone now to “information surf” rather than focus on one written source at a time.
Another problem arises when people disenfranchise themselves from the people around them in “real time” in favor of “facebook friends.” As a result, society as a whole finds it more difficult to engage in face-to-face conversation. Sometimes however, the broad exchange of information on the Internet can lead a person back into the real world with a greater understanding of human nature as happened to Jonathan Franzen .
In conclusion, although studies show students frequently use Social Networking Sites (SNS) and it would be easy to think that it would affect their grades, “An interesting conclusion has been drawn on the basis of the findings of current study that students are managing their time efficiently and hence, use of SNSs does not harm their academic performance.” . However, “Social Media has changed our lives, and our brains, and not in a good way. social media is having a profound effect on not just our lives but on our brains too. Scientists are researching how social media impacts cognitive functions and development, like multitasking skills, our ability (or inability) to focus, how our brains are getting rewired, to name a few. All of which appear to be drastically affected by social media participation.” .
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Assisted Living Today. "Is Social Media Ruining Our Minds?" 09 2012. Assisted Living Today. 06 10 2012 <http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/resources/social-media-is-ruining-our-minds-infographic/>.
Carr, Nicholas. "Hall and I." Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011. 5 - 16.
Dunn, Jeff. "The 10 Best and Worst Ways Social Media Impacts Education." 04 11 2011. Edudemic. 06 10 2012 <http://edudemic.com/2011/07/social-media-education/>.
Franzen, Jonathan. "Pain Won't Kill You." Franzen, Jonathan. Farther Away. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. 5 - 14.
Lennon, John and Paul McCartney. "THE BEATLES "Nowhere Man"." 2012. Oldielyrics. 06 10 2012 <http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/the_beatles/nowhere_man.html>.