Karice DamallieProfessor Emre YildirimComm 150
November 13th, 2018
Social Media and How It Affects Bahamian Youth’s Class performance
What would our lives be like without Social Media? Social media is like oxygen that some of us can’t live without, especially youths. “The main social media platforms that college students utilize are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Yik Yak. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, it was found that 90 percent of young adults use these social media sites. In the same study, it also found that there was a 78 percent increase in young adult social media usage from 2005” (Cruz). This statistic can be in relation to how many Bahamian youths use social media. Social media has many purposes it can be used for, but the many affects it has on Bahamian youths in their class performance can be negative or positive. This problem statement essay will outline the positive effects of social media on Bahamian youths which are it aids with research, enhances learning ability, and helps students keep up to date with class work as students tend to communicate through messaging to get information or help on class assignments. However, there are negative aspects of social media on Bahamian youth’s class performance, which are, it makes students too dependent and reliant on social media to help them with their school work, it is a distraction in preventing students from learning in class and studying, and it affects their writing skills.
One positive aspect of social media on Bahamian youth’s class performance is that it aids with research. Students use social media to gain information and to expand their knowledge. Social media is a reliable source when it comes to finding information for homework, school projects, or studying. A survey was conducted in the University of the Bahamas where 21 students were chosen to answer the question, “what are the positive effects of social media on them”. Sixty-six (66) percent said that it helps with research and accessing information. Social media enhances student’s academic performance in school because some students find difficulty in understanding a class lesson so they turn to social media as a way or source to help them understand something they could not in class. Students often use Youtube, which is a social media platform for people to share videos. They tend to use this site to assist them with their homework or to understand something that they could not in class. For example a math problem a student found difficulty understanding in class, he/she would use Youtube and search educational videos that can help them better understand the math problem. However, social media can also negatively impact Bahamian youth’s academic performance as it makes them too dependent and reliant on social media to help them with their school work. Instead of picking up books to do research or visiting libraries students turn to social media for all their research studies. Students do this because it is a quick and easy way to find information rather than spending time reading books. Information can also be copied and pasted which is a common practice for students to do. This encourages laziness, plagiarism and it can affect the student’s performance in class because they did not try to learn or retain the information nor do any research on their class assignment which can help boost their academic performance. There are social media platforms like Quora that are used to research, discuss, share information, and ask questions. Students often use a site like this to help them with their class assignments and to get answers from other people which make them too reliant and dependent on social media to help them with their assignments instead of finding it or doing it on their own.
Another positive aspect of social media is that it enhances learning ability. Social media is also a form of informational source. Students gain information and knowledge through social media. It is also easy for them to obtain information faster through it as well. Class assignments or educational problems that students find difficulties in are solved and discussed online with the help of educators through videos or messaging, which can help with Bahamian youth’s academic performance and enhance their leaning ability. On the other hand, one may argue that social media distracts students in preventing them from learning in class and studying. The over usage of social media by Bahamian students causes them to lose focus during a class session because students have a habit of using their devices during class lectures which results in students becoming distracted and sidetracked. The short attention span in the classroom has an effect on the student’s performance as they may miss vital information from the lecture which can cause students to perform mediocre on quizzes and tests, and fail to understand the lesson; therefore it inhibits their learning ability. Social media also distracts students from studying. They spend hours online texting, sharing post, and watching videos. This can also lead to procrastination as students put off school work to spend most of their hours throughout the day just using social media. Furthermore, this can also affect their learning ability and class performance as they spend most of their time on social media rather than studying, and completing their class assignments. “A landmark report released today by Common Sense Media finds that teenagers (ages 13-18) use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day and that tweens (ages 8-12) use an average of six hours a day not including time spent using media for school or homework” (Cohen et al.). This statistic can be in relation to how many Bahamian youths spend time on social media. Students multitask by trying to study, complete their assignments and use social media at the same time which is also a distraction as they try to do it all at once. Their focus would be on the homework at one point then it would shift to their screens and there they are texting away. It was reported by a CNN reporter “Half of teens say they “often” or “sometimes” use social media or watch TV while doing their homework. Some 60% say they text and more than 75% say they listen to music while working on schoolwork at home.”(Wallace) This statistics can have some relations to Bahamian youths multitasking social media and homework which is a distraction while studying
Lastly, another positive affect of social media on Bahamian youth class performance is that it helps students keep up to date with their class work as students tend to communicate through messaging to get information or help on class assignments. Students use social media for communicating, socializing and staying in contact with friends. They also use this to get into contact with their peers or teachers to ask for assistance on a class assignment or school projects. This is also good because if a student is absent from class they are able to contact a friend or teacher to follow up on what they had missed in class. Additionally, students are not in school 24/7 so if they want to seek help with an assignment, social media allows them to get in contact with a friend or teacher to get information. On the contrary, students writing skills are affected through the usage of social media which can affect Bahamian youth class performance.
When texting a friend or anyone students use a lot of abbreviations, slangs, and Bahamian dialect. For example instead of saying “Is she okay?” students will go the shorter way and say “Is she k”. This develops poor communicational and writing skills. Students send messages to their friends that have incomplete sentences, fragments, grammatical errors, incorrect spelling and no punctuations. This habit can affect the way students write essays, or answers for tests, and quizzes which can be difficult for the teacher to comprehend thus resulting in poor grades. Students will find difficulty in expressing a thought because they do not know how to word or form a proper sentence which can affect their writing skills.
In conclusion, social media affects Bahamian youths in their class performance. The positives are that social media on Bahamian youths aids with research, enhances learning ability, and helps students keep up to date with class work as students tend to communicate through messaging to get information or help on class assignments. However, there are negative impacts that social media has on Bahamian youths class performance which are it makes students too dependent and reliant on social media to help them with their school work, it is a distraction in preventing students from learning in class and studying, and it affects their writing skills. Social media are platforms that people use to exchange or share information. In similar manner, mass communication is the exchange of information through a media or source. Both social media and mass communication have relations with each other as both deals with the exchanging of messages through a source or media. What was discovered while doing this research was that social media impacts Bahamian youths more negatively than positively. It is an addiction for many Bahamian youths and it affects how students progress in school. How will this look in our coming future? Social media will improve to provide more benefits. However, the Bahamian youths will eventually become reliant on it thus this will affect their learning abilities and the usage of libraries and book reading will be reduced.
Cohen, Lisa, et al. “Landmark Report: U.S. Teens Use an Average of Nine Hours of Media Per Day, Tweens Use Six Hours.” https://www.commonsensemedia.org/about-us/news/press-releases/landmark-report-us-teens-use-an-average-of-nine-hours-of-media-per-day. Common Sense Media. 3rd November, 2015.
Cruz, Juan De La. “Social media impacts students socially, academically.” https://www.niacc.edu/logoslite/2016/11/10/social-media-impacts-students-socially-academically/. Logos Lite. N.d.Wallace, Kelly. “Teens spend a ‘mind-blogging’ 9 hours a day using media, reports says.” https://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/03/health/teens-tweens-media-screen-use-report/index.html. CNN. 4th, November, 2015.