By Jordyn Jacobson
Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, there’s no doubt that social media has become a huge part of teenage life. It is changing the way that we communicate, get our news, share pictures, and even learn. So, should social media be allowed in schools?
There are clear benefits to integrating social media into our curriculum. Senior Neil Dan explains, “I don’t think schools should block social media because there are various positive uses of social media and very rarely are social medias successfully blocked.” Sites like YouTube are a great way for kids to retain information at school and even at home. Social media has become a second nature to most teenagers, and having social media at school could be a great way to get students interested and involved. Sites such as Google Classroom are great platforms for connecting students and using technology to our benefit. They can be used to exchange videos, information, and ideas. Sophomore Natalie Hooker describes, “I think that it is important to learn self-control and discipline. I think kids should be able to use social media during frees or during lunch.” Throughout many of our lives, we will have to work in places where social media is very apparent. It is important for us to learn how to regulate our social media use now, so that we will be well prepared for the future.
While there are many benefits to allowing the use of social media in the classroom, there can also be various repercussions. When I asked one mother what she thought about the issue, she explained, “We live in a time where everyone is so easily distracted, and I think that social media adds another level of distraction to the kids who are supposed to be learning.” If you are a teenager, I’m sure you are used to hearing your parents telling you to put your phone down. Teenagers are constantly checking text messages, updating social profiles, and trying to keep up with what it is going on around them. It can also be argued that school should be a time when kids can completely disconnect and focus on learning. With social media at our fingertips, this may not always be possible.
Social networking sites have also become a huge hub for cyber bullying. While bullying used to consist of stealing lunch money and fighting on the playground, it now consists of mean actions done virtually, while the bully hides behind a computer screen. Cyberbullying is something that is hard to avoid, and it shouldn’t be something kids are focusing on during school. It is also very hard for schools to regulate what kids are saying online, and the schools are ultimately responsible for what is said by students online while the student is in school. Freshman Sarah Ilany describes, “Some students go through a lot of drama online, and school should be a place where they can escape and focus on learning.”
It is clear that social media plays a huge role in our lives, and will continue to play a huge role in the future. Whether we like or not, it has a great effect on the way that we communicate and see the world. There are many pros and cons to incorporating this into school and the way that we learn. While it can benefit the learning process by acting as a tool to learn new information, it can also be a great distraction. However, technology continues to play an increased role in our lives, and it may be beneficial for students to learn how to incorporate it into their lives, both inside and outside of school.