College Organizations’ Use of Social Media

Social media can be a very useful and important part of college life. It can help to inform students about school activities and events, encourage students to join organizations, or just share and celebrate those organizations. The question is, just how effective is it? Does social media make a real impact on campus, or is it simply just there?

An empirical study in the American Journal of Business Education followed a university fitness center during its transition from traditional media tools to social media marketing. The fitness center implemented a social media marketing strategy centered around Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. They ran a promotional contest in order to see which of those platforms was most beneficial to the center. The project results focus on three key components: change in total student check-in numbers, change in programs and services, and change in social media network participation. 

In terms of student check-ins to the fitness center, an increase of 6% – or nearly 8,000 check-ins – was realized during a 5 month period. In comparison to the prior year without social media marketing, the center’s measured participation in programs and services showed increases ranging from 21% to 720%. Facebook was the most beneficial platform, gaining 3,600 fans. You can easily visualize the change in the fitness center’s presence on campus, based on numbers alone. Implementing social media to this organization’s marketing tactics essentially took it from zero to one hundred, but what about pre-existing social media? How do ever-evolving campus organization media profiles effect students?

Ethan Magram, SUNY Oswego Junior, comments on his involvement with campus use of social media, “I pretty much only follow the organizations I’m a part of. I think when I was first coming here as a freshman, a lot of the organizations handed me papers with their social media. I used those to research how active the clubs were and how many members they had, which ultimately led to my decision on whether to join or not,” He believes he saw an accurate representation of the clubs he was looking at, “more often than not, when a club has a dormant social media presence, then they are less active on campus, and I wanted to be a part of clubs that had plenty of things going on with plenty of people.” Magram also reflects on a negative experience he had with social media, “I followed the Instagram account for my residence hall, expecting it to notify me about activities and information, but the last post was from 3 years ago. I think this is a reflection of that building’s lack of community, and the overall experience I had while living there.”

Jacob Watson, SUNY Oswego Sophomore and computer science major, on the men’s club volleyball team “I actually looked up the volleyball club accounts before I came to this college… I saw videos of our club’s current seniors playing and it got me excited to join,” As an incoming freshman, the club’s social media gave him insight into the team he considered joining. He was able to vet the experience he might have to help him decide. “It might have been a slightly underrated view because it seemed like [the account] wasn’t being consistently updated, but if it was run better it would have been a better representation,”

With the growing number of college clubs and organizations using social media marketing, there are positive and negative effects for both the organizations and the students interested in them. While it may help promote business and participation like the fitness center study, poorly-managed social media may hurt the user’s image, like Ethan’s experience with his residence hall. It seems like for organizations to have a positive outcome from their social media use, it should be updated regularly and show an accurate representation of what that organization has to offer, otherwise it may create the opposite impression. Because students seek out this immediate gratification of being able to vet their prospective experiences, it can be very important for clubs and organizations to adapt to the new age of social media marketing.

The Student Relationship with LinkedIn

By Ethan Magram

Image result for linkedin

Just about every college student has gotten the LinkedIn lecture. We’ve all been told to make ourselves a LinkedIn account, construct our profile a certain way, have a professional headshot, and use specific key words that will stand out to employers in searches. I’m sure many students have asked themselves if putting so much time into a LinkedIn profile is even worth it if it may not be as effective as they’ve been led to believe.

At first, I thought the answer to this question was ‘no.’ I thought the platform was so saturated with student profiles, just like mine, that it would be impossible to stand out to employers. After all, 25% of all American adults have a LinkedIn account, according to Pew Research, and there are over 46 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn, according to Brandwatch. It appears as if there will always other students that have stronger profiles and stronger resumes.

I say all this, and remain this cynical, after having found success on the platform. I was offered an internship opportunity through LinkedIn over the summer. It was totally unprompted and would have been a truly legitimate and beneficial experience (had I accepted it). Yet, somehow, I remained skeptical about whether it could help other students like me find these kinds of opportunities.

I asked Kimberly Hirsch, a senior cognitive science and computer science major at SUNY Oswego, if she felt that LinkedIn is a beneficial tool for other students to use. She responded with an emphatic ‘yes.’

“I have never been offered any opportunities over LinkedIn,” Hirsch said, “but my sister has.”

Hirsch continued to explain that her sister had graduated college and was offered her full-time, salaried job over LinkedIn. She has remained at that company for over 6 years.

I was beginning to change my mind and realize that LinkedIn had the potential to be an incredibly useful tool for students to seek internship and job opportunities, given the right circumstances.

Brenna MacIsaac, the graduate assistant for the Navigator program in the Compass at SUNY Oswego, says that one of her own friends has found opportunities through LinkedIn.

“She is a human resource major and she has had a ton of [related] positions, so people have reached out to her for human resources,” she said.

So, students are indeed finding opportunities over LinkedIn. At this point, my frame of reference has changed entirely. But one thing did stick out to me when I had my conversation with Brenna MacIsaac.

“I think a lot of people on LinkedIn, on the employer side, look for people [whose] experiences match up…,” she said. “I think there is an equal relationship there.”

I found this point about the relationship between recruiters and job seekers fascinating. After doing some research, I found that recruiters have just as much of a methodology for finding people to hire as students do trying to get hired.

According to The Balanced Careers, over 100,000 recruiters are using LinkedIn as a recruitment tool, meaning over 100,000 companies are looking for good employees just as there are over 450 million LinkedIn users looking for jobs.

LinkedIn itself boasts that over 75% of people who have recently switched jobs have used LinkedIn to inform their decision, and that social professional networks like LinkedIn are the #1 source of quality hires. LinkedIn has a plethora of statistics and blog posts for recruiters to improve their recruitment processes just like students might receive tips about how to construct their profiles for a higher likelihood that theirs will be looked at by recruiters.

This relationship between recruiter and potential hire appears to be one that lacks any kind of understanding from one side to the other. The language in these blog posts for recruiters carry a tone that lacks regard for the people these recruiters would intend to hire, but instead, carries a somewhat corporate-insider tone. It’s almost as if finding good recruits isn’t the issue to recruiters, but comparing recruitment processes is.

For example, a post on the LinkedIn Talent Blog by Ed Nathanson: “No matter how good you are, how many great placements you have made or how great a sourcer you may be, most of our customers think that they can do our job (or at the very least, have opinions on how they would do it better).”

Ultimately, I found that, for students, LinkedIn has the potential to be a very valuable resource for finding jobs and internships. As long as you tailor your profile correctly, it may be clicked on by recruiters. But I believe that recruiters on LinkedIn have very little of a concern for the humans behind the profiles. It seems to me as if they utilize LinkedIn as a tool to sift through candidates to find the ones that are most qualified, but have little concern for anything other than the items on their hiring checklist that are checked off by certain LinkedIn profiles. In that sense, I think that colleges and their students should rethink the way they treat LinkedIn and try to use it with this relationship between potential hires and recruiters in mind and to their advantage.

Social Media and Body Image

Social media plays a big part in everybody’s life, whether they know it or not. Since the early 2000’s when Myspace became a hit, that’s when people started taking selfies and uploading pictures online for everyone to see. Since then, the social media world has expanded to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and many other platforms. Young adults can upload whatever they want, filtered and edited any way they want, for the people they know and people who look at their page to have this ideal image of them.

The rapid growth of social media on college campuses over the recent years has changed the dynamics of the college student experience. In classrooms, dorms, cafes, students are typically found with their heads down, swiping and tapping their phone screen on Instagram and Snapchat and Tweeting on Twitter. While walking around Oswego, you will constantly see students looking at their phones, whether, on social media or not, they are engaging in a social platform. The increased presence on social media has made a profound impact on college students, both positive and negative. While researching this topic, I interviewed a few college students to see their outlook on social media and body image. I also interviewed one former college student to compare how the impact of social media then vs. the impact of social media now.

“How often do you find yourself checking social media throughout the day?”

Michaela Mullen (sophomore at Hudson Valley Community College): “Probably every 5 minutes, I’m usually checking Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and my messages and sometimes I go on VSCO if I’m really bored.”

Taylor West (junior at Clemson University): “Depends on how I’m feeling that day, Facebook and Instagram I don’t look at until I go to bed. Text messages I check every 3 minutes. When I’m on my phone not, not doing anything else I’m usually on Twitter and Instagram scrolling and liking stuff.”

Stephanie Rose (SUNY Cobleskill Alum): “Once every 10 minutes, I go on Instagram and Snapchat and sometimes I check my email.”

“Do you find yourself on social media while in class?”

Michaela: “Yes all the time, I’m on Instagram and Twitter.”

Taylor: “Yes, in class I go on Twitter and Instagram, I send Snapchats but I’m not usually opening others in the class.”

Steph: (while at work) “It’s all I do at work, and when I was in college I was always online shopping and looking at social media.”

Social media has had a lasting impact on the lives of students and young adults. In the age of smartphones and constant social media uploading, posting and updating, people’s lives have become invested with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. On social media, the world is taught the “unrealistic” and “achievable” beauty and body standards perpetuated by mass media. Since before we know it, women have also looked up to models on runways, in magazines, movies; they are constantly comparing how they look to those models and it reflects how they feel. Nowadays, not only girls but guys too, are able to download apps to make themselves skinnier, have whiter teeth, abs, and everything else they could possibly want. Television, magazines, Instagram, Facebook, and all the advertisements do not represent real bodies and women and young adults look up to these photoshopped, retouched, redone models. Exposure to the unrealistic “beauty” can have a negative effect on body image and self-esteem.

“Has social media influenced you to change your appearance? In other words, do you find yourself doing makeup like the people you follow, dressing like the influencers you follow (trends), and eating differently?”

Michaela: “I wouldn’t say I eat differently because of social media, but definitely the makeup and clothes part. If I see on Instagram people doing their makeup differently or a certain way or wear a certain outfit, I try to copy them and go out and find an outfit to look like them.”

Taylor: “I think the dressing one because it introduces you to hop on trends.”

Steph: “On occasion, I eat badly because I watch food vlogs. I used to care when I was in college about 3 years ago but I stopped caring what I look like now that I’m out of college.”

“Do you ever find yourself comparing the way you look to influencers and celebrities on social media?”

Michaela: “Yes, because famous people always look their best and have the nicest clothes, hair, makeup, gestures and I want people to see me like the way they see famous people”

Taylor: “Yup, usually my body.”

Steph: “I mean… who doesn’t?”

The platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat deliver tools that allow teens to earn approval for their appearance and compare themselves to others, which usually model celebrities. Rachel Simmons from Time Magazine talked about a study that found people who put themselves out on social media sites like Facebook are more likely to link their self-worth to their looks. Interestingly, while girls report more body image disturbance and disordered eating than boys-studies have shown both can be equally damaged by social media.

“When you post something, do you edit your teeth, eyes or any other part of your body? Do you use filters? Why?”

Michaela: “I’m a firm believer in editing, I don’t like my flaws and I don’t want people to see my flaws. I edit my body and other parts of me in pictures so my followers can’t notice my flaws.”

Taylor: “Yeah I filter the pictures to make certain things pop. I edit them so people wouldn’t know that things are flawed and I look like Spongebob.”

Steph: “I used filters but I don’t edit anything, when I was in college I did 100%.”

As a way to counteract the negative social media influence on body image, is to spend money on things that are good for you, like healthy foods, and fitness equipment, and focusing on school work, instead of spending money on things Instagram celebrities and models promote, like diet pills, diet shakes, and diet foods. Practice positive talk and surround yourself with positive people. This ties into people’s self-esteem.

“How has social media over the years affected your self-esteem?”

Steph: “It’s made me feel negative about myself mentally and physically.”

Michaela: “I think social media has affected the way I look at myself in a negative way and sometimes makes me feel that I have to live up to a certain standard, and where I want everyone to think highly of me as they think of the girls online. The way people view you or think about you honestly shouldn’t be that big of a concern in life, but I think social media has not only made me feel a different way but other girls as well.”

Taylor: “Social media has brought down my self-esteem because I am constantly comparing myself to other girls online, and Instagram models. Girls have always had an ideal image to try to obtain but now that we have social media, it’s a constant reminder all day every day when you open the app .”

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@tayyylor_west
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Pitfalls of Social Media for College Students

College is often the time where many students start to figure out who they are, and gain new experiences. With the emergence of social media another aspect has been added to today’s college student everyday life. The ones who seem to be getting impacted the most by social media on college campuses, are the ones apart of “Generation Z.” According to Forbes those considered “Generations Z” are born after the heavily criticized Millennials, between the mid 1990s and early 2000s. A majority of college students today are considered “Generation Z.”

Many college students today have had a history with social media consuming their everyday lives. Much of the social media use starts early and evolves over time. According to a study conducted by Common Sense Media in 2016 it was found that the average age that kids are making their own social media accounts is at about 12 years old.  So it is no surprise to see that social media dominates the lives of many college students.

For college students social media takes a much larger role, in their everyday lives. They are in the point where they are transitioning into the professional realm and job market. The things they post and portray matter now more than another time in their young lives. Balancing a social life and professional image  in social media has become more of a problem for college students.

Chanice Thompson, a sophomore majoring in Criminal Justice here at Oswego State spoke about this struggle between a social life versus a professional image. She said, “I feel like it’s hard or some people because of the way they portray themselves, posting inappropriate things. But it’s hard because you have to pick and choose what you post.” This seems to be a problem now because potential employers are now able to look you up and build up a perception of who you are a person before even meeting you. This is more prevalent to today’s college students than any other generation of college students before. 

Social media also adds to the common problem to every college student ever; procrastination. With social media often being a distraction procrastination is now more of a bigger problem. When I asked Chanice about her thoughts on the correlation between social media and procrastination, she also agreed that there was a direct correlation between the two. She went on to say, “it’s terrible because every two seconds you wanna check ya phone and see what’s new.”A study conducted by Rowan University, it was also found that a student’s GPA is more likely to drop due to the amount of time they spend on social media. That just goes to show that it is evident that social media impacts college students where it matters the most, their grades.

A huge aspect of the use of social media among college students and the college experience is social life. Social media has a direct affect on dating and relationships of college students. With everyones private life out in the public, social media seems to have negatively affected many relationships of college students. Fellow college students all seem to agree that social media has no positive affect on relationships. SUNY Oswego’s Chanice Thompson and Nasir Ferguson a sophomore at City Tech College in New York City both agreed.

Chanice stated, “Social media affects relationships in general because people start to like assume things and then argument starts. Then they wanna get posted and the person might not wanna post them. It makes it harder because people put their business out there and get judged for it.”

Nasir added, “Social media influences how relationships should go and if social media sets a standard for relationships, it has to be followed or your relationship isn’t good enough.” 

Social media is a powerful tool when used right, it isn’t as detrimental as many make it seem. With all the pitfalls and negatives of social media it is important that college students use social media in moderation, to avoid falling victims to its traps.

 

 

 

Social Media and Body Image in College

Wake up, silent alarm, pick up phone, begin delving into one of the many social media applications downloaded to your handheld device. Put down phone, get out of bed, begin brushing teeth, open phone and select from one of the other media platforms. Reply to a comment, tweet your morning thoughts and post your “outfit of the day” for all of your seven hundred sixty-eight followers – and counting, to see. This process of picking up your phone, aimlessly scrolling through applications like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, will continue on throughout the rest of the day, into the evening and will only pause for a brief moment while you rest your eyes at night. If this continuous act was nothing more than physical, it would not be an issue that it is consuming the college population, but because it indirectly effects our mental health as vulnerable, teenagers, it needs to be addressed. As written in Researcher Perloff’s article, “media thinness portrayals can exert deleterious influences, ones with potentially serious psychological implications, in combination with certain individual difference factors, a point acknowledged even by scholars who doubt the pervasiveness of media effects” (Ferguson et al. 2011). There is no question that the constant viewing of photos and posts online for multiple hours of the day every day has an effect on a person’s mentality. With all of the posts regarding fitness and reaching the “perfect body,” it is easy for someone, specifically an already fragile student to get caught up in this thought that if you can only be one thing, you might as well be as fit and as “perfect,” as the people on your screen. Scrolling past these types of posts multiple times within each hour of a day makes it a habit, and without even knowing it many of us are subconsciously addressing these posts throughout our days when our phones are not in our hand. It is not that this phenomenon of negative repercussions has yet to be proven. A survey was conducted in the United States, in it over 800 college females were studied, specifically their use of social media. Following the research, it was concluded that about 10% of these females posted about body image, while close to 30% of them were commenting and discussing the topic. “More time of Facebook related to more frequent body and weight comparisons, more attention to the physical appearance of others, and more negative feelings about their bodies for all women” (Eckler, Petya, et al. 2017). This study proved that people, here specifically females, are inclined to focus in on body image ideals while scrolling through their social media. To think that this idea is covered by all ways possible on all media outlets, and that the majority of college students are on at least one of these outlets is unnerving. This strongly enforced belief of a “perfect body” is all over the internet, and all over our phones. Without us even realizing, it has become the center piece of our tables, staring back at us each time we think to have that extra snack, whispering in our ear every time we think to skip the gym just one more time. Body image is something many people deal with, it is the unfortunate reality of this world, but college students, being engulfed by social media are specifically victimized by this. It is constantly thrown at us, filling our phone screens each time we refresh our timelines and there is no way out of it. Undress, redress into pajamas, begin brushing teeth, open phone and once again delve into the hundreds of photos filing into your newsfeed. Rinse with water, turn off light, get into bed, pick phone back up and once more fall victim to this never-ending cycle that attacks each of us daily showing us the perfect body, the ideal weight leaving us with only that to dwell on when our phone is finally put down.

Inevitable Existence.

Written By. James Gappa

Since the popularity of the internet took off in the late 1990’s, the way that we interact with one another has evolved alongside technology. According to an article written by Drew Hendricks (2013), early forms of social media websites such as Six Degrees began popping up in 1997, and by 1999 blogging became a popular trend. In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook” as it was originally called according to an article by Sarah Phillips (2007) from The Guardian. Originally designed as website exclusively for Ivy League students to communicate, it became a worldwide sensation by 2006 when it opened up to anyone with an email address. Today, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a significant part of people’s lives, from all age groups. However, the most popular social media sites were originally developed for College students to communicate with one another. It has been almost 15 years since the development of Facebook. How are college students using social media after all of this time?
As a young boy in middle school, I began using Facebook when its popularity was still young. Now, I am a junior in college and I still use Social Media. I am not alone either, according to an article by Riley Griffin (2015) in the Huffington Post, 98% of college students actively use social media. You don’t need percentages to understand the amount of students who log on to these websites every day. Look around, most people don’t even walk without looking at their phone nowadays. As I sit in lectures I can see students sitting in front of me sending Snapchats as the Professor teaches. Late nights in Oswego dorm halls are filled with party-ready girls and boys taking pictures with each other for Instagram. And every day I read a few tweets saying “can’t stand this professor” or “ready to drop out.” Sometimes, my opinions on the use of social media can become confusing. As someone whose future career may partially rely on the use of social media, I understand the benefits and the ways that it helps us. However, I often fear that we are too reliant on social media to provide us with the entertainment and information that we need every day.
Beyond entertainment and information, I believe people get addicted to how social media makes them feel. People become thirsty for likes, follows, or friends, and it becomes a real concern in everyday life. For example, I don’t remember the last time I went out with a bunch of friends without everyone using their phones. Often times, I’ll see tables filled with friends who aren’t even talking, they’re all staring at their screens ignoring one another. Often, I am one of those friends, sitting at that table. Staring across at my “friends” waiting for someone to make eye contact so I may break the silence. Personally, I feel as if social media has removed the significance behind small and large moments. There are 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year, and X amount of time that each of us are alive. So, often I worry that the amount of time that myself and others have used online will be regretful one day.
Before going away to college, my expectations for college life were just like many other teenagers expectations. Huge parties, making a bunch of new friends, goofing off on campus, basically the most memorable years of your life. While most of my expectations have somewhat come true, they are much less fulfilling than I had hoped. I believe this could be from the pervasiveness of social media in our interactions. One day, while sitting in an afternoon lecture for a Mass Media course, a student made a comment about college life and social media to my professor. I am unsure of the student’s name, but he had said, “Imagine how fun living here would be if we didn’t have social media at all, we would have to talk to each other.” I heard what he said, and I did imagine it.
Classic beliefs about college life don’t include how social media has affected it. Movies we grew up watching like “American Pie” didn’t have plots surrounding Facebook drama or Instagram likes. When our parents went to college, they weren’t starting new relationships by swiping left or right on Tinder. People were interacting face to face or they were hardly interacting at all. Sometimes, I wish I was able to experience this idea of inevitable face-to-face interaction. As someone who will one day need to use social media to have a fulfilling career, I recognize its own inevitability to remain in existence. However, I love nothing more than the connection and relationship human beings can have with each other, and I fear for its stability.

Loneliness in College Students

 

 

 

 

 

Through the years, technology has been growing rapidly and younger generations have the most experience with these new technologies. Most young adults spend the majority of their time using Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. The problem with these apps is that the people using them can become lonely or depressed. Studies have shown that social media and loneliness are directly correlated through phone usage.

According to Jean Twenge’s article, she says that this generation is becoming lonelier because they do not meet face to face as often as other generations did.  From certain studies, researchers have found that many teenagers would rather stay at home on their phones than go out with their friends. Teens who visit social-networking sites every day but see their friends in person less frequently are the most likely to agree with the statements “A lot of times I feel lonely,” “I often feel left out of things,” and “I often wish I had more good friends.” Social media sites have taken over some people’s lives because they want to stay updated on what their friends are doing.  For example, Snapchat allows you to stay in contact by sending pictures of yourself or messages to other people. Instead of going out, some people decide to stay home and just use Snapchat to contact the people they would go out with. Looking at the charts in the article, you can see that this generation has less motivation than past generations. This generation does not hang out with friends, which can cause less dating and less sex. Also, this generation does not feel the need to get their license right away. Surprisingly, people are becoming lonelier and are not getting enough sleep at night as well. There is a substantial body of evidence linking poor sleep to computer and internet use in general, with only a small number of recent studies examining social media use specifically. According to the #Sleepyteens article, “Increased Internet use is associated with shorter sleep duration, later bedtimes and rise times, and increased daytime tiredness in adolescents.” Some people do not get enough sleep at night because they are more focussed on social media and what others are posting.

Communication skills have also played a major role in people’s loneliness. Over the years, many people have seen a dramatic change in face to face communication with younger generations. According to Dr. Jeff Nalin, “Because teenagers often rely on social media to stay in touch, they don’t have many real interactions with others. This isolation can prevent them from learning the critical social skills that they will need in life.” While job applications today may be online, you still have to meet with a boss or representative of the company in person. Companies really focus on how you express yourself and  how well you communicate to them.

Most young adults who use social media want to fit into the crowd and be like everyone else. Teenagers have felt a need to fit in with their peer groups long before social media was even a thought, but technology increases the problem in a powerful way. Most people only want to highlight their best moments, like going to social events, attending concerts and reaching milestones. These are only some of the things that teenagers like to publish on their social media accounts. Even though everyone has problems, people don’t like to post the negative events of their lives online. When teenagers scroll through their newsfeed, it’s easy for them to think that all of their friends and classmates are perfect, making them feel left out. Suicide is now one of the major death causes in teens and part of it comes from depression and loneliness.

There’s no disputing that digital technology has thoroughly invaded our lives. A 2011 study conducted by tele-communications giant Ericsson found that 35% percent of iPhone and Android users check their email or Facebook account before getting out of bed in the morning. In addition, 40% use their phones in bed before they go to sleep at night. The average American is digitally connected between 2.5 and 3.5 hours a day. Nielsen reports that social networking, online games, and email are the biggest attractions.

Social Media & College Life

 

 

With social media being such a prevalent force in the lives of today’s youth, it is easy to acknowledge that there is an effect on the lives of those who use it frequently. Throughout the increase of social media use it is hard to determine whether or not the impact has been positive or negative. The main social media sites that are being utilized most frequently among college students in the United States are Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. Now, social media can benefit those who use it as a means to stay in contact with friends and family, and as a way to remain up-to-date on the lives of those they care about. However, the lines between beneficial and detrimental begin to blur because people are losing their ability to moderate the amount of time they dedicate to social media. Social media is seen in a different light by many and it is important to understand the different perspectives others have.

 

While the effects of social media can clearly be seen by fellow students, what about the professors who teach these students? I spoke with Professor Mejias a professor who teaches Social Networks & the Web and he thinks that social media is one of the main contributing factors as to why students are so distracted. He says that from his experience while teaching social media has become a distraction not only on campus but in class. Students are often checking their phones and prioritizing what someone said on Facebook over the information being taught in class. Professor Mejias says that he believes that social media is changing the way students are learning now with students expecting information to come to them quickly and precisely versus opening up a book and taking the time to find the information. With that all being said he doesn’t think it’s all terrible. He can appreciate the fact that students now have an unimaginable amount of information at their fingertips and while they may not always utilize its full potential, it is definitely an advantage.

 

Another point of view I was able to collect was from a student on SUNY Oswego’s campus named Jonathan Arcese. Arcese is a senior who is on the Student Association Programming Board. He has a lot of engagement with a large number of students on campus because of his campus involvement so he understands the impact that social media has on the students. He sees social media as a beneficial tool because of the ability to advertise to a large number of people. As someone who’s organization is responsible for reaching large numbers of people, social media is one of the best ways to do so. It’s a useful means of promoting content and spreading the word very quickly. It is also a convenient way of staying informed on what is going on in other organizations on campus.

 

Social media is a world of its own; the countless number of pictures can be very distracting, and students can lose track of time and important deadlines. These distractions can contribute to procrastination which could then add to the overall stress and anxiety students are already feeling. It is also extremely important to remember that every picture, post, tweet and snap that is published online becomes public and can be viewed by everyone. This can harm a student’s reputation as individuals who personally do not know the student can make judgements based on the image they portray over social media. Future employers also have access to these posts which can influence their decision on who to hire and not hire. People tend to think that once something is deleted it’s gone for good but in actuality it is still accessible and what you post can affect you for years to come.

 

The impact that social media has on youth in college does not just affect their academics but their actual social life as well. According to research that is being conducted, social media is affecting the way youth look at friendship and intimacy. Patricia Greenfield, a developmental psychologist at UCLA says that young adults’ ideas of friendship have been greatly persuaded by their involvement with social media. She goes on to say that young people feel socially supported by having large networks of friends and followers online. This results in a decline in real, concrete, intimate friendships. Instead, many young people now derive personal support and verification from the likes and feedback they get on their posts. This can have a vast decrease on their self-esteem and their self-image.

 

The most important thing to remember in regard to social media and college life is that social media is not inherently evil. It is not designed to destroy the people who use it, so it is imperative to utilize social media in moderation and practice self-control. Time management is a vital skill to have, especially while in college and social media can be a tool to help learn this skill. Too much of anything is not good, so balance is key.

LGBT Dating in College

When coming to college one would think that being gay and dating would get easier but unfortunately it does not. There are definitely more members of the community in college but it is almost impossible to tell whether or not someone is gay just by looking at them. That being said the LGBT+ community is forced to look to social media even more so in college then one would in a high school setting. According to advocate.com the statistics found that “70 percent of gay men and 47 percent of lesbians have dated someone they met online”.

Being gay and not one to look to online dating, I tried just finding other members of the community the old-fashioned way. Unfortunately that never worked out for me so I ended up downloading online dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and HER. Through this method meeting other queer girls became easier but you lose that moment of when you meet someone for the first time in person. It’s a little less meaningful since you’ve been talking to this person over social media. Even a website known as mashable.com has stated that “Here are the best gay dating apps since meeting people IRL is hell” as their headline. Tinder and HER are at the top of their best queer dating apps for college students list as well.

Social media has certainly made gay dating a lot easier then it would have been in the past. It is so much easier to find someone and to connect with someone over social media. But you are losing that specific connection when you meet someone in person. Suddenly everything becomes about talking over text and things can sometimes become toxic this way. This happens more times than not with gay couples specifically in my experience.

When it comes to the positive aspect of gay dating in college over social media; some good things would be that you meet new people. Not even in the sense that you meet them to date or hook up with them but you can make friends over Tinder and the other online dating apps too. In my own experience I’ve made plenty of friends on Tinder when we both realized that we were definitely meant to be nothing more than friends. Some of these people you wouldn’t even necessarily run into on campus. According to umd.readsh101.com found by Maryland University, it is easier for introverted people to meet other people in a less intimidating way as well.

On the other hand when it comes to the negative aspect of gay dating in college over social media, there are aspects like not having that same connection you would if you were meeting them in real life for the first time. Found by Maryland University on umd.readsh101.com, most of the time many college students including LGBT+ college students will just use these social media dating apps to just hook-up. It can be harder finding a real relationship when meeting someone over these dating apps. Nobody is really ever clear on what they are looking for over these dating apps. Not to mention the fact that the creation of these dating apps doesn’t push people to go out of their comfort zones and meet anyone in real life. In my experience, many people will just judge you based on your physical appearance with these dating apps and therefore will never get to know the real you.

This doesn’t just go for gay dating, this also applies to heterosexual dating as well on these dating apps. Overall examining it, the cons seem to outweigh the pros in that using these dating apps are not always the best option in order to meet someone. Unfortunately however, these dating apps are basically the only way that queer men and women especially college can meet someone.