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.