I recently read about a very interesting article called Eating or spending too much? Blame it on Facebook from the Journal of Consumer Research.
The basic premise of this article was that the usage of Facebook and other Social Media can have positive effects on self-esteem. When self-esteem is momentarily increased, a lack of self-control generally follows. Therefore, people tend to make poorer decisions for themselves after interacting and browsing on Social Media.
I think that we need more research like this to help inform educators about social media. There is no question that our students are engaging in Social Media at younger and younger ages.
Some questions this brings to my mind includes:
- Should educators promote the usage of social media in the classroom, even if it could result in poor self-control?
- Should educators ramp up efforts to help students develop self-control and self-awareness?
- Sometimes students come to school after using Social Media, or go home for lunch and use social media. What do we need to understand about student behaviour at these times, where academic performance could be directly affected?
- Poor self-control tends to lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Does this mean that the Education System has a greater responsibility to promote physically healthy kids in our schools, to help them counter the effects of social media usage and self-esteem?
- It is known that the ability to delay gratification is linked with increased success in life. With the increase in Social media usage, are students less able to delay gratification, and therefore experience less academic and personal success?
No matter what the answers are to these questions, two phenomenon are very clear and undeniable:
- Social Media is not going away, and
- Increased numbers of students at younger ages are beginning, and continue to use Social Media.
We need to equip educators with ample data and research to help inform innovative practices in the classrooms to deal with such phenomenon, and increase academic and personal success!
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