Social Media In The Classroom

Nobody seems to fall asleep on Mister Pablo’s Algebra class. He scolded a lot of students during his earlier teaching days because students were falling asleep as he combines letters and numbers.


Right now, he thinks that “boring days of math lectures were gone.”A student from the back laughed out loud while he is discussing a topic on Binomial Theorem! He was surprised to know that the outburst of laughter was all about a funny 9gag video that was being watched by the students in his class. Apparently, there’s nothing funny about Binomial Theorem and those days; they are not yet gone.


Schools need to enforce access to social networking site policy because doing so keeps the students focus on classroom discussions and increases their learning capabilities. A study conducted by the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reported that the activities of the participants during lectures are texting, emailing, checking social media, surfing the net, and even playing games.

“We don’t always know causation in psychology — especially without being able to measure something for a long time — but there are a lot of correlational studies that are pointing to social media and digital phone use,” –Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D.

Out of all the respondents that came from 26 different states of different universities, seventy percent (70%) of them admitted that they were checking social media sites during class lectures. A student from Pennsylvania commented: “Back before smartphones, I would just stare out the window or watch the clock.” to relieve boredom.


The statistics revealed that access to social networking sites provides an open window to keep the students’ mind away from the fact that they are supposed to be studying, or in other words, to keep themselves distracted.


Face-a-book or Facebook


Access to social networking sites policy aid in developing right mindset and a proper classroom etiquette in the students. Young people access social media to relieve their boredom and sadly, the classroom is one of the environments in which they often experience it. An alternative solution that is not beneficial in the long run is like patching a wound without treating it to cure permanently. Escaping a problem is never a solution. It only worsens over time if left unsolved. Like a drug addiction, the more your body gets used to it, the faster it kills you. A teacher conducted an observation on students browsing habits and found out that once they started accessing the social media, they keep on jumping from one page to another. As elaborated by Brie Shelly, MS, LMHC, RYT “The rise and growing significance of social media has caused an influx of mental health concerns, such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Now is the time to start paying attention to how social media is influencing your life choices and mental health.”


Students who are too consumed on social networking sites creates a wall that separates them from the real world. According to Child Mind Institute, that kind of behavior promotes anxiety and lowering of self-esteem. Social skillsarevital components of the learning process of an individual. As human beings, we are highly accustomed to interpreting social cues. According to Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair:


There’s no question kids are missing out on very critical social skills. In a way, texting and online communicating—it’s not like it creates a nonverbal learning disability, but it puts everybody in a nonverbal disabled context, where body language, facial expression, and even the smallest kinds of vocal reactions are rendered invisible.”


Increase exposure to social media at the early years of individual results in undeveloped social skill. The lack of this ability will backfire on an individual sooner when he faced the real world.

A vital part of learning is interaction. A published article from Cambridge University Press focused on learning through interaction. It showed that the way we interact with others is a form of communication.


Non-verbal ability is a higher form of communication which can only be unlocked through developed social skills. It is found that kindergarten with top social skills turned out to be successful adults.


In an interview conducted with Damon Jones of Pennsylvania State University at PBS News Hour, he said that they performed the study 20 years ago as part of nationalresearch on human development.


According to Damon, they did a lot of extensive studies and cross-research disciplines that explains socio-emotional skills. These are called soft skills or non-cognitive skills, which represents the essential characteristics in children on the areas of management, relationship, responsibility, interaction with adults, and drive to accomplish things. These critical skills are evident at a person’s early stage and takean important role for success in life as adults.

The result of this long-term study has fascinating findings. Researchers found out that what they saw on those children when they were young has a direct connection to what they have become as adults. The social competence scale of these children when they were younger impacted their adulthood directly.
We should not let the young ones developed a habit that will lead to negative consequences for their future. Social networking sites have advantages, but we should know better by now that it brings undesirable outcomes. “Balancing technology use with other aspects of daily life seems reasonable, but there is a lot of conflicting advice about where that balance should be.” Notes Christopher J. Ferguson Ph.D. in clinical psychology.


There are ways to address the boredom that students are experiencing during lectures such as interactively delivering the lecture, methods that are designed for 21st-century individuals.