The Impact of Social Networking Websites on the Education of Youth

The Impact of Social Networking Websites on the Education of Youth

Sunitha Kuppuswamy, P. B. Shankar Narayan
DOI: 10.4018/jvcsn.2010010105
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Social networking websites like Orkut, Facebook, Myspace and Youtube are becoming more and more popular and has become part of daily life for an increasing number of people. Because of their features, young people are attracted to social networking sites. In this paper, the authors explore the impact of social networking sites on the education of youth. The study argues that these social networking websites distract students from their studies, but these websites can be useful for education based on sound pedagogical principles and proper supervision by the teachers. Moreover, the research concludes that social networking websites have both positive as well as negative impact on the education of youth, depending on one’s interest to use it in a positive manner for his or her education and vice versa.
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Literature Review

Jeff Cain (2008), in the research paper “Online Social Networking Issues Within Academia and Pharmacy Education” has discussed that Facebook is a tool that aids students in developing their identities and finding their ‘‘fit’’ within a college community. Helping students connect, establish a network and stay in contact with old and new friends is the centre of attraction and significant benefits of Facebook. Making connections on campus which help them feel that they belong may be an important factor in student retention. These capabilities along with the many facets of communicating with their friends make social networking sites very appealing. Although extremely popular, especially among younger generations, social networking sites are not without their issues. Controversy surrounds the use of these sites, specifically in terms of privacy, addiction, safety, responsibility and attitudes toward revealing personal information to the world. Most of the press concerning these sites has been negative in focus. Newspapers and magazines related to higher education are replete with cases of college students who experienced negative repercussions from questionable activities that were made public online.9,15-26 The list of incidences are long and revolve around a myriad of issues related to photos, posts, and/or personal profiles.

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