Communication is a necessity for every person during their lifetime. With the development of technology, media has undertaken a responsibility to carry out this necessity. It has created a significant branch to maintain its effect on people for every period in history. Social networking is a contemporary branch of media. With the development of the Internet, social networking become a popular facility to communicate and be informed because, social networking uses the Internet to reach billions of people. Social networking sites (SNS) are used as a communication tool, but there are also many individuals that use them for the all reasons affecting their academic lives.
Social network is a web based facility which allows its users to create their own profiles and communicate with their followers and friends. Users can add their personal and private information to their social network profiles, which their friends or followers can access these profiles and make comments or like. According to some, first reason of preference to use social network sites is to be known by others and desire to be popular among friends. Online interactions can affect developmental results through peer feedback. For instance, in a content analysis of personal webpages which their users are in the 14-22 age range, these teenagers and young adults were often found to express their emotions or thoughts through posting information about their interests and their identities. Everyone can join social networking and become a part of this world. This aspect of SNSs attracts a great number of people’s thoughts about social networking. The other reason is that social networking uses a different type of communication to connect people. In this system, there is no face to face communication. Therefore, the age group between 14 and 22, who encounter face to face communication problems, mostly prefers SNSs to communicate with each other. In this way, young people can access to others’ profile and they can send messages or make comments about a topic which is related to owner of profile. It helps to express themselves without encountering any difficulty. The other side of usage of social networking is environment. Many users may feel a force to have a social network profile by their environment. Teenagers and young adults can have fun and spend their time freely in this virtual life. All of these reasons lead teenagers and young adults to use any social network site and while social network sites are providing these opportunities for users, they do not want to prefer other communication facilities to communicate as much as preference of usage of social networking.
In 21st century, communication facilities have increased in variety. With the increase in communication facilities, preferences of people to communicate have also increased. Social networking is one of the preferences of people to reach to someone else. As been mentioned, social network sites are web based facilities. Therefore, the usage of SNSs to communicate requires the Internet access.
Users have to own an Internet access to be online on social network sites. Therefore, Internet is indispensable element of the social network sites. The Internet access can direct people’s behaviour towards usage of social network sites. People can access SNSs via their smart phones whenever and whatever they want. With the development of technology, smart phones has become faster than before to access the Internet. In addition to these feature of smart phones, they provide eases for their users such as small sizes to carry and accessibility. All of these aspects turn smart phones into powerful tools to access social network sites. However, they can also turn into harmful tools for students when students use these technological tools during lecture times.
The social network sites have various effects on teenagers and young adults. We can separate these effects into two groups, positive effects and negative effects. The usage of social networking sites contain some positive effects on teenager and young adults that can contribute to their psychological and social lives. Nowadays, a great number of people live in the world alone. They cannot find any person to share their feelings and their opinions about different things. Social network sites help them to join groups of people and express themselves. Some SNS also help people to increase their success in their academic lives. The first benefit of it on academic life is to develop the relationship between teachers and students. As this relationship increases, students become more successful in school because by using social networking, students can contact their teachers and they can also ask whatever they want about course or any topic. These kinds of platforms improve students’ creativeness. Also they can have their own thoughts about some topics and they can discuss them with their teachers during class time. Although some of social network sites’ positive effects on teenagers’ and young adults’ academic lives, actually there are various harms of SNSs on students’ academic success. The main harm of social networking is creating an addiction. Students are also not able to get rid of this addiction during lecture hours therefore, their concentration decreases and this negatively affects their ability to learn new topics. In this case, addiction causes bad time management to do home tasks and study lessons. Students do not fulfill their responsibilities because, students spend a major part of their times on social network sites. As a result, students cannot start their work and finish them on time. Students do not want to follow lessons because lessons are boring them. Consequently, mobile phones are the most dangerous tools for lectures and students during lessons and this tool should be removed from lectures if efficient lessons are wanted to give to students.
Social network sites have entered in our lives since beginning of 21st century with blogs. After few years, they have captured our daily lives. In addition to this, they have affected all sides of our lives. Teenagers and young adults’ academic life is one of them. As seen, there are various different effects of usage of social network sites on teenagers and young adults’ academic lives. However, positive aspects of usage of social network sites cannot be supported by scientific findings. They are just positive thoughts about the topic. According to scientific findings, social network usage damages students’ academic lives. We can list these effects as creating addiction, killing time, living in a virtual life (escaping from reality) and disrupting students’ concentrations. As a result, the usage of social network sites can be beneficial for some areas but, most of the time it affects teenagers and young adults’ academic lives negatively.