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The Impact of Social Media on Students

Although social media actually began in 1997 with a website called Six Degrees, and MySpace became a go-to for many Internet users in 2003, it wasn’t until Facebook and Twitter hit the scene that social media truly took off.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004, though it was solely limited to college students before it opened up to the public and became the top social media site today. Since then, the use of social media among individuals across the globe has increased at a rapid rate. Now, thanks to mobile devices such as the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel, social media is available to us almost whenever and wherever we want it — and the amount of people wanting to stay constantly connected continues to grow.

According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of the public in today’s society uses some form of social media. For teenagers, much of their time is spent on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. While social media platforms are often great opportunities for individuals to connect and keep in touch with one another, they can also be outlets that cause insecurity, anxiety, and low levels of self-esteem — especially in teenagers.

A study conducted by individuals at the University of Pittsburgh titled “The Association between Social Media Use and Eating Concerns among U.S. Young Adults” found that there is a correlation between how long young adults spend using social media apps and ensuing negative body image views. Those who were on the apps for longer periods of time were 2.2 to 2.6 times more likely to be at risk for concerns regarding health and eating issues and body image.

Extensive social media use can also result in lack of sleep, which leads to additional concerns for students, such as mental health and abilities to perform at their highest levels in the classrooms and during extracurricular activities

Social media use does not always carry with it negative consequences, though. Individuals have been able to create social undertakings and inspire others through their posts and interactions with followers. In 2018 alone, we have already seen trending hashtags — such as “#MeToo” for the Time’s Up movement and “#neveragain” for the movement created by students from Parkland, Florida — that have allowed a multitude of individuals from various regions and backgrounds to come together as one force to try to create change.

Many social media apps that are useful within the classroom have also been created. Programs such as Edmodo, Google Classroom, and Remind allow teachers and students to communicate regarding lessons and assignments, while Facebook and Twitter can be incorporated into educational activities, as well. Earlier this week, Apple also launched new Pencil support and additional educational software for its iPad that will benefit classrooms in particular. There is also a new app on the iPad called Schoolwork, which allows teachers to create assignments and activities for their students to complete on their devices.

Whether used for a purpose with a specific goal in mind or simply to pass time and learn about others’ lives, social media can essentially consume its consumers. The outcome and the behaviors of the students using the various apps are direct reflections of the time they spend, how much emphasis and truth they place on the images and content they see, and their own emotional states and capacities.

What is important for parents to be aware of is how much dependence their children have on their phones, particularly in terms of the use of social media. While interacting on social media can certainly benefit your student, make sure that he or she is not using it so much that it produces negative effects.

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Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”