These days, it is almost impossible to meet anyone without a social media presence. Everyone from children to adults are all hooked on their devices, with different interests keeping them engaged. The most hooked audience, however, is college students. The average college student spends 2 hours daily on social media platforms. However, it is important to note that there is a large number of them spending more than this. With this phenomenon continuing to rise, many have wondered what effects social media may have on college students.

The positive effects

As we all know, social media can have both positive and negative effects on college students. For some, being able to access social media pages related to on-campus clubs and activities has been a great way of keeping them connected to their community! For others, that piece of connection extends beyond their campuses and helps them stay connected with their friends who go to other schools and their family who are at home. 

As college students can attest, keeping up with the latest fashion trends is part of the process of being in college. For them, social media sites such as Instagram allow them to see what everyone is wearing so they can stay on-trend. It’s also a great way to showcase fashion sense and allows students to dabble into their hobbies while still focusing on academics.

Another positive effect of social media on college students today is the ability it gives them to stay informed about what’s going on in the world at any time. For many, they get their news via Twitter and have discourse regarding what’s happening in the world. This allows them to start movements, educate one another, and correct their peers when necessary!

The negative effects

What experts have realized is that as much as social media can help college students stay connected, it can also harm them. “The most common issues associated with college students’ mental health and social media use is depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body image, sleeping problems, social isolation, and emotional difficulties. About 41.6% of college students have stated that anxiety is a top concern.” – Ibrahim

The fear of missing out in this demographic can be a huge cause of many of these issues. When so much time is spent online, comparison is an easy thing to do. Students start comparing themselves to their peers, and they start seeing what they lack. Whether that’s the lack of traveling, material things, or luxury lifestyles, they forget that it’s all carefully curated and it indeed is quite unrealistic. Falling into these trappings of social media often results in negative ideation.