THE OTHER SIDE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

As  a student  back  in my primary school,  there was one position  that I so admired;  the position  of a bell boy.  It was a dream come true when in class five I was made the bell boy.  The dream was however short-lived. I was relieved of my position   soon.  I always rang the bell on time for break time but not for break over.  How I so much enjoyed that short break period and wished it was extended further.    Many students who are users of the various social media platforms exhibit this same behavior.  We enjoy having much fun on these platforms.  The question is have we maximized the benefits of social media to our academic advantage?  Aside the fun, social media can aid us in our academics as well

Today many groups are springing up on Facebook,   some of them so irrelevant.  Some of them too have aided people to effectively fight a cause.  Have you thought of the idea of forming a study group on Facebook and other social media platforms?  This can be a very innovative way of    sharing ideas and making your academic life more efficient.  Instead of always walking  from your  hostels and halls to a particular  place  for study group  meetings,  an online  study  group  can   be  just an added platform.  With an online study group, an unfavourable weather will then not be an impediment to group discussions.  It can also be very interactive.  It will also be easy to refer to an idea shared by someone unlike the physical interaction where you can easily forget what was said by a colleague.

Joining professional groups online is yet another way of enhancing oneself in one’s field of interest.   Look out for professional groups similar to your field of study and interest.  Ideas shared over there can be of immense help to you.  You will find people sharing their practical experiences and deep wells of ideas.  You can find answers to your questions too and can start making long-term friends even before you graduate.  There are many of such groups on G+, Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter  and many others.

To be a don in your field in such a global village of ours, one must have a global perspective.  Do you just follow anyone on twitter?  Do you just pick friends anyhow on Facebook  and G+? Why not try making friends who will add value to your life.  Friends who will help    you gain global knowledge   even beyond the borders of your profession.  Go all out, make friends in other schools outside your country and continent, learn about new cultures; Learn about other religions;  Learn about other professions  and  learn  about life. In doing so,  you  just don’t become an authority  in your field of study  but you also  become  a world-class citizen.

After I was relieved of my position,  I had to learn  how to respect  the bell and be in class  when  break time was over.  That single lesson years ago has helped me a lot.  It is time to realize social media  is not just about fun.   The bell just went off.  Enter the academic classroom of social media  now and enjoy its full benefits.

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