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Abigail Sarro
UWRT 1103
20 April 2016
Abigail Sarro

Should Social Media Be Taught In Schools?

It is common to hear negative things about social media but if social media is so bad why
are we using it? Well thats simple, because the pros out weigh the cons. 92% of teens report
going online daily including 24% who say they go online almost constantly (Pew Research
Center). Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, almost everyone has a profile
online. Because children will be exposed to social media their entire lives, it is important that
students are taught social media skills in school. They need to know these skills so they can
make sure they stay safe on the internet, understand how to utilize social networking later on and
in school, and to have a simple and easy way to stay in touch with friends and family.
With the advancements in todays technology, the age children are receiving phones keeps
getting younger and younger. According to Deseret News National, most children receive a cell
phone by the age of 7. Deseret News National also reported that more than one-third of
American children under the age of two have used a tablet or another smart device (Deseret
News National). ABC also conducted a study as well and found that 75% of the parents they
interviewed children have tablets (ABC). Parents want to make sure their children have phones
to contact them if needed and to keep in touch with friends and family. Technology has become a
very large part of todays youths lives.

With children receiving access to the internet at such a young age, it is inevitable that a
child is going to come across social media websites and applications and investigate. Daily Mail
reported more than half of children use social media by the age of 10 according to a recent study
(Daily Mail). In todays world there is no way to just block children from the internet, their access
is unlimited. They have access to the internet at school, in the local library, or they could just
drive down town to almost any fast food restaurant and pick up free wifi. They are constantly
seeing posters every where and adds on tv talking about ways to view whatever it is they want
them to view on the internet. Just the other day I saw a poster down town of a local band and it
had said Follow us on twitter. Instead of attempting to fight it we could embrace it and teach
our students how they can use the internet and social networking to help them excel.
Although it would be safest if they did, it is not expected that every time a child finds one
of these new social media programs they ask their parents about it. If we were to teach kids not
only the dangers of these programs but also how they work in school, parents would not have to
worry and they could also feel comfortable knowing their kids are using these programs in a
positive way. And we all know that some of our parents are not the most hip of folks and keep
up to date with all the new applications coming out. If we were to teach social media in schools it
could be insured that your kids are learning all of how to use these tools and children can be kept
up to date with all the new applications that come out that some parents may not have even seen.
One of Kim Garsts four reasons for arguing that social media should be taught in schools
is the fact that social media is here to stay (Garst). Since social media has come into play in
todays society, in no way at any point has it faded out at all. With that being said, it is very much
expected that social media will grow making it more and more a part of our every day lives and
something everyone should know how to use.

Another one of Kim Garsts four reasons for arguing social media should be taught in schools
is that it prepares the students for the future (Garst). Four out of five college instructors use
social media such as Facebook, blogs and twitter (Get Educated). If children are not exposed to
these applications in the proper way growing up, then how is it expected they know how to use
them in a college classroom setting? It is crucial to the education of our youth that they know at
least the basics of social media programs so they can grow over time and learn how to utilize
these tools.
Social media has gotten this horrible reputation when in reality its being constantly used
because it is so beneficiary. Some schools have already started educating their students on social
media but most of the schools that have began to do so are only teaching the dangers of the web.
While this is something absolutely necessary for children to learn, they also need to be taught
that the internet can be used in a lot of good ways.
I attended Mooresville Graded School District schools my entire grade school career. We
were one of the first school districts in the area to receive laptops due to a generous donation. I
received a laptop in the 6th grade. Because of giving us laptops at such a young age, our schools
were very proactive about teaching us about the internet. We had a specific time every two weeks
for a half hour where we sat and discussed internet safety. We also had assemblies often about
using social media. Not only did they teach us about it but we also used it in the classroom.
Because of having such an early education in social networking, I have been able to utilize the
internet for projects in college. While working on a Mind Maps project we were doing in
University Writing 1103 I was the only one out of 5 of the people sitting at my table who knew
how to use Prezi a program extremely useful for displaying information that you can share with

other people. There are many other programs like this that could be taught in school to be used
for displaying school work.
My younger sister, who attends the same school I did when I was her age, received a
laptop when she was in fourth grade but started using laptops in school in first grade. Half of the
assignments she and her classmates do are online and in some type of blog. Just the other day she
was showing me a google doc she and her friends had set up for a project and she is only 10
years old. 10 years old and she is already using online programs for communication. Imagine
what she will be capable of when she is older.
Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that helps provide information to families
about todays technology, conducted a study about teens and social media. The study was done
through probability based sampling making the information they were receiving much more
accurate than other studies out there. One thousand and thirty teens ages thirteen to seventeen
were surveyed about how they feel on social media and the affects it has on their lives. You
would expect, based off of the typical things you hear about social media, that this survey would
have resulted in a lot of negative feedback, but in fact it was the complete opposite.
Social media is not only going to be useful in students lives when they grow older but can
also be beneficial now. According to the study conducted by Common Sense Media, social media
has more positive effects on students social and emotional well-being than negative effects. 20%
of teens reported that Social Networking has made them more confident and 28% of teens report
being more outgoing (Common Sense Media). Social media allows for students to share opinions
and ideas freely without being judged. Social media also allows for students to give each other a
chance. Instead of being in school where everyone feels you need to fit into some type of social
standard, youre on the internet. People on the internet can say what they want. They can share

their interests without everyone thinking they are weird and other people will read them
without feeling like they have to automatically criticize them to fit in with the cool kids at
school.
Social media is used not only to talk to friends but to keep small business going, to share art,
to talk politics, to get people interested in the local 5k, to keep people informed, to express
feelings and opinions. When I worked at The Pit Indoor Kart racing we had a Facebook that we
did lots of deals through and posted information about our racing league. The amount of people
who had said they had heard about us through Facebook was incredible. The internet is the
fastest way to spread information. It is Vidal now for almost any small business to succeed.
I have also seen lots of social media use amongst the school. Last week I was walking to
class when I was stopped and asked to sign a giant beach ball. They had asked me to tag them on
Instagram. They were using social media to try and share their ideas and thoughts on freedom of
speech. Social media is the best way to reach the broadest group of people and they were using
this feature of social media to their benefit.
You often hear parents talk about how phones and social media are corrupting todays youth
and making it impossible to have a conversation with a teen face to face but surprisingly it has
been found that social media does not change the way people feel about communicating with
each other. A recent study done by Common Sense Media found that the most preferred way to
communicate with friends is face to face vs. through any social networking site or even text. 49%
of teens reported they prefer to communicate face to face. Texting came next with 33% of teens
choosing this method and only 7% said they prefer to talk through some type of social media
network (Common Sense Media). Teens reported that they felt they could get a more personal
connection and understand the nature of ones dialogue, not just assume the other persons tone.

Our youth are going to grow up in a world where people are connected through the
internet. 71% of teens are already using more than one social networking site (Pew Research
Center). They are going to be hearing about new social media apps all the time, be asked to
check out that new band on their Soundcloud or check out this new artist work on
Instagram. They are going to be told that if they like a page on Facebook theyll save 5 bucks
on their next go kart race. They will be able to create blogs and Twitter accounts where they can
share all their political views and also read the opinion of others. It is imperative that students in
todays world are taught social media skills in schools. They need to learn not only the dangers of
social networking but also how they can utilize these tools. They should be learning how they
can use social networking to help them create an interesting page to display their work that their
peers can view and interact with. Bottom line is social networking is here to stay and it is
important we are teaching our students the proper ways to use social media so they can stay safe
and be able to live in the technology based world we are living in.

ABC. Study Finds Average Age Of Kids Ehen They Get First Cell Phone Is Six ABC
Eyewitness News. April 7. 2015. Web. April 20. 2015. <http://abc13.com/technology/study-53%of-kids-get-a-cell-phone-at-age-6/636328/>.
Common Sense Media. Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital
Lives. Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media. 26 June. 2012. Web. 4 April.
2016.<https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/social-media-social-life-how-teens-viewtheir-digital-lives>.

DailyMail. More than half of children use social media by the age of 10: Facebook is
most popular site that youngsters join Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers LTD. 5 Feb. 2015.
Web. 17 April. 2016. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2552658/More-half-childrenuse-social-media-age-10-Facebook-popular-site-youngsters-join.html>.
Garst, Kim. 4 Reasons Why Social Media Should Be Taught in Our School Systems
The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post. 2013. Web. 17 April. 2016.
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kim-garst/4-reasons-why-social-medi_b_3327957.html>.
Get Educated. 80 Percent of College Faculty Novel Using Online Social Media Get
Educated. Get Educated. 2016. Web. 5 April. 2016. <http://www.geteducated.com/latest-onlinelearning-news-and-research/351-college-faculty-use-online-social-media-integrating-inclassroom>.
Pew Research Center. Teens Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 Pew
Research Center. Pew Research Center. 9 April. 2015. Web. 21. Mar. 2016.
<http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/>
Scribner, Herb. Most American Children Have A Cell Phone Before They Turn 7 Years
Old. Deseret News National. April 7. 2015. Web. 17 April. 2016.
<http://national.deseretnews.com/article/4005/most-american-children-have-a-cell-phone-beforethey-turn-7-years-old.html>.