When you think of studying, you imagine going to the library and scouring through books and reading online academic journals with your Word tab open as you write out an essay with references.
But it’s not always a smooth run in the library. When most people study, they find ways to procrastinate. Whether they do this by eating snacks, watching television shows and movies on Netflix or talking to friends... student minds always wonder.
And what’s the biggest distraction?
The answer is Social media.
Social media is the ultimate distraction for students trying to study or complete coursework. From checking stories on Instagram to scrolling through Facebook newsfeeds, learners can easily fall down the rabbit hole and suddenly spend hours liking their friends’ photos and commenting on viral videos.
If you see someone lost in their mobile phone, swinging around on their chair by their desk, you will assume they’re wasting their study time. But you should think again!
There are many ways to use social media as a study tool. Instead of having to hide your phone away, these methods can help students study in a fun and informative way. Read on for six proven techniques you can use social media to help you during your course – whether that’s distance learning, university or school.
Studying involves so much more than merely locking yourself in a room and reading books. Instead, it’s great to talk to other students or influencers alike – and they could be based anywhere around the world.
A way to do this is through online communities. There are some platforms where you could either join an existing one or create one from scratch. Here are some examples of places online where you can talk to people.
If you type any subject into your Facebook search bar, there will be communities for you. From GCSE groups to University courses and topics of interest... you can find the group associated with what/where you’re studying.
Some groups are public, but many close-knit online communities will be private. You should merely request to be invited and often they will ask you some questions to ensure that you’re suitable for the group. So, they may ask what you’re studying or your profession.
The members could be people on your course directly or even strangers from the other side of the world. The point is that you will be able to discuss topics and ask questions. Making your study time have a social aspect will get you thinking about the subject at hand enjoyable and interactively.
Equally, you can find communities on Reddit – a popular website for news and advice where anyone can post. A Subreddit is the topic of a particular page where you’ll find threads of links and conversations.
For example, if you’re on a creative writing course, you could join the subreddit ‘writing’ where users discuss hot topics and even read over each other’s writing to share feedback. You can think to find if your course has a Facebook group – if it doesn’t yet, make one! Your classmates will be looking for a way to make studying more enjoyable, just like you.
And lastly, you can Google all the relevant hashtags for your subject. An aspiring writer, for example, may go on Twitter and join the community of writers using #5amwritersclub (and no, you don’t necessarily have to be awake at 5 am to join).
There will be communities like these for every subject you may be studying – because other students like you will love the chance to discuss what they’re working on.
Social media has far more to it than judgmental parents may think who say ‘you spend too much time on your phone!’ In fact, it can be a tool for utter inspiration by talking to academics or business people directly.
Great influencers are using social media in various industries. You can find them on LinkedIn and Twitter. From journalists to historians and scientists, you’ll be able to look them up, and if you message them your questions, you might get lucky and receive a response!
Moreover, you can find organizations or awarding bodies on social media where they will post useful and insightful information.
Questions.pngYou shouldn’t only ask questions of the organizations and experts associated; you should also ask your fellow followers and friends. Whether you make a public post for a broad audience to answer, or you directly post to your Facebook page, social media is a great place to ask questions and find answers. Not only that, with so much engagement and discussion going on, it’s also the place where you can find more questions that you hadn’t even thought to ask for the first time.
Students may also use their social media to conduct primary research. For example, my dissertation at university looked at the reactions of audiences for news reports on different terror attacks. Twitter is an excellent tool for social research because it is so public.
You can type in keywords and read the reactions of so many people, and you can even use it to gather data.
Platforms such as Facebook can be used for gathering statistics if a student wishes to get their own data instead of using a third party’s. They can create polls or surveys and reach an audience of thousands – from their friends to cyber strangers.
Social media is full of marketing deals for students to take advantage of. From short online courses to affordable books and free academic journals, social media is a breeding ground for resources that students can use.
Why have we added this to the list? Because no matter how useful social media may be, study material such as old-fashioned books or commercial recordings will give you the edge.