How Social Media is Affecting Distance Learning

“Zoom vs. Insta”

November 6, 2020

Distance learning has already come with a slew of challenges for both administrators and students but there could be more hindering student’s success in the classroom. Students may be taking advantage of the freedom that comes with distanced learning by using their cell phones to go on social media during class. 

The use of social media during Zoom instruction is far too common among students at San Dimas High School. There is in fact a social media epidemic at SDHS. In a poll taken via Instagram story, 60 out of 65 students reported that they use some form of social media during Zoom instruction. That is astonishingly high at 92 percent. 

Popular social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Tiktok are the worst offenders when it comes to distracting students. “It’s easy to use and the videos are funny and short so I don’t have to have a long attention span,” says junior Abbey Ferguson.

The majority of students say they spend most of their time on Tiktok and Snapchat. The short clips catch their attention.“Sometimes I will look up from being on my phone and the teacher will be on a completely different lesson” says, senior Skye Ruedas. Students are so consumed by social media that they will miss full lessons on social media binges. These behaviors cannot be good for their mental health or grades.

Sometimes I will look up from being on my phone and the teacher will be on a completely different lesson”

— Skye Ruedas

“Yeah, I focused way more on school and myself more without it,” says senior Mayerly Maldonado. “I got it back yesterday and I’m already more distracted,” continued Maldonado. 

Distanced learning and social media are one toxic duo. Students’ grades are suffering greatly due to prolonged and uncontrollable social media use during Zoom instruction. 

“My grades were so bad that my mom had to turn off my screen time during school hours,” says senior Sarah Mercy. The sad truth is that most teenagers cannot handle social media and will use it irresponsibly. 

Students reported that they would rather spend time chatting with their friends on Snapchat or watching funny videos on Tiktok than be on Zoom with the entire class. 

Disconnection of students due to social media is especially sad for the teachers, who work so diligently to provide a quality lesson and learning experience for their students. What do they get in return from their students? Few participants, very few students are fully engaged in actual Zoom instruction. This can be discouraging and frustrating for the teachers who only want to see their students succeed in the course. 

Although social media has done a lot of good for the world there is a dark side as well. Addiction to social media is extremely common. There is always a good and bad time to be on social media, while your teacher is giving you a lesson on how many proteins are in a DNA is just a really bad time, consider the teacher’s feelings and your grades. Put the phone down it’s not that important. 


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