Social media becoming more beneficial to students
Published: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 12:04
Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn – these are only a few examples of the many electronic networking sites available worldwide. However, the question has been asked whether it is important for college students to be involved with these sites. To college students, is socializing just as important as studying?
"Using social media is important for students," said Preston Parker, USU professor. "College is when you meet colleagues that you will contact for years to come."
Networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, can keep people from around the world connected without the use of a telephone and an extreme long-distance bill. Facebook is good for sharing thoughts, pictures and even videos to the world.
Lauren Camille Horn, a student at USU, is from California and stays connected with her family through Facebook.
"I use it multiple times every day," Horn said.
Another student, Caleb Whittle, is from Colorado and uses Facebook, too.
"Facebook is great because I can talk to all of my friends and family at once," Whittle said.
Whittle uses YouTube to share his music.
Whittle said, "YouTube opens many opportunities for new hobbies to arise such as making, recording and sharing music. My friends and I have a lot of channels where we cover everything from music to short films to daily video logs."
There are even business opportunities to be had by using these sites.
"Recently, my friend was offered a partnership with YouTube for his "Lost" series," Whittle said. "And we're being contacted by people to do voice-overs because we have the right equipment. We're using YouTube to build a poly-entertainment empire that will catapult us to fame and fortune."
Parker said, "I have had several students now that have gotten jobs from a direct result of what they posted on Facebook. I think every college student ought to be on Facebook."
Another networking site for college students is LinkedIn, a site dedicated to connections and career building.
According to LinkedIn's home page, more than "65 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities."
Students spend four years or more at college taking classes, building a résumé and preparing for a career. It is a widely believed that once a college diploma is obtained, finding a job will be easy. However, having a good GPA and a résumé alone is not going to go far.
"If you know a lot but have no people skills, that is not going to work," Parker said. "Knowing people is going to get some doors open and get you a certain amount of the way to where you're going."
There are ways to build relationships outside of online sites and a computer. USU is home to a plethora of clubs, organizations, fraternities and sororities.
Parker said, "A lot of college students get their degree and then say, ‘Now what?' They've missed out on making relationships. You can't just go to class and work on your degree. If you're in something it will help you build relationships with professors and students and the community."
Many clubs and organizations complement majors and minors. For students in the department of animal, dairy and veterinary sciences, there are clubs such as the Pre-Vet Club, the Equestrian Club and the Rodeo Club.
Another way to socialize and build relationships is through internships. Internships allow students to participate in businesses and gain knowledge through experience. Though taking off time from school may seem hazardous to getting a degree, an internship can help in the business world.
The USU Career Services site stated, "You can gain practical work experience, in your major, with top employers in business, industry and government. By participating, you will enhance your chances in the job market and make contacts for the future."
USU Career Services is the "link between students and meaningful career employment," the site stated. It can help with finding jobs, building a résumé, planning for graduate school and more. Job fairs, where students make connections and build relationships with possible employers, are advertised by Career Services. Though Career Services has the tools for students to build a future, it is up to the students to utilize these tools and be social.
Socializing, along with studying, are key parts of a college experience. Networking also plays a part in building relationships and getting connected with others.