As any young person will know, most days do not start with a morning jog or a carefully prepared breakfast. While these activities may sometimes happen, they are by no means as regular as the essential morning social media check. And it makes sense. Waking up in time for your 10am and rewarding yourself with an extra 10 minutes in bed scouring various feeds is incredibly enjoyable.
However, this automatic scrolling is often continued on the way to university, while you wait for your lecturer to turn up and then, due to habit, in the lecture itself. It’s instinctive, subconscious and downright annoying. Now, we are all probably guilty of this. Sometimes lectures are dull so checking your Facebook can sometimes seem like a more productive use of your time.
Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that spending your lecture on your phone won’t do you any good in the long run. Studies have shown that students who are mentally preoccupied in lectures will obtain lower grades in assignments and be more disinterested when it came to further readings or discussions. And while you may argue that lecture powerpoints are easy enough to be checked back on at later dates, you cannot recreate any questions asked or any insights that where brought up in the lecture.
And while there is no denying that students have been, and always will get distracted in lectures, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s justifiable. The danger of social media however means that instead of just phasing out, we become immersed in something else entirely. The social media feed will still be there when the lecture is over, the option to gain insight into a new subject won’t be.
Feeling guilty yet? I know I do. But do I think that when I’m bored in my lectures tomorrow, I’ll can resist the urge to open Snapchats? Probably not. However, I think the first step to weaning yourself off social media is realising you are guilty of using it unnecessarily. So I think we should all try and be more aware of this and try to put the phone down in lectures. Who knows, we might learn something.
– Jess Simpson