Not only does social media affect teenagers socially, mentally, and physically; it also affects them academically. A study done in 2009 by CommonSense media showed that thirty-five percent of students admitted to using their cellphone to cheat on tests. In 2009, the iPhone 3GS was the newest smartphone. Now, in 2018, there is the iPhone X. In 2013, only thirty-seven percent of teenagers surveyed had a smartphone. In 2015, seventy-three percent of teenagers surveyed had a smartphone, and the other fifteen percent had a basic phone. In 2016, eighty-seven percent of teenagers owned a smartphone. If the amount of smartphones are increasing, then the amount of cheating is too. There is a correlation between smartphone and cheating. Nowadays, students text classmates answers, use their phones to look up answers, and even copy and paste entire essays they found on the internet. There are youtube videos that give students advice on how to cheat on tests. 3 Ways to Cheat on any Test and How to Cheat in School are just a few of the many videos on youtube that influence students to cheat. Social media accounts and websites such as the instagram account republican ideals feed teenagers corrupt information. The up and coming fake news dilemma is another way that social media is hurting students academically. It is hard to tell whether a source is giving out correct or false information. Most news websites are biased or lean towards one side of the political spectrum while others are entirely incorrect. It is easy for students to be unaware of these biases. Students use the information found on news sites to site their essays and presentations, which then leads to informing other students corrupt information. Many colleges are implementing a new way for students to select college roommates. Instead of randomly pairing students, or setting up a date for students to meet before they room together, colleges are creating surveys and sending students a list of matches through Facebook. This process is another step that harms teenagers’ ability to interact with people face-to-face. People create a different reality of themselves on social media, and trying to get to know someone that you are going to live with through a social media account can cause problems because not everyone is the same person they make themselves out to be on social media. Although advances in technology have greatly improved our way of life, the negative effects it has on teenagers outweighs the good. Schools are starting to become more of a virtual experience especially now that teachers are including computers and smartphones into their lectures. This is distracting, and gives students a big pathway to do things other than school work. It has gotten to the point that some teachers have had to set up baskets for students to put their phones, so they are not tempted to check social media or cheat in class. It is time for teenagers to use their phones effectively and not destructively. In the end, cheating is only hurting themselves.
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