We had all just gotten back from all the weekend excitement, and it was Monday.  On the timetable, Criminal law was the first course for the day, so I’m sitting in a lecture on Criminal Law, and for the first 20 minutes, everyone is paying rapt attention. Half-hour into the class, nobody seemed to be paying attention; everyone was too engrossed with something on their phones or having low talks about the most trending topics on Twitter or Instagram. Simultaneously, the lecturer explained Actus reus and Mens rea, which meant the Act that led to the crime and the intent that led to the crime, respectively. I decided to take a peek to know why my friends had a smirk on their faces; the one by my left was smiling at a skit on Twitter, while the one by my right was thinking about a caption for a picture she intended to post on Instagram. They couldn’t care less about whatever the lecturer was saying, and yet, the lecturer went on and on dismissing the obvious absent-mindedness of his students.

Unfortunately, this scenario is the norm in most universities of late, whether lectures or group discussions, you would often find students doing one thing or another on social networking sites. Social media has come to stay, and no matter what we do, it will have an impact on our lives as students, parents, and lecturers. It is a recognized fact that social networks have improved the academic life of students. I remember being in law school, we were updated on the topics and submitted assignment through emails that were convenient at the time as it was for no fee. 

Through social networks, students connect, form study groups, and share ideas on topics of interest. Therefore social networks have opened new chapters in the academic life of students.

However, like a double-edged sword, the side effects of social networking are becoming somewhat problematic. An example of one of the adverse impact of social networking is the beginning of this scenario. Teachers are now unable to get the full attention of students as a result of social media. Unfortunately, the distractive effect of social media is a significant risk to the students’ academic performance.

Social media addiction is real; I have come across people that no matter how, without cash, they are at the moment, they find any means to have the internet on their devices. Some people disagree that the internet can become addictive, yet many students find it hard to stay off social media when studying time. They find themselves spending a considerable part of their time browsing through social networks and other sites to the detriment of their studies.

It is almost impossible to ban social media use because of the consequences; however, we can find innovative ways of making the internet less distracting for students. Lecturers and parents must be alert to this addition to avoid producing unqualified professionals. Until students, teachers, and parents begin to rise to the occasion and nip this digital addiction in the bud, we risk having half-baked professionals. Students must also develop innovative ways to avoid this addiction. Parents must also make it a point to monitor what their kids do online because if not monitored daily, children may take up vulgar behaviours that they have seen online. Lecturers must also ensure students stay attentive in a class by having interactive sessions in between.