CSU reacts: How has social media impacted your student experience?

Nick Botkin

A student with a backpack sits on a bench in the Behavioral Sciences Building at Colorado State University
Abby Waski, a sophomore business marketing major, said that social media helps her follow notifications on Canvas and set up study groups (Photo courtesy of Nick Botkin)

We seem to live in a world of screens. The president employs Twitter to communicate with the American people, to one’s delight or chagrin. One might utilize Facebook to check in with friends. Cell phones sometimes seem to be our best friends.

So how does social media shape student experiences on campus? Do we benefit from its presence at Colorado State University? And what are the pitfalls of its use?

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“I think it really just helps when you are in a hurry,” sophomore business marketing student Abby Waski said.

Waski said she uses social media for academic purposes, including setting up study groups and checking notifications on Canvas.

For other students, social media takes on a personal dimension.

“It just keeps me connected to my friends I do not see all the time and friends who go to other colleges,” sophomore human development and family studies student Bethany Grusing said.

Grusing said she likes Instagram and follows organizations that post their information online.

“I follow the football games on Twitter,” sophomore psychology student Taylor Nooner said.

For some students, social media allows for extracurricular engagement.

“It helps get me more involved,” Grusing said. Grusing also said social media allows the opportunity for connections with other colleges.

Some students do not utilize social media, including Forest Erickson, a senior agriculture business student.

Erickson said he had no particular reason for avoiding social media, adding that it does not entertain him.

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If it were not on social media, we would not know about it”-Abby Waski, sophomore business marketing major

So is social media a plus or minus for our campus overall?

“I think it keeps everyone connected,” Grusing said.

Others agree.

“I think it is helpful,” Erickson said. “People know what is going on.”

Erickson added that social media helps people keep up to date with events. Some students think it has particular benefits for the campus.

“It is beneficial, especially for sports games,” Waski said. “If it were not on social media, we would not know about it.”

The downfall?

Waski said that social media allows people to be misled by others they admire. Social media makes it easy for people to create their own false identities, Waski said.

Fun fact

According to Brandwatch.com, there are 3.03 billion social media users.

For other students, social media can foster social ostracism.

Grusing said students not invited to an event on social media may feel “alone and self-conscious.” 

Possibly the worst downfall of social media is its ability to spread and create misinformation. It can also be a distraction to students. 

“It can be a distraction,” Waski said, noting that she sometimes uses social media while studying. “Or it can lead to egotistical things.”

Collegian reporter Nick Botkin can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com. His Twitter handle is @dudesosad.