When it comes to study, the words “Facebook” and “procrastination” are basically synonyms. When you’re working to a deadline, be it to hand in an important essay or to revise for a looming exam, social media beckons as a welcome distraction for a moment, which can easily turn into a half hour, and then into an entire evening…
It’s true that social media can seriously hinder your study habits, which is why self-disciplining, internet-blocking apps like Freedom have become so popular. But is social media all bad for study?
In fact, if you’re smart about how you use it, social media can actually help you boost your success, and your personal interest, in your studies. Here are our favourite ways to use social media to help you with uni:
Twitter is one of the most dynamic and open social media platforms out there. Follow leading thinkers in your field of study, relevant news accounts and like-minded students to create an information-sharing space, where you can get real-time updates, experience different perspectives and ask questions about whatever it is that interests you. Twitter can also help you test out new ideas and develop an authoritative voice.
2. Culture culture culture
Use Instagram to fuel your passion for France and French-speaking countries and their cultures. It’s amazing how scrolling through picturesque images of New Caledonian beaches or lavender fields in the south of France can remind you why you should memorise those verb tables. There are also some nifty little vocab accounts with sweet illustrations that gram useful words every day. Culture blogs are invaluable for inspiration and wanderlust too- that’s why we exist!
3. Keeping a journal
Keeping a journal in French is one of the best ways to put your written language skills into practice. But it can be difficult to stay disciplined and write in it on a regular basis. Why not hold yourself accountable to others and keep a blog? You could make it a diary space to express your thoughts in French (which you can keep private, share with friends, post to the world, run anonymously, turn into a full-blown online presence… whichever you fancy). Or you could blog about French cultural, political, or social topics that you are passionate about. Who knows? You may find a following out there on the web.
4. As a grad student
Congratulations! You’re a Masters or PhD student and you have exciting views and discoveries to share with the world! Publishing journal articles and presenting at conferences is the most reputable way to disseminate your research, but blogging in your field is fast becoming another key way to connect with peers. Keep it simple and tweet or set up a Tumblr, or if you’re willing to put more effort in, look into setting up a more dedicated blog. You never know who’ll start reading it or where your online connections could lead you. Read the Thesis Whisperer’s Why You Should Use Twitter During Your PhD if you’re not yet convinced.
How do you use social media for your studies? Does it mostly help or distract you?
By Gemma King.