Students spend a lot of time on social media. And with more and more apps reaching the market, older social media channels are losing traction amongst Gen Z in the light of new ones. In fact, in a recent Tallo survey, we found that 34% of Gen Z said they spend the most time on TikTok, followed by Instagram (26%), Facebook (4%), and Twitter (2%).
While students spend a great deal of time on social media, they aren’t necessarily there to connect with schools or employers. In fact, they are very aware of the negative impacts that social media has on their schoolwork and their well-being.
Students think social media is a detriment to their schoolwork, not an aid
82% of Gen Zers said that social media had proven to be a distraction to them while doing schoolwork. It was also revealed that 3 in 4 female respondents said that social media has caused them to compare themselves to peers, while only 56% of males said the same and more than half of all respondents (56%) indicated that social media has led them to feel left out by their peers.
Despite the questionable impact on their wellbeing, these platforms pervade nearly all aspects of students’ educational lives – 71% said they have learned a new study habit from social media – and are even utilized in their college searches.
Schools should be present on social media, but not pushy
Schools and employers need to consider new ways to meet students where they spend the bulk of their time, especially as nearly half of respondents indicated that social media has influenced what they want to do as a future career. And while social media may be the first place that comes to mind, we found that students remain divided on the idea of colleges reaching out to them through their social media accounts, with 54% of respondents saying they would be comfortable with it and about 34% saying they would be uncomfortable with it.
With this in mind, schools and employers need to look into other online platforms that are geared toward college and career connection, like Tallo. Even still, the majority (71%) of students stated they would prefer contact with colleges to occur via email, which also proved to be the most common method of communication used by schools themselves (82%).
Students do use social media to scope out prospective colleges
It’s important to note that 59% of surveyed students said that they follow prospective colleges and universities on Instagram. So, while students don’t necessarily want schools or employers reaching out to them on social media, they do find it useful when it comes to researching prospective colleges and opportunities for themselves. Schools and employers should be mindful that students are utilizing social media to determine whether or not a school or company is a good fit and use that to improve their recruitment and enrollment efforts.