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Magnetic Monkey Marketing blogThe question of the week is “whether or not social media should be taught in schools?”  We think the answer is undoubtedly YES, but it must be done the right way. For the most part, people use social media every day of their lives. And that goes from kids in middle school to adults in the work force.

These platforms have become part of the everyday life of society. So why is it that schools are still teaching cursive and not social media? Venture Beat accurately said that “we need to be educating students on applicable skills for the world that they will interact with, and that means providing them with an understanding of how social media can affect their future.” It goes back to the idea of digital natives versus digital immigrants. The former group has lived all or most of their lives with technology and social media—they know all the ins and outs and pretty much understand how it all works. The latter group has had to learn to adapt to these new technological changes. Some of those digital immigrants might not see the point in upgrading the school system to include social media.

Teaching social media in schools is vital because we run the risk of the digital natives learning the wrong things on their own. When they just pick things up on their own, they learn all of the shortcuts. Shortcuts in the absence of direction will always lead to disaster. We truly believe that this will lead towards the dumbing down of the next generation. It is one thing to do things more efficiently [which is the epitome of social media] but at some point there’s a cut off where the shortcut is more detrimental to the efficiency gained. We could deter this by actually talking about social media in class.

High school students should be learning about things that are actually applicable to the real world. 83% of teenagers in the United States are currently using social media. These teens are the future generation to take over the work force. They should know how to utilize social media to its full potential in the realm of business. No matter what field they end up, social media can definitely play an important role to their marketing strategies.

Students often forget that the Internet [and social media in general] is written in ink—it will forever be there and available. We know that sites like Twitter and Facebook and so on can help build up our reputations. If these high schoolers put their social media skills to use, they could start building up a professional reputation—which could bode well for them in their future job search.

So, yes, social media should definitely be taught in schools for many reasons. The United Kingdom has added cyber security to its curriculum and we should follow suit. It is time to revolutionize and upgrade our schooling system.