For moreover than 3.5 billion population of the world uses social media for various purposes which 46-50 percent is an active user of social media. Social media is a platform for sharing links, posts/videos, and public updates such as status or location. The invention of social media developed the English language that could lead to positive and negative things. By reading this, we would know what benefits and disadvantages of using social media so that we could get the positive influences and apply them to our studies.
Firstly, users of social media type diverse information on their daily lives. Teenagers users tend to use an abbreviation to shorten the amount of time and word or phrase to type. However, they occasionally add a significant meaning or emotion to a message/text, for example: ‘OMG this is so funny hhh’ is a sentence that uses two abbreviations ‘OMG’ for ‘oh my god’ and ‘hhh’ indicates a laugh. ‘Love you with all my heart’ could also be texted as ‘luwamh’ (BBC Focus on Africa 2006:25). They also created new words for example ‘periodt’ to add emphasis at the end of the word that is considered as the extreme version of the period and ‘lewk’ which means a signature physical trait.
Furthermore, social media cause an impact on the verbal language of people. It is shown by the research group of teachers with a majority 73% stated that social media determined the speech style of students. Occasionally, the teachers need to correct informal words such as ‘hi’ and ‘oops’ after finishing the presentation. 34% of teachers said to stop the non-standard English they were using and the students correct the mistakes by themselves.
Lastly, frequent users like teenagers usually post status/comment on other people’s posts by using the English language though sometimes they commit misspelled words or wrong grammar. Research stated that 79% of the students responded that their friends usually do not correct their mistakes because they do not want other people to downcast their friends. However, 19% of students said sometimes they do correct their flaws. Also, making status in posts make users of social media aware of their grammar as well as improving their writing. Research in Bangladesh stated that 95% of the students think that writing standard English improve their English essays, besides they would make appealing posts which encourage others to give more likes and comment.
The impact of social media writing was also observed in the students’ academic writing by Jabeen (2015:58–59). Various factors were responsible for affecting a learner’s language. Another main point to be examined was the use of short wording in the writing that is not allowed in formal writing. Examples of these words were: ‘w8’ for wait, ‘plz’ for please, and ‘thank u’ for thank you. These mistakes were detected in the analysis and conclude that this made a negative impact on students.
However, social media encourages learners to reduce anxiety and feel free to participate and help them to improve their language production. Gremu&Halse, 2012 stated students are keen to use social media for academic purposes. Moreover, students see this as an opportunity to engage them to learn informally by seeking, exploring, and testing ideas with other students within their social network. It also helps the students as a functional medium in various aspects of their day-to-day activities such as assigning homework, studying at home, delivering results of tests, and many more.