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City Tech Student’s Research Suggests that Most Young People Worldwide Aren’t Using Social Media to Improve Themselves or Larger Society

LSAMP Activity Coordinator Minerva Francis with student Nurudeen Busari

A survey of 2,000 young people, ages 15 to 24, from countries around the world by New York City College of Technology (City Tech) student Nurudeen Busari supports the idea that few are using social media to enrich their own lives or the larger society.

Busari, a computer information systems major born in Nigeria and now residing in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, represented City Tech and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program at the 2011 Emerging Researchers National Conferencein Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) held in February 2011 in Washington, DC. At the conference, Busari presented the results of his study to other student researchers and representatives of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Education and Human Resources Programs, and the National Science Foundation’s Division of Human Resource Development, Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

Planning to become a career network administrator, Busari, was not particularly surprised by the results of his research. “Young people, 15 to 24, are at the age when most are only just beginning to think about their future and what they want to accomplish in life. Social networks can be a tremendous tool in helping them make such critical decisions, but need to employ every means possible to put the idea in young people’s minds of using these tools for more productive purposes than they are currently using them – purposes that serve to enrich their experience and promote their growth through proper applications.”

Busari also believes that parents and teachers need to provide young people with better guidance in terms of their use of social networks, and suggests that online advertisers, as well, have a role to play in encouraging the young to put social networks and all facets of the Internet to better use for learning and other beneficial purposes.

“I’m not against social networks,” Bursari adds. “But I am for a more effective use of them. They were created to enable people to rapidly interact, to share and grow from one another’s experiences. Like any tool, they can be used for positive and negative purposes. Both my research and personal experience suggest that today’s youth are not putting this powerful tool to the best possible use.          

“During and following my presentation,” he says, “I had the opportunity to discuss my research with a broad range of interesting people from all walks of life. I was commended on my work done under the guidance of my mentor, City Tech Computer Systems Technology Professor Marcos Pinto. Other conference participants also offered many good ideas on how I could further enhance and expand on my research.

“Attending the conference,” adds Busari, “provided me with an opportunity to visit the nation’s capital for the first time and to meet other scholars representing the various STEM disciplines. It was a terrific opportunity and I profited in so many ways from their knowledge and research experiences. I also learned about upcoming summer research opportunities at universities across the country and am currently investigating several of them.”

Busari hopes to have more experiences like the one he had in Washington, DC in the future, and is especially grateful to City Tech Provost Bonne August, the faculty of the College’s School of Technology & Design, and LSAMP Activity Coordinator Minerva Francis for supporting his conference participation. Other students interested in summer research opportunities and more information about the LSAMP program should call 718.260.5529.


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