According to Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) Social media can be defined as internet based applications that allows the use and exchange of content generated by users. The use of social networking sites such as facebook, twitter and YouTube has exploded in the last ten years or so years. In 2006, 16% of 16-22 years had a profile on facebook and 40% of the same population segment in 2008 (Zuckerberg,2009).It is clear that this is a massive portion of the population that is immersed and using some sort of social networking site. It is important to note that because of majority of young people are in this age are still in high school or college, lots of academic research has been done in this field to ascertain the impact of social media on college students and most of the findings are not so positive. Social media in general and facebook in particular has negative impact on college students’ academic performance. Let us explore some common themes in this scholarly articles.
- Facebook-GPA connection: Lots of research has been done to determine the relationship between facebook and grades. In the article effects of social media on college students written by Yu Liang,Wei Chen and Quingya Wang state that the use of electronic media in general has a negative impact on grades. According to them sites such as facebook are a distraction and they have brought about procrastination. Students are not likely to pay maximum attention even while in class due to immersion in social media. Study has found that students use facebook while in class, studying or doing homework (Jacobsen &Forste, 2008). This distraction has a detrimental impact on student performance. On the other hand another article ‘Facebook and academic performance: reconciling a media sensation with data’ the findings are totally different. It has been established that there is no relationship whatsoever between Facebook and GPA in fact facebook use is higher among students who perform well. Due to numerous connections on facebook one can take advantage of such links to get academic support. Even shy and students who don’t speak often can gain confidence to learn and contribute to academic discussions online and this enhances learning.
- Social impact: In the article ‘social networks: academic and social impact on college students’ states that facebook is use for socialisation and it is especially important for first year students who want to overcome their shyness and keep in touch with old friends. Social networking sites such as facebook have made it easier and possible for people to connect, form and join groups of people with similar interests (O‘Murchu,et al.,2004).in another article, ‘’Just talk to me: communicating with college students about depression disclosures on Facebook’, the role of facebook in combating stigma associated with mental related illness and be a great avenue for helping students who might be having depression or related illnesses.
- However, in another article, ‘You have been poked: exploring the uses and gratifications of Facebook among emerging adults’ by Brett Bumgarner advances the gratification theory which states that people use media to satisfy their needs and wants .For instance, facebook is used for voyeurism, looking through peoples’ personal information such as photos, interests and life events. This can pose a risk to one’s safety and privacy and therefore due care needs to be taken to determine how much information to share on facebook.
- All of these articles are not definitive enough to explain the scope of the impact of facebook. They have tried to give some possible effects but I believe that much more research needs to be done. Perhaps it is due to the fact that social media or facebook in particular is a fairly new phenomenon.
- Sources: doing a research in any field can be a daunting task. First you must narrow down a research topic to be as specific as possible then you must identify source from which you will get insight and information about your topic of research. With the advent of the internet anyone can post information online but it is important that one can be able to verify and check the reliability of the sources (Booth, et al., 2003).Peer reviewed are the best sources because e in most cases they have been published by a reputable press and they have been looked at and critiqued by other scholars in the field of study.
- Research topic: a topic is an interest defined narrowly enough that one can be a n expert in it. Writing a research proposal begins with an interest in a given field and the should be narrowed down to a specific topic that can solve some question. One must be able to comb through computer databases and book indexes to find enough data to enable his topic solve a given problem( Booth, et al.,2003)
- Educational research methods: there are various educational research methods one of them is the quetionnaire. The questioner is often used because it is straightforward to analyse and it can be administered in the absence of the research. It very useful in collecting numerical data. Another educational research method is the use of interviews unlike the questionnaires, interviews have a personal touch to them, and it is an exchange of ideas between two or more people on a topic of mutual interest (Cohen & Manion,2007)
Booth, W., & Colomb, G. (2003). The craft of research (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Cohen, L., & Manion, L. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.). London: Routledge.
CBS4, 2009. “Study finds Facebook usage may yield lower grades,” CBS4.com, at http://cbs4.com/local/facebook.college.grades.2.984408.html.
Jacobsen, W. C., & Forste, R. (2011). The Wired Generation: Academic and Social Outcomes of Electronic Media Use Among University Students
Kaplan, A. M. and Haenlein, M. (2010) ‘Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media’, Business Horizons, Vol. 53, Issue 1: pp.59-68
Lusk, B. (2010). Digital natives and social media behaviors: An overview. Prevention Researcher, 173-6.
MA, M., LA, J., & T, B. (2011). Feeling bad on Facebook: Depression disclosures by college students on a social networking site.
Pasek, J., More, E., & Hargitttai, E. (2009). Facebook and academic performance: Reconciling a media sensation with data. Retrieved May 22, 2015, from http://ojs-prod-lib.cc.uic.edu/