The Impact of Social Media usage on Academic Performance at one Urban University: A Pilot Study Sam Mozee. MPPA Mississippi Urban Research Center Abstract. The intent of this survey was to get down researching the possible impact of societal media use on the academic public presentation of pupils go toing one urban university. The study’s primary end is to place cardinal subjects. tendencies. and/or perceptual experiences that can be used as a foundation for more in-depth empirical research. and can be used to develop policy recommendations to cover with this turning phenomenon.
A qualitative research design was used. and three preliminary research inquiries were formed to steer this survey: ( 1 ) How common is the usage of societal media ( i. e. . Facebook. MySpace. Twitter. and LinkIn ) among college pupils? ( 2 ) For those pupils who do use societal networking sites. on mean how much clip do they pass on those sites jointly per twenty-four hours and/or per hebdomad? and ( 3 ) How does the academic public presentation of pupils compare between pupils who utilize societal media sites and pupils who do non utilize societal media sites? Findingss from this survey seem to corroborate perceptual experiences of high pupil use of societal media among college pupils ; nevertheless. they besides seem to belie other research literature findings sing strength of use and gender-usage dispositions. Introduction Recently. there has been considerable treatment sing the frequent usage of societal media tools ( e. g. . Facebook. MySpace. Twitter. Xanga. Friendster ) by high school and college pupils. and the possible consequence of those tools on students’ academic public presentation ( Connolly. 2011 ; Hargitai. & A ; Hsieh. 2010 ; Karpinski. & A ; Duberstein. 20009 ) .
At the nucleus of this argument is whether the turning usage of societal media by high school and/or college pupils really improves or worsens a student’s academic public presentation. With the expected continued growing in the use of these tools by pupils every bit early as the simple school degree ( Anderson. & A ; Rainie. 2012 ; Lenhart. 2009 ) . this issue has broad dispersed deductions peculiarly for the countries of instruction ( e. g. . the designation and usage of compatible learning methods. the design and execution of complimentary course of study determinations. and the design of non-classroom educational assignments ) ; communications ( e. g. . the designation of appropriate channels to interchange educational information among persons ) ; and economic sciences ( e. g. . the allotment of public fiscal resources towards educational and societal services activities. and the creative activity of future concern chances ) ( Chen. & A ; Bryer. 2012 ; Anderson. & A ; Rainie. 2012 ) .
The intent of this survey is to get down researching the possible impact of societal media use on the academic public presentation of pupils go toing one urban university. This issue is being investigated in order to: estimate the academic impact of societal media usage by university pupils ; lend to the turning organic structure of cognition sing identified linkages between the usage of societal media and students’ academic public presentation ; and to supply policy recommendations for university functionaries to see sing accommodating to educational alterations associated with the usage of societal media by college pupils. By ab initio taking an explorative attack. the end is to place cardinal subjects. tendencies. and/or perceptual experiences that can be used as a foundation for more in-depth empirical research. This survey represents the first measure in analyzing this issue for the intent of developing research-grounded policy recommendations turn toing this emerging issue.
Social Media and Its Users Social media has emerged as a term often used ( and diversely defined ) to depict different types of communicating platforms and electronic ways of interacting. This research will use the definition of societal media developed by Bryer and Zavatarro as being “technologies that facilitate societal interaction. do possible coaction. and enable deliberations across stakeholders” ( Bryer. & A ; Zavattaro. 2011. p. 327 ; Chen. & A ; Bryer. 2012. p. 88 ) . Using this definition. societal media includes such tools as electronic web logs. audio/video tools ( e. g. . YouTube ) . Internet confab suites. cellular and computing machine texting. and societal networking sites.
While all of the old tools can and make ease interaction between and among users to assorted grades. this research is chiefly concerned with the usage of societal media through societal networking sites ( SNSs ) . In footings of day-to-day usage of all societal media jointly. one survey found that those born between 1965-1979 ( ‘Generation X’ ) consumed about 13 hours of societal media per twenty-four hours ; those born between 1980-1989 ( ‘Net Generation’ ) consumed about 19 hours of societal media per twenty-four hours ; and those born between 1990-1999 ( ‘I Generation’ ) consumed about 20 hours of societal media per twenty-four hours ( Rosen. 2011 ) .
These figures represent self-reported corporate usage of all signifiers of societal media including telecasting. cell phone use. Internet use. computing machine tablets. laptops. music iPads. texting. picture games. and societal networking sites. Merely as the term ‘Social Media’ has obtained a reasonably wide significance. the term ‘social networking sites’ ( SNSs ) by and large refers to Internet-based locations that allow persons and groups to interact. Social web sites ( SNSs ) specifically refer to those Internet-based services that: advance on-line societal interaction between two or more individuals within a delimited system for the intents of friendly relationship. meeting other individuals. and/or interchanging information ; contains a functionality that lets users make public or semi-public personal profile pages that contain information of their ain choosing ; serves as a mechanism to pass on with other users ; and contains mechanisms that allow users to seek for other users harmonizing to some specific standards ( Zwart. Lindsay. Henderson. & A ; Phillips. 2011 ; EU. 2009 ; Boyd. & A ; Ellison. 2007 ) .
Sites such as Facebook. MySpace. LinkedIn and Twitter are good illustrations of SNSs that meet the antecedently stated standards. Internet usage overall. and the usage of societal networking sites in peculiar. have grown significantly since 2000 with some estimations of about 78 % of American grownups utilizing the Internet on a regular basis ; 46 % of American grownups 18 and older utilizing societal networking sites ; and 65 % of teens age 12 to 17 utilizing on-line societal webs ( Pew. 2009 ) . In footings of rank and day-to-day use. more recent estimations show Facebook as holding over 750 million users worldwide ; LinkedIn over 100 million members ; Twitter holding over 177 million tweets per twenty-four hours ; and YouTube holding over 3 billion positions each twenty-four hours ( Chen. & A ; Bryer. 2012 ) .
The usage of societal networking sites has been repeatedly found to be the highest among those between the ages of 18-29 ( Rainie. 2011 ) ; while the fastest turning section using SNSs since 2008 has been among those age 35 and older ( Hampton. Sessions-Goulet. Rainie. & A ; Purcell. 2011. p. 8 ) . Approximately 61 % of teens age 12-17 utilize SNSs to direct messages to their friends on a regular footing ( Lenhart. 2009 ) . Overall. it has been found that adult females more than work forces tend to use societal networking sites to pass on and interchange information ( Hampton. SessionsGoulet. Rainie. & A ; Purcell. 2011 ) . In footings of overall popularity sing use. one recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that Facebook is the most used ( 92 % ) . followed by MySpace ( 29 % ) . so LinkedIn ( 18 % ) . Twitter ( 13 % ) . and other SNSs ( 10 % ) ( Hampton. SessionsGoulet. Rainie. & A ; Purcell. 2011 ) .
As related to this exploratory survey. the old statistics indicate that societal media tend to hold the highest usage rate among traditionally-aged college pupils ( that is. those under 30 old ages old ) . For younger cohort groups below the college degree. their usage rate tends to be the highest. At issue is whether this use among college pupils is holding a positive. negative. or impersonal consequence on the academic public presentation of these pupils. Social Media and Academic Performance The issue of whether societal media helps or hurts a student’s academic public presentation is frequently couched in larger issues identified with the overall usage of societal media ( e. g. . its psychological effects ; privateness and safety concerns ; single self-denial and self-regulation concerns ; human adaptability concerns ) ( Zwart. Lindsay. Henderson. & A ; Phillips. 2011 ; Anderson. & A ; Rainie. 2012 ; Rosen. 2011 ; Connolly. 2011 ) .
In general. benefits typically associated with the usage of societal media have included: encouraging greater societal interaction via electronic mediums ; supplying greater entree to information and information beginnings ; promoting creativeness among and between persons and groups ; making a sense of belonging among users of common societal media tools ; supplying more picks to advance battle among different persons and groups ; cut downing barriers to group interaction and communications such as distance and social/economic position ; and increasing the technological competence degrees of frequent users of societal media ( Connolly. 2011 ; Zwart. Lindsay. Henderson. & A ; Phillips. 2011 ; Rosen. 2011 ) .
Potential hazards or drawbacks identified with the usage of societal media include hazards of psychological upsets and wellness jobs such as anxiousness. depression. hapless eating wonts. and deficiency of physical exercising ; progressively short attending spans and subverted higher-order concluding accomplishments such as concentration. continuity. and analytical logical thinking among frequent users of societal media ; a inclination to overrate one’s ability to multi-task and manage undertakings ; and engineering being seen as a replacement for the analytical logical thinking procedure ( Anderson. & A ; Rainie. 2012 ; Rosen. 2011 ; Connolly. 2011 ; Zwart. Lindsay. Henderson. & A ; Phillips. 2011 ) . Jointly. these benefits and hazards all play a function in a student’s educational procedure to assorted grades and at assorted times. Merely as there are conflicting benefits and hazards associated with the usage of societal media. there are besides contradictory findings sing its impact on students’ academic public presentation.
Some research workers analyzing the impact of societal media usage ( in peculiarly the usage of SNSs ) on college students’ academic public presentation found a negative consequence ; that is. higher use typically taking to take down academic public presentation as measured by classs ( Wang. Chen. & A ; Liang. 2011 ; Stollak. Vandenberg. Burklund. & A ; Weiss. 2011 ; Rouis. Limayem. & A ; Salehi-Sangari. 2011 ; Karpinski. & A ; Duberstein. 2009 ; Canales. Wilbanks. & A ; Yeoman. 2009 ) . Other research workers analyzing this same issue found either no-to-little relationship between the usage of societal media and pupil academic public presentation ( Ahmed & A ; Qazi. 2011 ) ( Hargittai & A ; Hsieh. 2010 ) . or really an addition in student academic public presentation ( Pasek & A ; Hargittai. 2009 ) ( Junco. Heibergert. & A ; Loken. 2011 ) ( Rizzuto. LeDoux. & A ; Hatala. 2009 ) .
While it is non uncommon to happen surveies with contradictory findings. what is peculiarly relevant among the surveies reviewed is the common determination of other interceding factors that must be considered before any unequivocal decisions can be reached sing the impact on academic public presentation. Examples of these interceding factors include the frequence and strength of societal media use ; the personality type of the societal media user ( e. g. . extroverted. introverted ) ; the socio-economic and cultural background of the user ; the ability of the user to “self-regulate” their behaviour in footings of clip spent on- and off-line ; the differences among the SNSs in footings of their content. intent. and construction ; and the academic ability of the societal media user. In sum uping the research literature reviewed. all these factors dictate to assorted grades the degree of societal media use. and the academic public presentation of those utilizing societal media.
These findings. coupled with the earlier statistics bespeaking a quickly turning usage of societal media ( particularly among those under 18 old ages old ) . stand for a important tendency that is impacting educational systems around the universe. The current study’s intent was to look into the extent to which societal media impacts college students’ academic public presentation. The importance of this issue is connected to research placing higher instruction as being a cardinal constituent to a state staying globally competitory. and that worsening academic public presentation can hold long-run effects for society and the person in footings of overall quality of life ( Down. 2009 ) ( Phusavat. Ketsarpong. Ooi. & A ; Shyu. 2012 ) . Method This research survey utilized a qualitative design that incorporated the focal point group and study research methods.
The end was to utilize these methods as get downing points for placing cardinal subjects and perceptual experiences upon which to construct future research. Three preliminary research inquiries were formed to steer this survey: ( 1 ) How common is the usage of societal media ( i. e. . specifically the usage of such societal networking sites such as Facebook. MySpace. Twitter. and LinkIn ) among college pupils? ( 2 ) For those pupils who utilize societal networking sites. on mean how much clip do they pass on those sites jointly per twenty-four hours and/or per hebdomad? and ( 3 ) How does the academic public presentation of pupils compare between those pupils who utilize societal media sites and those pupils who do non? The initial population for the focal point group was 18 college pupils take parting in the Jackson State University’s Ronald E. McNair Scholars plan. and was selected due to the convenience and handiness of the pupils.
Engagement in that plan is limited to undergraduate pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds that have demonstrated strong academic potency. with the ultimate plan end of increasing the attainment of doctorial grades by pupils from under-represented sections of society ( USDOE. Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. 2012 ) . It must be noted that one extra pupil arrived excessively late to take part in the focal point group treatments. but did take part in the study section of this research undertaking ; hence. a sum of 19 pupils were available to take part in the research exercises.
The focal point group was facilitated using a semistructured interview usher concentrating on students’ perceptual experiences of societal media and its impact on academic public presentation. The pupils were besides administered a nine inquiry study that addressed such countries as pupil gender. race. college categorization. types of societal media utilised. mean clip exhausted per twenty-four hours and per hebdomad on selected societal media site ( s ) . SMSs. and the student’s academic grade-point norm. The original 18 pupils. plus one pupil geting later during the research activity. completed the study instrument. Focus group responses were manually sorted and grouped harmonizing to common/similar responses to inquiries asked of the full group.
Survey responses were tabulated and analyzed using the SPSS version 18 statistical package. Descriptive statistics were compiled along with crosstabulations of selected variables. The major restrictions of this survey included its usage of a non-randomized. un-representative sample of the pupil population ; and pupils in the focal point group holding above mean academic grade-point norms as a demand to take part in the McNair Scholar’s plan ; and holding a little sample size ( N=19 ) of pupils to finish the study instrument.
Findingss Summary of Focus Group Deliberations. The facilitators began the treatment by inquiring for a show-ofhands of those pupils who use societal media. All of the pupils take parting in the focal point group indicated they typically used some signifier of societal media daily. However. there was a broad scope among the pupils in footings of frequence and strength of usage. After acquiring a sense of the usage degree among focus group members. a semi-structured interview usher was used to excite treatment and elicit responses from participants.
Table 1 provides a sum-up of the focal point group responses: Table 1. Summary of Focus Group Responses Question # 1 Research Questions What do you believe about the usage of societal media by college pupils in general? Common Responses It does impact the mentality of some pupils both positively and negatively ; it encourages societal interaction among pupils ( likely more among Freshman and Sophomores than Juniors and Seniors ) ; it can assist a pupil get aid with school-related undertakings ; it can be habit-forming. deflecting. hurt with your focal point ; it is a good beginning for play and amusement ; it is being used in ways non originally intended ( e. g. . for basic concern networking ) ; and it can assist people with insecurities make friends and increase their self-esteem ;
It depends upon the individual in footings of whether that individual can concentrate or non and how they use it ; it is more powerful than people realize and can impact a person’s survey wonts ; it takes off study clip ; it can be habit-forming ; and it can do people lazy ; Nothing. pupils who want to utilize societal media will happen a manner ; have a campus forum discoursing the issue of how societal media can impact academic public presentation ; set up a telephone hotline for those people who have a job ; limit the figure of hours ( e. g. . by traveling through the phone company ) a individual can be on Facebook ; and allow those individuals experience failure as a manner to get the better of their job.