Effects Of Social Networking Sites To Students Research Paper


We hereby declare that all the work presented in the project report entitled “Impact of Social Networking Sites on academic performance of students” of the subject Research Tools and Techniques at Institute is an authentic record of our own work carried out under the guidance of Professor.


5th June

The Course Professor

Research Tools and Techniques


Respected Prof.,

We feel immense pleasure in presenting to your good self, the report as part of our course requirement. We found this report to be truly challenging in many aspects, indeed very interesting in relation to the various interpretational and engrossing exercises.

Writing this report “Impact of Social Networking Sites on academic performance of students” itself was truly comprehensive learning experience. The report is actually to explore the impact of Social Networking Sites on academic performance of students.

We have tried our level best to complete the report Impact of Social Networking Sites on academic performance of students with respect to desired requirements. However, if any explanation is required, we would be honored to oblige. Kindly accept this humble effort of bringing forward our research and finding on the subject matter.

Yours Obediently,


First of all we express our great gratitude and love to the ALMIGHTY ALLAH, for enabling us to complete this dissertation successfully.

We extend my cordial thanks and deep sense of gratitude to professor for his constant support, guidance and motivation, which helped the group immensely in completing this project. The project on Impact of Social Networking Sites on academic performance of students provided us with an opportunity to understand the fundamentals of research methods in a better manner and apply them in everyday life.

We also would like to thank our respondents for giving us their valuable time and providing us with the information needed to carry out the research successfully. We also thank our family and friends for their support and encouragement for this dissertation.

Thanks a lot!


The social networking sites are gaining a lot of popularity these days with almost all of the educated youth using one or the other such site. These have played a crucial role in bridging boundaries and crossing the seas and enabling them to communicate on a common platform. It has become a popular and a potential mean for them to stay with the existing friends and to grow up their social circle at least in terms of acquaintances.

In Pakistan, social networking sites are getting more popular and it has become a vital part of our social life. This study seeks to find out the impact of Social Networking Sites on academic performance of students.

Impact of Social Networking Sites on Academic Performance of Students




Social networking websites are currently being used regularly by millions of people. The Internet is more than just a means of seeking information. People discovered that the Internet could be used to connect with other people, whether for business or commercial purpose, make new friends, reawaken old friends and long lost relatives. The use of social networking sites has been widespread that they have not only caught the attention of academic and industry researchers worldwide but also us, in particular. Social networking sites are now being investigated by numerous social science researchers and an increasing number of academic commentators are becoming more and more interested in studying Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking services, because of their probable impact on academic performance.

While the social networking sites have the same key aspects, the cultures and responses around them that become apparent are varied. Most sites help strangers connect with others based on shared personal interests, political and economic views, or simply recreational activities. Some sites accommodate distinct viewers, while others attract people based on similarities, such as common languages or shared religious, racial, sexual or nationality-based identities. Nonetheless, social networking sites have only one common goal. It is to encourage new ways to communicate and share information.

Many students always log in to their account on Facebook, Twitter, etc. as a part of their everyday routine. Could you imagine the number of all the students logging in to these social networking sites, everyday? That would be millions of students logging. That’s why many students have been blaming various social networking sites for their steady decrease in grade point averages. This emergent phenomenon aroused us to look into social networking sites and why they affect fellow students academic performances.

The target population for this research was defined as the students who form the major chunk of users of these social networking sites. This was done to have a better insight into the research as the target population was one of the most avid users of these sites and could provide exceptional responses. Even the understanding of the questionnaire was easy for them as they were familiar with the sites and are quite clear about the reasons they use it for and the various problems that they now face because of the effects of using these social networking sites.

The responses were collected by personal questioning. The responses were taken from the students in Institute. Other evidences showcased with this study were retrieved carefully from the web.


In this age of globalization, the world has become too small a place thanks to the electronic media and portals. Communication has become effective as never before thanks to the advent of internet. The social networking sites have also played a crucial role in bridging boundaries and crossing the seas and bringing all people at a common platform where they can meet like-minded people or find old friends and communicate with them. It has become a potential mean to relation building and staying in touch with all known.

Hence the objective that we wanted to achieve through our research is to: Find out the influence of social networking sites on the academic performance of students. We wanted to know that: how would these sites affect academic performance?


In what ways the usage of social networking sites effect academic performance of the student?


This study aims to explain the importance of the proper usage of social networking sites. It aims to point out particularly adverse effects it poses to student’s daily lives. These sites evidently have a lot of positive effects, but they also have their share of negative impact. In order to provide much help, this study would like to give enlightenment to the said phenomena. We would like to provide, through this research, information about the impact of these sites to student that would hopefully lead to a realization of their own standing in terms of SNS addiction. We also would like to give a certain form of guidance to those who are delved in situations aforementioned. Lastly, we would like to provide evidences that would solidify the support on controlling the usage of social networking sites, thus reducing the risk of assimilating such addicting activities.


In order to understand clearly the subject matter, we define the following key concepts: social networking sites, and academic performance, as they are essential to fully comprehend the issue in focus.


“Social networking sites are social network services that focus on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities,or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.’’


“Academic performance refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers.”


Social networking sites as web-based services that allow individuals to: (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

For the past years, social networking has been very popular for people worldwide. Social networking is a great form of entertainment. It is like going to a new school, on your first day you have no friends but as days pass you will meet new friends and eventually you will form groups or circle of friends. At first, you don’t have much interest in your new school but when you begin to learn and enjoy more about your school, you will be happy to spend much of your time in school with your friends, teachers and etc. It is open for all kinds of people, all ages, and all races. A purpose of social networking is we meet people, maybe people we met before like old classmates or schoolmate or new people from different races and countries, we just have same interests with.

For teens in this generation, social networking has become sort of an “addiction”. A teenager has a Facebook account. She opens her account daily to check new updates. She spends hours checking new updates until she realizes she has more important things to do like school works she has missed doing because of signing in into a social network service. This is an example of a teen being addicted to such social networks. To prove social networking can be an addiction, the researchers made a survey to test whether social networking could be a hindrance to a good performance in school. The survey made got answers that yes, some people are willing to spend more time being online on these social network services than to spend time studying and working up on school works. This is sad to hear because with all the advantages social networking can give, there are also disadvantages, like this, that can be or give bad effects to people who use them.

On the point of academic performance or excellence, Tuckman (1975) posited that, performance is used to label the observable manifestation of knowledge, skills, concepts, and understanding and ideas. Thereby, performance is the application of a learning product that at the end of the process provides mastery. It is the acquisition of particular grades on examinations indicates candidate’s ability, mastery of the content, skills in applying learned knowledge to particular situations. A student’s success is generally judged on examination performance. Success on examinations is a crucial indicator that a student has benefited from a course of study (Wiseman, 1961).

In educational institutions, success is measured by academic performance, or how well a student meets standards set out by local government and the institution itself. As career competition grows ever fiercer in the working world, the importance of students doing well in school has caught the attention of parents, legislators and government education departments alike. Therefore, when the term “low” is used with the term “academic performance”, it is the inability to acquire particular grades on examinations that indicates the individual’s mastery of the content, and skills in applying learned knowledge to specific circumstances.



Transition in behavior has led the youth to explore new patterns of information and perform multitasking. Though, this multitasking has to affect the time utility and distribution in both positive and negative ways. One significant effect of these channels is on the student’s academic performance and several empirical studies have reported that the excessive unproductive time spent on social networking sites have affect the students grades. (Facebook and Academic Performance)

Similarly, a preliminary analysis of the “Effects of Facebook usage” by undergraduate students at Lulea University of Technology in Sweden. The research model used for this study tests the perceived affect of self regulation, trust and personality traits on student achievements. The research model suggests the negative mediating affects of the Social Networking Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype etc. The concluding remarks are that, a decrease occurs in the student’s academic performance but a positive effect on the satisfaction with life. (Impact of SNS usage on Students Academic Achievements)

Similarly, SNS do affect one’s academic performance adversely. It causes the gradual drop in the grades of the students directly. It affects the student’s academic performance if he/she invests his/her time in SNS instead in his studies. Time wasting is a major issue in this regard. SNS are highly addictive to those people who cannot control themselves into constantly using these sites, prioritize entertainment over work and gives to much attention to social acceptance and affiliation. The situation is that if a student gives too much time to SNS, there is an ultimately decrease in its academic performance. (SNS affects one’s academic performance adversely)

According to recent studies, Facebook has negative effect on the academic performance. The Britain School study which was about the Facebook and its effect. Testing was done for a period of three months, the first two months access to Facebook was denied and the third month access to Facebook was allowed. In this study, it was noticed slight decline of grades, but what is even more important is lack of concentration and poor knowledge acceptance. The problem does not occur only in case when students were actually logged on to Facebook and didn’t pay attention to what teacher says. The problem is in the fact that current event on the Facebook divert them also in the time when they are not connected to it. The students do not concentrate on their studies because their concentration is divided into study and Facebook both. The test showed that the use of social networks in school has a negative impact on grades.

(http://ezinearticles.com/?Facebook-Has-a-Negative-Impact-on-the-Concentration-of-Students&id=5692798 )

Similarly, FACEBOOK users may feel socially successful in e-world but they are more likely to perform poorly in exams, according to new research into the academic impact of the social networking website. Mostly students spend a lot of time on these sites during exams instead of on preparation for their exams. The Karpinski research shows that students who used Facebook had a “significantly” lower grade point average – than those who did not use the site. The majority of students who use Facebook every day are underachieving by as much as an entire grade compared with those who shun the site. Researchers have discovered how students who spend their time accumulating friends, gossiping and poking others on the site may devote as little as one hour a week to their academic work. Karpinski says she isn’t surprised by her findings but clarifies that the study does not suggest that Facebook directly causes lower grades, merely that there’s some relationship between the two factors. May be Facebook users are just prone to interruption.


Same as mentioned above, Social networking site like Facebook becomes an issue as people relates this with academic performance. Many researchers are working to explore the correlation between social networking sites and academic performance. Those students, who use Facebook and twitter, have shorter span of attention in classrooms. Such sites create many problems for teachers because abbreviations commonly used on sites such as Twitter and Facebook are also making it into coursework, essays and experiment write-ups. The study conducted with 500 teachers reveals many interesting fact. Teacher believed that these sites shaping student’s attitude. The report concludes that the children with the poorest grades at school are the ones who spent most time on social networking. Unfortunately, 58 per cent of teachers believe mobile phones and computers are responsible for children being unable to spell as well as previous generations. And 54 per cent say children can’t write as well as they should because they are more used to keyboards and touch pads. It is obvious that if children are spending hours at night on social media than teachers will see the negative results of poor concentration.


Similarly, Researchers focused on the relationship between time spend on facebook and the academic performance of students. The overall findings indicated more time on facebook equals slightly lower grades. The average facebook users have a GPA of 3-3.5 while the non-facebook users have a GPA of 3.5-4. Also the average facebook user studied for 1-5 hour per week while non-facebook would studied 11-15 hour per week. Researcher revealed that who multi-task between SNS and homework are likely to have 20% lower grades than a student who doesn`t have a SNS in visual range. Students who work tends to use SNS less than those students who are more activities based within campus.

( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2254235/.)

Same as mentioned above, prior studies have examined the relationship between Facebook use and college grade point average (GPA). For instance, previous studies used non-continuous measures of time spent on Facebook and self-reported GPA. This paper fills a gap in the literature by using a large sample of college students to examine the relationship among multiple measures of frequency of Facebook use, participation in Facebook activities, and time spent preparing for class and actual overall GPA. Linear regression analysis revealed that time spent on Facebook was strongly and significantly negatively related to overall GPA, while only weakly related to time spent preparing for class. Furthermore, using Facebook for collecting and sharing information was positively predictive of the outcome variables while using Facebook for socializing was negatively predictive.

(journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/comphumbeh )

Similarly, Facebook is a source of education for student. Almost 75% of student respondents said that they would like to have online collaboration for class. Social media is a source for students to prove themselves in the society. SNS user students have much more good communication skills than their peers. Some negative effects are also there. Students try to do multitasking by simultaneously opening their assignments and entertainment sites and they ultimately loose grades. According to the survey, 25% college students showed depression signs in their status updates.

( http://mashable.com/2011/04/27/facebook-effect-students/)

Similarly, A study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association on April 16, surveyed 219 undergraduate and graduate students and found that GPAs of Facebook users typically ranged a full grade point lower than those of nonusers — 3.0 to 3.5 for users versus 3.5 to 4.0 for their non-networking peers. It also found that 79% of Facebook members did not believe there was any link between their GPA and their networking habits. Oxford University neuroscientist Susan Greenfield expressed that social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo etc are “infantilizing the brain into the state of small children” by shortening the attention span and providing constant instant satisfaction. It is in the hands of students, in consultation with their parents, to define preferences and decide how to spend their time.


Similarly, the emphasis of this review will be upon empirical findings rather than opinion or theoretical explanations. Review is organized into three sections that cover the major topics of current research: (a) students’ Facebook usage profile or extent of Facebook use (e.g., time students spend on Facebook each day, students’ motives for using Facebook,as well as various factors that may affect these usage profiles) (b) the effects of Facebook use (e.g. effects

of Facebook self-disclosure on teacher credibility, effects of Facebook use on student social presence and discussion, and effects of Facebook on students’ academic performance) and (c) students’ attitudes toward Facebook. The conclusions overall suggest that Facebook thus far has very little educational use, that students use Facebook mainly to keep in touch with known individuals, and that students tend to disclose more personal information about themselves on Facebook.

(Students’ and teachers’ use of Facebook By: Khe Foon Hew National Institute of Education, Singapore)

Same as mentioned above, social networking among college students has become more and more popular. Facebook has over 500 million members and it is still growing. Approximately 85% of undergraduate students are Facebook users. the average Facebook user had a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5, while the non-Facebook user had a GPA of 3.5-4.0. Also, the average Facebook user studied for 1-5 hours per week, while the non-Facebook user would student 11-15 hours per week. Many researchers are aware that Facebook is not the only thing that could possibly be taking away study time. However, 55% of those surveyed “access their pages several times a day or at least once a day for a long period of time”. This time has to eat away at study time. Social networking is here to stay. As demonstrated above, its use has an impact on how students interact with others, and on grades.


Similarly, SNSs are currently the most popular online activity. With the number of users on Facebook surpassing 500 million, the impact of social networking sites on society is beginning to attract many people’s attention. Every week undergraduates spend multiple hours on Facebook, from updating their status to posting a funny picture they took yesterday. This habit has forced some to put limits on their Facebook usage. It is amazing what students will do in order to prevent themselves from going on time demanding websites like Facebook. In the United Kingdom, an employment website polled a group of employees and found that 6% spent more than an hour on social networking sites every day. It first looks an insignificant amount, but according to MyJobGroup.co.uk this small fraction accounts for more than 22 billion dollars’ worth in lost time. At Cal’s internet usage limitation is mostly related to campus funding, but it is not too far to say that one day colleges or universities may endorse rules to ban excessive use of Facebook and other networking sites to improve student performance.

(Social Networking and Student Performance)

Similarly, students are a main class of Facebook users who spend long hours on the social network, which has worried parents and educational authorities about their academic performance. The students themselves argue that their presence on Facebook, as a leisure activity, does not hinder their academic efforts, though some evidence suggests that their grades decline after they join Facebook. The results show that students’ presence on and cognitive absorption in Facebook do not immediately threaten their academic performance but gradually drops it. A student’s interest in school and his performance goal orientation represent strong determinants of academic achievement.

(Impacts of Facebook Hedonic Usage on Students’ Academic Achievement)

Unlike to the above mentioned situations, this study implies the investigation of relationship between SNSs usage and educational performance of the student users. A sample of one thousand students was selected from different universities of Pakistan. In first step of Multistage Sampling Technique, simple random sampling technique was used to select 6 universities i.e. 2 from private sector and 4 from public sector. To form clusters, these universities were further divided and each cluster consisted of four faculties i.e. faculty of social sciences, faculty of engineering, faculty of business/management sciences and faculty of natural sciences. Simple random sampling was done at last stage of multistage sampling. Personally administrated questionnaires were used as data collection tool and 73% students responded back. Conclusion drawn is that student manage their time efficiently and fulfill their study requirements effectively, hence use of SNSs does not have an adverse impact on their academic performance.

(A look out for academic impacts of SNSs: A student based perspective)

Likewise, Parents know that computers are important for their children’s school work, but may worry that the attraction of social networking pulls students away from studies. Those students who are heavily engaged with social networking sites, those students do just academic discussion as well, those students are less interested with other activities. The professor of University of New Hampshire Chuck Martin, said that the College students have grown up with social networks. The research shows that there is no correlation between the amount of time students spend using social media and their grades. The study indicates that social media is being integrated with rather than interfering with students’ academic lives. SNSs are now simply part of how students interact with each other with no apparent impact on grades. Sixty-three percent of heavy users received high grades, compared to 65 percent of light users. Researchers found similar results with lower grades. While 37 percent of heavy users of social media received what were defined as lower grades, 35 percent of light users received fell into that same category.

(Social Networking does not Harm Student Performance: By Lucy Belnora)

Similarly, this study provides that the social networking sites like FaceBook, Twitter etc can play a vital role to increase the engagement of students and increase the desired grades which can be helpful in future. This study provides the evidence that students and faculty members were highly related to increase the learning process through communication and connection. It helps to share the new ideas between the students and faculty who gives the different suggestions that how to develop the new ideas. So this study gives the evidence that social networking sites have the positive effects on students. It helps for active learning, co-ordination among students, emphasizing on task and respecting diversity.


Same as mentioned above, a 2011 study found that the social networking sites effects the students. It seems that only large amounts of time spent on Facebook produce the greatest effect on outcome measures such as GPA and time spent studying. This study also tell that there is no strong link between students and study those who use the facebook. Ninety-two percent of students said that spending at least some time on Facebook. Facebook users in this sample spent a substantial amount of time on Facebook, tell that by a mean of 106 minutes on the site per day. So 106 minutes spend on the facebook slightly effects on the student grades. It is definitely a distraction during class but Study says it depends on the person whether how much time spend on the Facebook. Sharing links and checking to see what friends are up to are positive predictors of GPAs, the study found. Checking to see what friends are up to may be related to the construct of student engagement leading to greater academic gains. (http://www.dailytargum.com/news/facebook-slightly-affects-student-grades-study-says/article_75cdde4a-4584-11e1-84aa-001a4)

Similarly, a study was sought to determine the feasibility of using a social networking site, specifically Facebook, as a study supporter for a biology content course for elementary education majors at a comprehensive Midwestern university. One hundred and ten students were surveyed as to their current social network usage and their possible use of such sites in an educational setting. While initial survey results proved favorable, there were considerable comments regarding aspects of privacy, and possible distractions using such social networking sites for school work.

(Exploring the Potential Perceptions of Social Networking Systems in University Courses)

Likewise, It is away to connect the people not only in the campus but with friends outside the colleges and universities. Smart phones increase the usage of social networking sites because in smart phones facebook application are amended and also Wi-Fi technology. In 2009 27 per cent students buy the smart phones but in 2010 49 per cent students buy the smart phones because they want to online every time. In that particular topic lot of studies made some study give the evidence that there is no correlation between the usage of social networking sites and student grades. It is also uses for the education purpose. Northwestern university recently conducted the research and their conclusion that SNS no effect on student grades.



A theoretical framework is the foundation of Hypothetic-Deductive research, as it is the basis of the hypothesis that you will develop. A theoretical framework represents your beliefs on how certain phenomena, variables or concepts are related to each other i.e. a model and an explanation of why you believe that these variables are associated with each other i.e. a theory.

The process of building a theoretical framework includes three basic features:

  • Introducing definitions of concepts or variables in your model.
  • Developing a conceptual model that provides a descriptive representation of your theory.
  • Coming up with a theory that provides an explanation for relationships between the variables in your model.

A conceptual model helps you to structure your discussion of the literature. A conceptual model describes how the concepts in your model are related to each other. A good model is based on a sound theory. A theory or a clear explanation for the relationships in your model is the last component of the theoretical framework. A theory attempts to explain the relationships between the variables in your model.


Following is the schematic diagram of independent and dependent variables which we found after the review of the literature:

In the above diagram, social networking sites is independent variable and student academic performance is dependent variable. Now, we define our independent and dependent variables:


“Social networking sites are social network services that focus on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others.’’


“Academic performance refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers.”


Now, we develop null and alternative hypothesis according to situation:

Null hypothesis Ho:

“Greater the usage of social networking sites, lower the academic performance of student.”

Alternate hypothesis Ha:

“Greater the usage of social networking sites, higher the academic performance of student.”




A considerable amount of work has been done in this field and several articles are available on the internet and magazines about the social networking sites. So first we carried out a literature survey of the available data for collection of secondary information. We followed it by a descriptive research design in order to understand the problem and carry out the research in a lucid manner.


The target population for this research was defined as the students who form the major chunk of users of these social networking sites. This was done to have a better insight into the research as the target population was one of the most avid users of these sites and could provide exceptional responses. Even the understanding of the questionnaire was easy for them as they were familiar with the sites and are quite clear about the reasons they use it for and the various problems that they now face because of the effects of using these social networking sites. The extent of the survey was limited to the University.


It can be defined as all the users of social networking sites in the vicinity. Once the sampling frame was decided, simple random sampling method was used to select the respondents. In the person assisted survey, almost everyone in the sampling frame had an equal chance of being selected and we got the responses filled through those people who were readily and willingly accepting to fill it.


After secondary data collection through data collection over the internet, a primary research was carried out through a questionnaire. The questionnaire was well structured and the responses were sought from the respondents. The nature of the questions was such that it avoided ambiguous responses from the respondents and it also helped in quick analysis of the data collected.


The responses were collected by personal questioning. The responses were taken from the students in the Institute area from departments like MANAGEMENT SCIENCES, CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, COMPUTER SCIENCE, ARCHITECTURE, MATHEMATICS and PHYSICS DEPARTMENT. The responses are gathered in a standardized way, so questionnaires are more objective, certainly more so than interviews.

After the respondents were questioned, by analyzing the data following information was collected:


FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent

The questionnaire was filled from 30 respondents. All were the students of University. Out of these 30 random respondents 20 were male and 10 were female.

FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent
ValidChemical Engineering26.76.76.7
Telecommunication Engineering1033.333.340.0
Computer Science413.313.353.3
Computer Enginnering620.020.073.3
Electrical Engineering26.76.7100.0

The questionnaire was randomly asked from respondents of different departments namely Chemical, Telecom, Computer and Electrical Engineering, Computer Sciences, BBA and MBA.

FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent

Respondents were of different disciplines and of different semester. This allowed us to have a wide grip on our research topic.

Social Networking Sites Accounts
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent

All of the respondents had social networking sites accounts. Respondents, having no social networking sites accounts were discarded because they were not eligible to answer our questions.

No. of actively used sites
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent
Valid4 and above1240.040.040.0

Further, respondents were asked to tell that how many accounts they actively use. Majority of respondents had more than 4 SNS accounts. After that, many had 2 accounts and least number of respondents had 3 actively used Social Networking Sites accounts.

Preferred Site
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent

Facebook was the most commonly used Social Networking Site. After that, YouTube was the most commonly used site for the purpose of communication, entertainment, infotainment and education.

Hours spent per week
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent
Valid15 and Above930.030.030.0

Time spent on a Social Networking Site by our respondents was majorly 3 – 5 hours. Many of the respondents spend 15 or above hours per week on these sites.

Purpose of usage of SNS
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent
ValidTo communicate with friends1963.363.363.3
For group Discussion310.010.073.3
For study Purpose310.010.083.3
To make new Friends413.313.396.7
To find old Friends13.33.3100.0

Purpose of usage was our major point. Maximum number of respondents used these sites to communicate with friends and very few of used just to find their old friends.

Usage enhance learning skills
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent

When the respondents were inquired that do the use of social networking sites enhance their learning skills or not then maximum number of respondents answered that yes, the usage of these sites improved their learning skills because they get up to date information from these sites.

Contribution in academic activities
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent

Majority of the respondents were of the view that the networking sites do not substantially contribute towards their academic activities. While some other said that these sites have very low contribution towards their academic performance.

Effect on results
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent

With the increase in the use of social networking sites, many respondents were of the view that their academic performance increased or got better with the use of these sites.

Percentage change in CGPA
FrequencyPercentValid PercentCumulative Percent
0%- 10%1136.736.760.0
31% and above310.010.0100.0

Majority of respondents were of the view that their CGPA was very slightly affected with the increase in the use of these Social networking Sites. Out of these 30 respondents, 7 were of the view that their CGPA is affected by these sites while 7 other said that their CGPA is not affected by these sites.


The relation between discipline and gender is positively related and the significance level for these two levels is high. Relation between semester and gender is low with a value of 0.288 and their relation is not so significant. Actively used sites and gender is negatively correlated with a high significance level of 0.914. Semester and discipline are very less correlated although they have a positive correlation with a low significance level of 0.132. With the increase in the number of semester, actively used SNS accounts decrease. Actively used SNS accounts are reversely related with discipline. And the significance of these variables is very high. Preferred site and gender are not so related variables, although they have high level of significance. Discipline and preferred site are negatively correlated with a high significance level of 0.67. Semester and preferred site are also negatively correlated. With the increase in no. of semester, preference changes. No. of actively used SNS do not depends on the preferred site. Also, their correlation is not much significant. Correlation between hours spent per week with gender, discipline, no, of actively used sites and preferred site is position and not much significant. Correlation between purpose of usage of SNS with discipline and semester is positively related and so significant. Relation between purposes of usage of SNS with gender, no. of actively used sites preferred site and hours spent per week is negatively correlated and much more significant. Increase in learning skills increase our capabilities but the increase in no. of actively used sites, preferred site and hours spent per week decrease our learning skills as explained in detail in the above project on Impact of Social Networking Sites on academic performance of students.

Also Study:

Impact of Social Media on Teenagers and Youth

Impact of Smartphone Addiction Among Students Research Paper

Smartphone Addiction Among Students



Abstract: Social network is a platform for people share their ideals, to meet new friends and to reconnect with old friends. Social networking sites offer people new and varied ways to communicate via the internet, whether through their PC or their mobile phone. Examples include MySpace, Facebook, Skype etec. They allow people to easily and simply create their own online page or profile and to construct and display an online network of contacts, often called ‘friends’. Users of these sites can communicate via their profile both with their ‘friends’ and with people outside their list of contacts. With SNS it is easy to communicate with your classmate, discuss class assignment and even submit project to your lecturer, watch videos, make comment on your friend page etc. This study will focus on the effect of SNS on student academic performance, using GAU as a case study. What are student using SNS for, does it affect their studies, or help them to learn easily. This project will talk about the history of SNS, development and the users of SNS especially by student and lecturers in communicating with colleague and student as well. A 15 question personally administered questionnaire was designed and sent to about 50 students from different country and department in GAU.

Keywords: Social Networking, E-learning, Communication, Academic Performance, Social Media.


1.1 Introduction

Since the introduction of social network sites years ago, to communicate with friends and family has been easy once you have access to internet.The internet has given us the ability to connect with people from around the globe with a few clicks of a button.  And you can easily send information to a friend or get information.Social network sites (SNSs) such as MySpace, Facebook, Youtube, Skype etc, have attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practices. People consume a lot of time on this sites uploading or downloading, getting information concerning their career or academic work. People are always online every second, chatting with friends, watching online movies, doing research. Social site has become an habit for some people, they find it difficult to study for one hour without login to one network site. Some people have become very smart because of the information they get from this sites, why some have become very poor academically, because it easy to get almost any materials for school assignment.

1.2. The Early Years of SNS

Social networking began in 1978 with the Bulletin Board System (or BBS.) The BBS was hosted on personal computers, requiring that users dial in through the modem of the host computer, exchanging information over phone lines with other users. This was the first system that allowed users to sign in and interact with each other, although it was quite slow since only one user could be logged in at a time. Later in the year, the very first copies of web browsers were distributed using the bulletin board Usenet. Usenet was created by Jim Ellis and Tom Truscott, and it allowed users to post news articles or posts, which were referred to as “news”. The difference between Usenet and other BBS and forums was that it didn’t have a dedicated administrator or central server. There are modern forums that use the same idea as Usenet today, including Yahoo! Groups and Google Groups. The first version of instant messaging came about in 1988 with Internet Relay Chat (IRC). IRC was Unix-based, limiting access to most people. It was used for link and file sharing, and generally keeping in touch with one another.1

The first meaningful social network site is SixDegrees.com, it was launched in 1997. It was the SNS that allowed users to create profiles, list their Friends and, beginning in 1998, surf the Friends lists. Each of these features existed in some form before SixDegrees, of course. Profiles existed on most major dating sites and many community sites. AIM and ICQ buddy lists supported lists of Friends, although those Friends were not visible to others. Classmates.com allowed people to affiliate with their high school or college and surf the network for others who were also affiliated, but users could not create profiles or list Friends until years later. SixDegrees was the first to combine these features. SixDegrees promoted itself as a tool to help people connect with and send messages to others. While SixDegrees attracted millions of users, it failed to become a sustainable business and, in 2000, the service closed. Looking back, its founder believes that SixDegrees was simply ahead of its time (A. Weinreich, personal communication, July 11, 2007). While people were already flocking to the Internet, most did not have extended networks of friends who were online. Early adopters complained that there was little to do after accepting Friend requests, and most users were not interested in meeting strangers. From 1997 to 2001, a number of community tools began supporting various combinations of profiles and publicly articulated Friends. AsianAvenue, BlackPlanet, and MiGente allowed users to create personal, professional, and dating profiles—users could identify Friends on their personal profiles without seeking approval for those connections (O. Wasow, personal communication, August 16, 2007). Likewise, shortly after its launch in 1999, LiveJournal listed one‐directional connections on user pages. LiveJournal's creator suspects that he fashioned these Friends after instant messaging buddy lists (B. Fitzpatrick, personal communication, June 15, 2007)—on LiveJournal, people mark others as Friends to follow their journals and manage privacy settings. The Korean virtual worlds site Cyworld was started in 1999 and added SNS features in 2001, independent of these other sites (see Kim & Yun, this issue). Likewise, when the Swedish web community LunarStorm refashioned itself as an SNS in 2000, it contained Friends lists, guestbooks, and diary pages (D. Skog, 2007).

The next wave of SNSs began when Ryze.com was launched in 2001 to help people leverage their business networks. Ryze's founder reports that he first introduced the site to his friends primarily members of the San Francisco business and technology community, including the entrepreneurs and investors behind many future SNSs (A. Scott, personal communication, June 14, 2007). In particular, the people behind Ryze, Tribe.net, LinkedIn, and Friendster were tightly entwined personally and professionally. They believed that they could support each other without competing (Festa, 2003). In the end, Ryze never acquired mass popularity, Tribe.net grew to attract a passionate niche user base, LinkedIn became a powerful business service, and Friendster became the most significant, if only as "one of the biggest disappointments in Internet history".


1.3. What is a social networking site?

“Social” as the word sounds is deals with the way will communicate in our society, in which you meet and spend time with other people. Network is the connection of parts together to allow movement or communication with other parts. Social networking is the connection of friends or family together which allow you to communicate easily. With social networking sites you can have a long chain of friends you can chat or share information or ideal with. According to Boyd & Ellison (2008), “SNS can be defined as web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system”.  At the most basic level social networking sites allow users to set up online profiles or personal homepages, and develop an online social network. The profile page functions as the user’s own webpage and includes profile information ranging from their date of birth, gender, religion, politics and hometown, to their favourite films, books quotes and what they like doing in their spare time. In addition to profile information, users can design the appearance of their page, and add content such as photos, video clips and music files.



2.1. Literature Review

When talking of about communication, scholars have always made emphasis, that “communication is the essence of science” (Garvey, 1979), and that “without communication there would no science (Lacy & Bush, 1983, p.193). this means that communication is one of the basic tools to human science.

The increased use of Social Networking Websites has become a global phenomenon in the past few years. What started out as a hobby for some computer literate people has become a social norm and way of life for people around the globe (Boyd, 2007). Teenagers and youth especially student have embraced these sites as a way to connect with their friend and make new once, share information, photos of their activities such as birthday, photo with friend in class etc, and showcase their social lives.

With the increase of technology used for communicating with the spread of the Internet, “Social Networking” has become an activity that is done primarily on the Internet, with sites like MySpace, Face book, Skype, etc (Coyle et al., 2008).

Many people especially student spend a lot of time on this site creating profile, updating or doing research concerning their career or academic work, while some just use it to chat with friends, post latest pictures of event they attended, e.g., Young et al., 2009,  have examined their profiles to determine why and to what extent they are keen on posting their entire identity, sharing pictures and videos, and indicating their religious affiliations, marital status, and political orientations on the internet. These users interact with others, exchange information about their interests, raise discussions about new topics, follows news about specific topics on different Social Networking Sites.

With the advent of social network it has become easy to get information on nearly every issue around the globe. Before now it is not easy getting information, you need to buy newspaper, stay close to your TV set or radio to get information. Internet has change everything and social network has made it more flexible (lewis. 2008). According to the questionnaire used for this project, everybody who answered the questionnaire has access to the internet, and they are connected to one social network.

2.2. Social Network and the users

The issue of whether social networking helps or hurts a student’s academic performance is often depend on the larger issues identified with the overall use of SNS (e.g., its psychological effects;  individual self-discipline and self-regulation concerns; human adaptability concerns). The benefit of using SNS includes: It create room for creativity among individuals, encouraging greater social interaction via electronic mediums; it provides greater access to information and information sources; it give individuals a sense of belonging among users of the same SNS; reduces barriers to group interaction and communications such as distance and social/economic status; and increasing the technological competency levels of frequent users of social media (Zwart, Lindsay, Henderson, & Phillips, 2011).

Internet usage has grown rapidly over the last few years. Users are able to build a network of connections that they can display as a list of friends. These friends may be people they have never met before in their life or people they only know or have met in real life. Most people have more friends on social network than they do in real life.  It is important to note that the term ‘friend’, as used on a social networking site, is different from the way we approach it in the real life. In this project we will use the term as it is used on a social networking site.

The use of SNS is very common today. Facebook alone has over 750 million members, Twitter having over 177 million tweet per day, and about 3 billion people view Youtube each passing day. (Chen, & Bryer, 2012). The use of social networking sites has been repeatedly found to be the highest among those between the ages of 18-29 (Rainie, 2011); while the fastest growing segment utilizing SNSs since 2008 has been among those age 35 and older (Hampton, Sessions-Goulet, Rainie, & Purcell, 2011, p. 8). Approximately 61% of teens age 12-17 utilize SNSs to send messages to their friends on a regular basis (Lenhart, 2009). Overall, it has been found that women use SNS more than men to communicate and exchange information (Hampton, Sessions-Goulet, Rainie, & Purcell, 2011). The research carried out for this project female responded more than male.

So what this study will look at is the effect or impact of social network on student, does it affect their studies negatively or it help in increasing their performance academically.

2.3 Effect of Social Network on Academic performance

Sound Quality education produces productive students who lead to the prosperity of their respective educational institution and subsequently are proved as strong contributors to the national well-being. Tuckman (1975) defined performance as the apparent demonstration of understanding, concepts, skills, ideas and knowledge of a person and proposed that grades clearly depict the performance of a student. Hence, their academic performance must be managed efficiently keeping in view all the factors that can positively or negatively affect their educational performance. Use of technology such as internet is one of the most important factors that can influence educational performance of students positively or adversely. Shah et al. (2001) proposed that student users are affected by the internet and this impact is determined by the type of internet usage. They are positively affected by the informative use of internet while having drastic impact of recreational use of internet on them. Also, Oskouei (2010) proposed that internet is advantageous to both students and teachers if used as a tool of knowledge creation and dissemination. The effect of SNS usage will depend on the type of SNS the student is using, if   student uses the internet for the purpose of leisure activity that interferes with academic, it will affect the student academic performance negatively.

The University of New Hampshire agrees, and believes that current college students grew up in the technology era and social networking is now just a part of a student's daily routine. Their research show that '63% of heavy users received high grades, compared to 65% of light users' (U of NH, 2009). The University of New Hampshire said that a majority of students use social networking for social connections and entertainment, but are also using it for education and professional reasons. Kirschnera revealed that students who multi-task between social networking sites and homework are likely to have 20% lower grades than a student who does not have a social networking site in visual range. Kirschnera believes that even running a social networking site on the background on a student's PC while studying or doing homework could lower a student's grade. He believes that "the problem is that most people have Facebook or other social networking sites, their e-mails and maybe instant messaging constantly running in the background while they are carrying out their tasks" (Enriquez, 2010).

American Educational Research Association conducted a research and it was declared on its annual conference in San Diego, California (2009) that SNSs users study less and generated lower grades eventually (21stcenturyscholar.org). Similarly, Banquil et al. (2009) found a continuing drop of grades among student users of social networking sites. However, many researchers also found a positive association between use of internet and SNS and academic performance of the student users. Students, using internet frequently, scored higher on reading skills test and had higher grades as well (Linda et al., 2006).


3.1. Research Methods

The research was conducted using questionnaire, which was distributed to about 50 GAU students, both undergraduate and postgraduate student alike. Out of the 50 questionnaire that was sent 48 were answered and returned, and two were not returned. 55% of the respondents are male while 45% are female.  The respondent are from 10 different country’s of the world.

3.2. Population

The main targets for this project are the students of Girne American University (http://www.gau.edu.tr), North Cyprus.

3.3. Objectives of the project

v  To discover how the students of GAU, North Cyprus are using the social networking sites?

v  To determine how the social networking sites can be used as a platform for educational learning for GAU student

3.4. Findings and Discussion

From the sample of 50 student it shows that all the student who answered the questionnaire uses more than one of the social network site provided in the questionnaire. From the result, it shows student uses more of Facebook, Skype and Youtube, while Wikipedia, Google+ and Linkedin are the least used among the respondent. Out of the 50 respondent 57% are male while 43% are female.

Student have access to the internet in the school environment. In cafeteria’s, Library, Cybrary and some strategic spot. There are also internet facilities in the dormitory for both male and female. Student are well exposed to internet, though the mode of teaching is classroom instruction and a marker board. For student to check their result be it mid-term result or semester exams result, student will need to use the internet. The school have a platform which is the E-learning. For student to access they will need to get a password which will enable them to access. Apart from check result you can also use to get materials for writing project or thesis, such as journals etc.  

Below is the analysis of the questionnaire used for the study: 

RQ.  Primary use of social network sites?

About 48% of the respondent uses SNS for downloading of music, posting of photos and chatting, while about 52% uses SNS for research, submitting of assignment and articles. This shows that more student use SNS for academic work rather than for just leisure.

RQ.  Friends in SNS compared to real life

62% of the respondent has more friends on SNS than they do in real life, while 38% says they have more friends in real life, and also says that all the friends they have on SNS they know in real life.

RQ.  Social network help in getting materials for assignment

Most of the student agrees on the fact that SNS help them academically in getting educational materials for their assignment and project work. With the help of the internet it is almost possible to get any kind of subject material at your disposal. It becomes easier for GAU student, because the school have provided the enable environment for student to access the internet with ease. With the these facilities available student can do research.

RQ.  Expressing your ideals and feelings on SNS

About 57% of the student thinks that SNS is not a good platform to express your feelings and ideals. They believe in real life interaction, face to face. Where they can see the expression on the face of the person they are talking to, while 43% of the respondent thinks otherwise. They think SNS is a good platform to express your ideals or feelings. Some students are crowd shy or they think that their ideal is not good enough and feels they may be embarrassed by the lecturer or fellow student may laugh at them. So they believe expressing it through SNS will help them avoid any form of embarrassment, and also be able to express their mind.

RQ.  Does SNS affect in writing and speaking in everyday life?

About 58% of the respondent says that SNS does affect the way they communicate to people both in speaking and in writing, while 42% says SNS does not affect them in speaking or in writing. If we take a proper look at it, the way we communicate in SNS especially in writing, we write in short form and most of the words used are slang. This could affect in spelling words.

RQ.  Studying time

About 50% says social network sites does not affect their study time, while the other 50% says the social networking sites affect their study time. Especially when they want to study that is when someone will send them a message . so, if you have planned to study for 3 hours and you chat for say 45 minutes, your time of study has already be cut short by 30 minutes, and if it continues like that it will lead to low grade.

RQ.  SNS effective tool for e-learning

85% of the respondent believes that social networking sites is an effective tool for e-learning, while 14% thinks otherwise, and 1% did not respond to the question. Student who support , thinks that with SNS one can easily submit assignment, without necessary going to meet lecturer face to face. Student can interact with other student on a particular subject and share ideals.



A large response from the student shows that student are using SNS to do various things such as writing of class assignment, checking of result and other related group and social activities. At first it will be easy to predict that too much use of SNS might have adverse impact on academic performance of student in GAU, but the result did not imply the same. It shows that student is managing the time they spend on the use SNS, and to make sure it does not affect their academic performance. Students are exposed to the internet and they are not shy in using it for research and career activities, to upgrade their academic knowledge, and GAU has putting in place  internet facilities that will help student achieve their academic goals. From the response of the student a large percentage prefer the method of submitting assignment online. This is one of the way GAU has improved in E-learning. Every lecturer has an e-mail address which they give to student, not only to submit assignment or project but also to ask question on subject student are not clear with.

Findings suggested that despite spending time on the use of internet or on SNS, students are still efficient enough for their studies, they do not face any difficulty in meeting their studies requirements. 


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