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The Effects of Social Networking Essay

The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of social networking to the academic performance of the students of Universidad de Manila. Specifically, it attempted to answer the following questions: 1. What is the demographic profile of the respondents in terms of age, gender? 2. What is the academic performance of the respondents in terms of general weighted average GWA (first semester S.Y. 2012 – 2013)? 3. What is the attitude of the respondents towards social networking? 4. Is there a significant relationship between social networking and the academic performance of the respondents?

Introduction

Social networking is a popular trend today, especially among college students. Facebook, Friendster, Twitter, Tumblr, Yahoo Messenger, and Skype are but a few examples of the relatively new phenomenon of online social networking. People of all ages are flocking to Internet and are signing up for social networking sites by the millions. Facebook, for example, boated 901 million monthly active users and more than 125 billion friend connections at the end of March (Key Facts, 2012).

Social networking could, in general terms, be seen as a way of describing the modeling of everyday practices of social interaction, including those that take place within family structures, between friends, and in neighborhoods and communities (Merchant, 2012). With online social networking sites, these practices of social interaction are taken to technological level which allows for social interactions within the families, between friends, in neighborhoods and communities, and now, even the world, through the development of online communities.

Most social networking sites incorporate a range of communication tools such as mobile connectivity, hogs, photo/video sharing, with many platforms cross-posting to each other if the user so desires. Presently, many students are using this cross connectivity of social networking sites for non-academic (or purely social) purposes (Ahmed and Qazi, 2011a).

Even though online social networking sites are relatively new phenomenon, popularity is growing rapidly among college-aged youth, with 95% of 18 and 19 years old using Facebook (Smith and Caruso, 2010). The emerging literature suggests that social networking sites are becoming ubiquitous components of youth and young adult life, and the nature of social networking sites was reported by Hargittai (2008), who found few demographic differences between users and nonusers of social networking sites in a sample of college students.

Facebook was initially designed by mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughs in 2004 as a means by which fellow Harvard students could communicate, share study-related information and socialize with peers at the University level (Calvi, Cassella, and Nuijten, 2010; Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe, 2007). The popularity of Facebook and other social networking sites is growing to include applications in formal educational settings, such as learning management system and augmentation of content, and in informal education settings, such as relationship management systems, in sharing, communication, information discovery, and creative forms of behavior (Forkosh-Baruch, and Hershkovitz, 2012; McLoughlin and Lee, 2008).

After conducting a study of the influence of social networking sites on students’ academic performance in Malaysia, Helou and Ab.Rahim (2001) found that the majority of the students agreed that social networking sites have a positive impact on their academic performance, despite the fact that they also reported that they mainly engaged in social networking sites for social reasons rather than academic reasons.

Several studies have found a negative relationship between students’ use of social networking sites and engagement and achievement. Even before the development of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, research was reporting that the Internet use in general could cause some students’ academic difficulties (Kubey, Lavin and Barrows, 2001).

The researchers conduct this study to open the minds of the students of the possible effects of social networking on their studies. This study aims to check and evaluate the academic performance of the students who were hooked to social networking and for the students also to evaluate their present academic status. It also aims to make the parents aware on how social networking affects the academic performance of their children.

Review of Related Literature and Studies

Foreign Studies

The idea of “Social Networking” has existed for several decades as a way for people to communicate in society and build relationships with others (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008). With the increase of technology used for communicating with others and the popularity of the Internet, “Social Networking” has become an activity that is done primarily on the Internet, with sites like MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Friendster, and Xanga (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008). Social networking sites (SNS) may be defined 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 (Boyd & Ellison, 2007, 1).

In the early 1990’s, online communication technologies were introduced to the public in forms such as email and chat rooms (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009). Many authors, such as Dr. Norman Nie of Stanford University, predicted that these forms of technology would negatively impact adolescent social lives, and reduce their sense of well-being (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009). At that time, many child and adolescent researchers thought that on-line relationships would be superficial or meaningless. It was also predicted that these teenagers would use the Internet for purposes of meeting strangers instead of building on established relationships (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009). It was also assumed by some professionals that adolescents would spend too much time on computers, and this would negatively affect their “real- life” friendships and relationships with others (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009). While several authors during the early 2000’s hypothesized that children and teenagers would become less social with on-line participation, proving this was difficult, as many homes still did not have Internet access.

In 1995, it was estimated that only 11% of American teenagers were actively participating on social networking websites (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009). Since the early years of social networking popularity, research has been done in order to find out how this technology was affecting youth (Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, & Smallwood, 2006). Though the early trend was to believe that these sites would negatively affect adolescent communication, other researchers believed that technological communication would benefit many teenagers who had trouble expressing their thoughts and feelings face-to-face (Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, & Smallwood, 2006). Though the argument continues to be studied and analyzed, it is still a question that many researchers want answered. By looking at the most popular social networking devices, several conclusions can be made as to why these social tools are popular with young adults.

Social Networking Sites (SNS) have been popular since the year 2002 and have attracted and fascinated tens of millions of Internet users (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Though only a few have gained worldwide publicity and attention, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that there are over 200 different sites that are used for social networking (Duven & Timm, 2008). Most people who are members of these sites, such as Facebook (over 400 million users) and MySpace (over 100 million users) participate in them on a daily basis (Duven & Timm, 2008). Each person who becomes a member of a SNS has the opportunity to create his or her own webpage or “profile” which is supposed to be seen as a reflection of that person’s personality (Tufekci, 2008). By using this personal profile, one can build an entire social network based on his or her own personal preferences (Boyd & Ellison, 2007).

The idea behind most of this phenomenon, as with many websites, is to help people feel socially connected and part of a community, even though they may be sitting home alone at their computer (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008). Participants may connect with other people they know through school, work, or an organization, or they may meet complete strangers from all over the world (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008). They do this by searching for people and adding them as “friends” so that they may share information with them and other networks that those people may be a part of (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Being “friends” in the SNS world simply means that two profiles have been linked together (Tufekci, 2008). This, in turn, expands a person’s network greatly, so that they may meet and share information with even more members (Coyle & Vaughn, 2008). In addition, being “friends” with someone on a SNS allows a person to communicate in a variety of ways such as sending private and public messages, participating in on-line games, commenting on photos that have been posted, sharing music or movie preferences, responding to journal entries, and much more (Livingstone, 2008).

In one author’s opinion, “Creating and networking online content is becoming an integral means of managing one’s identity, lifestyle and social relations” (Livingstone, 2008, 394). A click of a button may mean the loss or gain of a friendship, and a friendship on a SNS may be with someone who is not a friend in “real life” (Livingstone, 2008). Though there are several options for “privacy” on these sites, research has shown that the public aspect of sharing information is what draws many to join and participate (Duven & Timm, 2008). Privacy has a new definition when referring to Social networking sites, since just becoming a member requires a person to give certain personal information (Duven & Timm, 2008). Some sites, like Facebook, started as a way for college students to connect and having an “edu” email address was required for signing up (Tufekci, 2008). Now, this site is open for all users, which also increases the amount of people who may have two accounts: One for private use, and one for business or school use (Tufekci, 2008).

When conceptualizing why these sites appeal to so many people, it is significant to note that each SNS focuses on the presentation of self and social status (Tufekci, 2008). Each person who joins a SNS must choose a picture to post on their personal profile, which is the picture that will be used as a representation of themselves (Barker, 2009). Some people use a recent picture of their face or a photo of a group of friends, while others choose a different image that they want to represent them or their values (Barker, 2009). Either way, this picture is significant when looking at a SNS because it shows how each individual would like to be seen by others (Barker, 2009). Social status is also a very important part of SNSs because it is plays a role in how each individual is viewed on their profile by others (Tufecki, 2008). Most SNSs will show how many “friends” a person has, as well as how many people have written to that person lately (Tufecki, 2008). Because of this, many SNS members will seek out people to connect with, even though they may not personally want to be linked with specific people (Tufecki, 2008).

Adolescents and college-aged individuals are especially interested in having a lot of friends, because many worry what others will think if they do not have as many friends as their peers (Barker, 2009). Not only does joining a SNS help gain and preserve popularity, but selecting the perfect pictures to post are also very important aspects of the experience (Siibak, 2009). According to a recent study done on visual impression management and social networking sites, approximately 60% of adolescents will spend more time selecting which pictures to post on their profile than actually communicating with others (Siibak, 2009). This shows that these SNSs are not just for keeping in touch with classmates and meeting new people, they are used to build adolescent identities (Siibak, 2009). Because social networking sites are used primarily by adolescents and young adults, the next section will discuss this group of individuals and their Internet use. In the beginning years of personal computers and Internet access, websites were used primarily for information gathering and research (Alexander & Salas, 2008).

In the past several years, the Internet has become the center of communication between people, as well as being their prime source of entertainment (Alexander & Salas, 2008). It has also become the tool used for almost every project or paper that a student will write in high school, and in their later years in college (Alexander & Salas, 2008). In recent studies, adolescents have shown to be the greatest consumers of the Internet, particularly for social interactions (Lin & Subrahmanyam, 2007). Social networking sites, as well as email, instant messaging, blogging, and online journals have completely changed the way that adolescents interact and gather information (Raacke & Raacke, 2008). Adolescents have become accustomed to this lifestyle much more than older generations have in recent years, as this way of living is all they know (Lewis, 2008).

Teenagers now use the Internet for the majority their daily activities and information gathering, as opposed to older generations who used resources like the television or newspaper (Lewis, 2008). A recent survey showed that approximately ninety percent of teens in the United States have Internet access, and about seventy-five percent of these teens use the Internet more than once per day (Kist, 2008). This study also showed that approximately half of all teens who have Internet access are also members of social networking sites, and use the Internet to make plans and socialize with friends (Kist, 2008). As one researcher stated, “Teens use [the Internet] as an extension of their personality, to show their friends-and the world- who they are, what they care about, and to build connections with other like-minded people” (Goodman, 2007, 84). It is estimated that the vast majority of teenagers in the United States visit at least one social networking site approximately twenty times each day (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009).

There is often controversy as to whether or not adolescents should be able to freely use the Internet for communicating with others (Tynes, 2009). Parents in particular are strongly cautioned by the media and school officials about online predators and the influence of certain websites on teenagers (Tynes, 2009). They may use Internet services such as Cyber Nanny to block certain websites and keep records of what their children may be looking at on the Internet (Tynes, 2009). Other parents make house rules about when the Internet may be used or insist that the computer be located in a central area of the house so that they may monitor what is being looked at by their teen (Tynes, 2009). Social networking sites have also been in the center of concern for many parents because of safety concerns and/or risks (Tynes, 2009).

Other parents just simply do not want their children staring at the computer too long. The risks and dangers of teen Internet usage are constantly flooding television shows, newscasts, and magazines, always warning parents to educate parents on teen Internet behaviors (Tynes, 2009). Sharing inappropriate information or disclosing “too much information” is another concern that many adults have about teens that participate in social networking online (DeSouza & Dick, 2008). In a recent study done on teens and their MySpace participation, it was estimated that at least 65% of teens who had a MySpace account had very personal information on their profile pages (DeSouza & Dick, 2008). This personal information included where they live, their phone number and email addresses, where they attend school, where they work, and a number of things that they enjoy doing in their spare time (DeSouza & Dick, 2008). Also, many teens, especially females, posted information about their sexual behavior and their alcohol and substance use (DeSouza & Dick, 2008).

On the other side of the issue, there are other adults and many professionals, including teachers and school faculty, who encourage the use of social networking sites like Facebook because they allow students to connect with one another and discuss school related issues (Alexander & Salas, 2008). Teens can form online communities in order to plan for a project, have group discussions about class material, or use the SNS as a way to keep in contact when a student has been absent and needs to be updated on current academic information (Alexander & Salas, 2008). In response to the question of how much time that adolescents are spending on social network websites, is significant to note that there other parents who are in favor of these sites (Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, & Smallwood, 2006). Some parents are concerned about their teen’s social lives and are grateful that they may have an outlet for their potential depression and loneliness (Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, & Smallwood, 2006).

In a study completed in 2006, almost 35% of parents of adolescents reported that they feel that communication with others, in any form, is better than having no communication at all, and therefore are fully supportive of their child’s Internet use (Bryant, Sanders-Jackson, & Smallwood, 2006). When reviewing the literature related to gender and adolescents, results are mixed as to which group spends more time on the Internet (Lin & Subrahmanyam, 2007) Studies have shown that boys have been online more than girls in previous decades because of earlier forms of technology such as video or computer games (Lin & Subrahmanyam, 2007). Girls have reported that they use the Internet for things like chatting and downloading music (Giles & Price, 2008). Because of this, one may hypothesize that girls will be more likely to be attracted to social networking sites and other online social groups (Giles & Price, 2008).

According to most research done on the topic, the amount of teenage girls and boys who are communication on these social networks are equally divided (Bonds-Raacke & Raacke, 2008). Research has shown that though girls and boys are both likely to have a SNS account, the reasons for the accounts may vary based on gender (Bonds-Raacke & Raacke, 2008).For girls, social networking sites are primarily places to reinforce preexisting friendships; for boys, the networks also provide opportunities for flirting and making new friends (Bonds-Raacke & Raacke, 2008) Girls are also more likely than boys to post sexually explicit pictures of themselves, and to talk about sexual activity in public forums (Rafferty, 2009). However, boys are more likely to create an account simply because they are trying to meet a significant other, or because they are already in a relationship with someone who has requested them to join (Bonds-Raacke & Raacke, 2008).

Adolescent girls are also more likely than boys to share personal information about their daily lives (Merten & Williams, 2009). Results of a recent study involving Facebook, MySpace, and Xanga showed that though most teenagers aged 13-17 used these sites for fun and positive reasons, 55% of girls shared personal stories about depression, anxiety, and relationship problems (Merten & Williams, 2009). Only 15% of boys shared any personal information besides their hobbies, interests, and friendships (Merten & Williams, 2009). This study also showed that adolescents use SNSs when dealing with a death of a peer, and use forums and member profiles to help their grieving process (Merten & Williams, 2009).

In a recent study, it was shown that adolescent boys seem to benefit more from Internet use and communication technology than girls do (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009). This was hypothesized because boys tend to have more difficulty expressing their thoughts and emotions face-to face with others than girls do (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009). As previously mentioned, the early stages of social networking included web technology such as AIM, which helped many adolescents “chat” with others on the computer instead of in person (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009). The amount of teenagers, both male and female, participating on social networking on SNSs is staggering, and this may explain why certain problems arise from these sites that have became a major problem in today’s society.

According to recent research about social networking sites and Internet usage by adolescents, social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace have become so popular that many high school students will get an account even if they do not want to (Peter, Schouten, & Valkenburg, 2006). This shows that joining a SNS signifies more than just going on a website; it is way of “fitting in” with peers, just like many other types of groups in high school (Peter, Schouten, & Valkenburg, 2006). In fact, SNSs may be predictors of self-esteem and well-being in adolescence, and they have become a fundamental role in adolescent life (Peter, Schouten, & Valkenburg, 2006). As one teen stated in a research study by Dr. Danah Boyd at Berkeley University: “If you’re not on MySpace, you don’t exist” (Boyd, 2007, 1) Though there have been many social, economic, and environmental factors that have added to the pressure of high school students in the past ten years, the drop-out rate for students is still a major national problem (Bowen, 2008).

Current statistics show that high school students in the United States are under increased pressure due to higher academic standards in many parts of the country, and it has become more important than ever for educators to encourage graduation and further education (Bowen, 2008). However, with more and more adolescents being preoccupied with social networking sites and technological social lives, how will this affect their studies? It is estimated that even those students who do graduate high school, one out of three does not have possess the knowledge and skills that would lead him or her to the next level, such as college or an advanced trade school (Bowen, 2008). The top academic areas that many school professionals are concerned about are English (ELA) and advanced literacy (Williams, 2008). The current generation of teens who live in a fast-paced technological world with many different types of communication happening all at the same time.

For example, he or she may be on the computer on a SNS, while also talking on the phone, sending instant messages to a friend, and emailing someone else all at the same time (Williams, 2008). While there may be some advantages to this, such as the teen learning how to type faster and multi-task many things at once, there may also be a breakdown in much of that communication (Williams, 2008). Literacy has also taken a dive in the past decade, which has caused many educators to question what can be done to help students improve their reading, writing, speaking, and thinking- all of the most basic skills for a successful future (Wise, 2009). As one researcher stated, “Literacy is, in reality, the cornerstone of student achievement, for any student, in any grade” (Wise, 2009, 373).

The question that many school professionals have with regards to communication is whether or not a high school student is able to follow school curriculum in subjects like English or Language Arts (Williams, 2008). Also, will it be possible to teach them without the use of multi-tasking and using new forms of technology? Social networking sites, as well as other new forms of communication technology, are also a concern to many school professionals because of the level of distraction they create within the school (Greenfield & Subrahmanyam, 2008). Even though many schools have created many strict rules that forbid the use of handheld technology during school or that block certain social networking websites, many adolescents are still able to connect during school hours as they please (Greenfield & Subrahmanyam, 2008). This has caused distractions during instruction time and has had a negative impact on the learning environment. Parent- child conflicts have also become more of an issue since the sudden escalation of online social networking (Greenfield & Subrahmanyam, 2008).

Research has shown that children who have a strong sense of communication and closeness with one (or more) parent or guardian have a better chance at academic success (Greenfield & Subrahmanyam, 2008). With adolescents hooked on the Internet and other forms of technology and their language changing with new acronyms and code words that can only be learned through this technology, the gap between parents and children has gotten larger (Greenfield & Subrahmanyam, 2008). Many parents do not understand their teenagers, and cannot find a way to relate to their virtual worlds. This, in turn, causes distress in the household and may ultimately lead to a barrier between parent, child, and communication about school work and grades (Greenfield & Subrahmanyam, 2008). Though many arguments can be made about the possible risks of adolescent social networking, it is important to point out the benefits of these websites as well.

Many schools have started to use these sites to promote education, keep students up to date with assignments, and offer help to those in need (Boyd, 2007). In general, the Internet and social networking sites can be a positive influence on adolescents. Social networking sites provide an outlet for teens to express themselves in their own unique ways (Boyd, 2007). In addition, they serve both as a meeting place for teens to interact with other like-minded people and as showplaces for a teen’s artistic and musical abilities (Boyd, 2007). Finally, high school students use these sites as tools to obtain information and resources for graduation preparation and future planning. For example, students applying for college visit profiles of that college’s students to view pictures and read blogs of past students to determine whether the college would be a good fit (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Many researchers found a positive association between use of internet and SNSs and academic performance of the student users. Students, using internet more, scored higher on reading skills test and had higher grades as well (Linda et al., 2006). Also it has been found that Facebook usage is helpful for cure in case of some psychological problems including low life-satisfaction and low self-esteem (Ellison et al., 2007).

SNS also provide a rich mean of interaction between teachers and students as stated by Roblyer et al. (2010). Shah et al. (2001) proposed that informational use of internet is positively correlated with civic indicators of social capital such as civic engagement, interpersonal trust, and life contentment. Pasek et al. (2006) stated that a site-specific culture can both positive and negatively affect the building of social capital and found that Facebook usage is not positively associated with lower grades of the students rather found Facebook users scoring higher grades. No association was found between GPAs of student users and Facebook usage in a study conducted by Kolek and Saunders (2008). SNSs promote interactivity among students and teachers. In a research Lovitts and Nelson (2000) found that strong integration of students into their professional and social life is sturdily correlated to the successful completion of their degree.

In lieu of the contrasting findings mentioned above, Current study specifically aims at exploring the relationship between SNSs usage and educational performance of the student users. The fusion of study and Internet sites opened the doors for positive and negative results (2009). Almost 80% of the students said that the use of social networking sites such as Facebook does not affect their grades (2009). This idea brought out the issues about the study habits of the students. The effect of social networking on the student’s study habits results in different ranges. Many studies show different results about the students who use social networking. There are instances that the student who uses Facebook often has consistently lower grades, in which on the other study’s result is different. The higher-education officials and social networking experts said that there is a long-term research about the determination of the social networking sites on the academics of the students and on their grades (2009).

There is a majority numbers among the student’s population who uses social networking sites that received grades according to their performance. The academic performance of the students is different from the other that suggests to the idea that there is, somehow, an impact of social networking over the academics and their study habits. 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. Every technological innovation has been a topic of debate and center of researchers‟ attention and same is the case with the development of SNSs. Various researchers have conducted studies to pinpoint the several impacts of these sites on their users and findings suggested both bright and dark aspects. It has been found that excessive usage causes many psychological, physical, interpersonal and educational problems to users (Suhail and Bargees, 2006).

Numerous studies have also been conducted to delineate the impact of SNSs on young generation and students. Cassidy (2006) proposed that young people compete on the basis of their efficiency regarding using SNSs and the criteria of this competition are number of friends one can accumulate using these sites. Baroness Greenfield proclaimed that Internet obsessed children find it hard to focus and correspond while being offline and this leads to lower performance in academics (leaderswedeserve.wordpress.com). Similar idea was proposed by Dr Himanshu Tyagi that teen agers vigorously start spending their time online and they underestimate the worth of their real lives less including education (www.telegraph.co.uk). He proposed that such users indulge so much to cope with the fast pace of online social networking that they start finding the real world around them un-stimulating.

Tim Pychyl emphasized on more destructive dimensions of social networking sites argued that using Facebook can lead to distraction and procrastination and despite of using technology to get students working together, class management systems can be improved to for this purpose. Students are paying more attention towards these social networking activities rather than utilizing this time for their studies and this surely affects their academic performance as Thomas et al (1987) stated that activities of students are associated with grade-related differences among them. Karpinski (2009) found that Facebook usage is negatively correlated with collegiate grade point averages (CGPAs) of its users. He observed that CGPAs range 3.5-4.0 for non-users but lesser for users i.e. 3.0-3.5. But the most interesting finding was that 79% Facebook users denied having any adverse impact of this usage on their CGPAs.

It means they are not even aware of the fact that their networking habits are affecting their academic performance. Grades of student users are adversely affected by Facebook usage as mentioned in report by MyFox Dallas/FortWorth (www. Myfoxdfw.com). Similarly, Miami CBS affiliate announced that Facebook usage yields lower grades among its users (CBS4, 2009). An academic research was conducted by Wilson (2009) through which he proposed that university results are harmfully affected by Facebook usage. Likewise, Khan (2009) found that Facebook users had poor performance in exams. Englander et al. (2010) proclaimed that internet usage is negatively associated with academic performance of student users and destructive impact of internet usage is far more momentous than its advantages. Internet addiction has come forth as a result of striking boost in internet usage over the past few decades. Nalwa and Anand (2003) proposed that addicted users prefer using internet setting back their personal and professional responsibilities and this ultimately leads to poor academic performance.

Kirschner and Karpinski (2009) stated that Facebook users devoted lesser time to their studiesthan the nonusers did and subsequently had lower GPAs. Karpinski (2009) also said that among various unique distractions of every generation, Facebook has been proved as the major distraction of current generation. Kubey, Lavin and Barrows (2001) proposed that impairment of academic performance and internet dependency are correlated with the use of synchronous communication applications including social networking sites and chat rooms. 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 and Burce (2009) found a continuing drop of grades among student users of social networking sites. Also, Boogart and Robert (2006) declared that use of SNSs and Facebook detrimental impacts on academic performance of student users. Then, Grabmeier (2009) observed lower GPAs among students who log in any SNS. Internet abuses are increasing at an alarming rate and putting forward a serious need to promote usage regulations among student users. While using SNSs, issues of privacy, identity protection, and professionalism must be paid attention as proposed by Mattingly et al. (2010) but a contrasting finding was given by Sengupta and Chaudhuri (2010) that SNSs memberships are not correlated with online abuse of teenagers.

Local Studies

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 candidates‟ 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 integrated with the term “academic performance”, it is the inability to acquire particular grades on examinations that indicates the individuals’ mastery of the content, and skills in applying learned knowledge to specific circumstances.

The youth in the status quo use social networking sites as a means of interaction, socializing, and for purely entertainment purposes. Although many people don’t think of it, social networking sites harbor many unsafe elements and many people are concerned about some major problems that they contain, which includes education and poor academic performance. There are claims that social networking sites are beneficial, but are they really advantageous in the lives of the youth today? According to Aryn Karpinski’s study of about 219 students, 148 Facebook users had a full grade point lower than those who don’t have Facebook. People that didn’t use Facebook reported that they study about 11-15 hours and those who had a Facebook account only studied1-5 hours per week. “Our study shows people who spend more time on Facebook spend less time studying,” said Aryn Karpinski, a researcher in the education department at Ohio State University.

“Every generation has its distractions, but I think Facebook is a unique phenomenon.” The Ohio report shows that students who used Facebook had a “significantly” lower grade point average – the marking system used in US universities – than those who did not use the site. According to research presented at the American Educational Research Association’s2009annual conference in San Diego, California, U.S. college students who use Internet social networking sites such as Facebook study less and have lower grades. Students are using social-networking sites more than many school officials may realize. Despite the fact that most schools block access to such sites via school computers, 9- to 17-year-olds spend as much time using the Internet for social activities as they spend watching television— about nine hours a week, according to a 2007 study by the Alexandria, Va.- basedNSBA(http://www.nsba.org/SecondaryMenu/TLN/CreatingandConnecting.aspx).

The study of more than 1,200 students found that 96 percent of those with online access had used social-networking technology — including text messaging — and 81 percent said they had visited asocial-networking Web site at least once within the three months before the study was conducted. Legitimate concerns do exist about youth involvement on these sites [MySpace, Xanga, Facebook, Live Journal, and the like]. Those concerns are grounded in three basic factors: 1) the sites are attracting many teens, some of whom are not making good choices. 2) Many parents are not paying attention to what their children are posting on the sites.

3) Sexual predators – and likely other dangerous strangers — are attracted to places where teens are not making good choices and adults are not paying attention. Some teens engage in unsafe or irresponsible activities that include: unsafe disclosure of personal information, addiction — spending excessive amount of time online, resulting in lack of healthy engagement in major areas of life, such as academics… There are many issues concerning students and social networking site participation. On one hand, there may be benefits for students who use these sites properly and appropriately. Other research suggests that there are clear risks involved when adolescents become too consumed with the Internet and social networking websites.


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