I took a look at two studies that dealt with impacts of social media. Out of all the things that have come out of the twenty-first century, social media has definitely been the biggest disruptor by far. Not only do they continuously change, vacillating in and out of popularity, but they also have had quite an array of effects on our youth. Both studies that I dissected showed interesting trends and can definitely contribute greater knowledge to the realm of social media.
The first study that I looked at titled “The Impact of Social Media on Youth: A Case Study of Bahawalpur City” used a qualitative research gathering method for data collection, surveys and questionnaires. The 300 youth sample size were asked the series of twenty-two statements listed below and were told to rate their opinion on a Likert scale of 1-5, 1 being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree.
- Social media is beneficial for youth in the field of education.
- Upon social media chatting, calling, sharing links, liking links is the wastage of time for youth.
- Use of social media is deteriorating our social norms.
- Social media is necessary for youth nowadays.
- Social media is affecting negatively on study of youth.
- Social media promotes unethical pictures, video clips and images among youth.
- Useless information creates ambiguity and confusion in the mind of youth.
- Irrelevant and anti-religious post and links create hatred among peoples of different communities.
- Negative use of social media is deteriorating the relationship among the countries.
- Social media is becoming a hobby of youth to kill the time.
- Social media have positive impact on youth.
- Social media deteriorate the social norms and ethics among youth.
- Social media is playing essential role for betterment of society.
- Social media is creating awareness among youth for new trends.
- Social media is the source to get knowledge and information.
- Social media is useful to connect the people all over the world.
- Social media is essential for youth to get learning and skills.
- Social media is playing a key role to create political awareness among youth.
- Social media is a facilitator to advertise and search business for youth
- Social media is a latest form which is connecting the gender and families especially youth.
- Social media is a great facilitator to create awareness among youth to develop global cultural.
- Use of social media affects indirectly on play grounds and physical activities in youth.
At the end of all of this data gathering, the study found that most respondents use “the social media forms for comments, chatting, image and video sharing and texting, etc….This shows that they ignore their primary focus on their study and research related activities while utilizing the facility of interest in connecting with their friends on the social media networking forums. With their average utilized time between 30 to 60 minutes.” For the full article, go here.
While this data is certainly interesting, I do not know how they got to this conclusion based upon the statements that they had the youth in the research rate. There seems to be another questionnaire that was included in this study, but they do not mention the questions that they asked, only that the “questionnaire consists of 31 close ended questions while two questions are opening ended.”
The second study titled, “The Impact of Social Media and Internet on Academic Performance: Case Study Bahrain Universities” was a quantitative study that aimed to examine the impact social media had on academics performance at a university level. The methodology done here was based on scientism and rationalism. In this study the one-hundred-and-fifty participants of Bahrain University were asked to take a questionnaire. The questions on the questionnaire were as follows:
- Do you have a smartphone with an internet connection?
- What is the better social media type do you prefer?
- How often do you visit the social media sites/application (per day)?
- What’s your goal for using the social media?
- How do you consider sharing of academic resources by using the social media?
- What do you think about the using of social media to support the classroom activities?
This study definitely was much easier to follow than the other one as there seems to be all of the questions listed and presented here in this data. Also, the bar charts shown throughout the paper made it more visual. Some of the questions, though, I found to be leading and that could definitely be problematic. For example, let’s look at two images below.
The first one asks about the goal for social media. I would have been more interested to see this question as a short response question, rather than a selection type format. Many people, 47%, picked social media for its educational purposes, and while that is good to know, I think the number is skewed. By listing education as a choice, they are already steering the minds of the people taking the survey.
Moreover, to be honest, he data isn’t really necessary. The primary goal of this research was to show that “social media has a positive impact on academic performance.” (Desmal, 2016) However, this is simply asking for their opinion of why they use it. A much better study would have contained three sample groups, one with unadulterated access to social media for a school semester, another one with limited access, and a control group with no access.
Another question asks how important social media is to classroom activities, and many respondents listed it’s very important. However, the type of classroom activity is never defined. Is it used for polling? Is it used for data collection online? We don’t know. And that is a serious limitation to the study. To access the full study, click here.
The biggest problem with these studies is that they had an agenda, and that agenda was to show that social media is beneficial to academics. However, it’s interesting to see that another study conducted by Marketingcharts.com showed that academics didn’t even appear as one of the reasons why millennials use social media nowadays. More of that data can be found here.