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The Impact of Facebook Addiction

on Academic Performanceof Filipino Students




Mart Anthony D. dela Peña





Comm2 – C2
Mrs. Noemi Agner
March 15, 2012
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The Impact of Facebook Addiction
on Academic Performance of Filipino Students
Thesis Statement:
Although Facebook has offered various benefits to the Philippinesociety, its addiction has
become a major problem on the academic performance ofFilipino students.

Outline:
I. The History of Facebook
II. Facebook as a Social Network
A. Facebook Profile
1. Facebook Photos
2. Facebook Groups
3. Facebook Events
4. Facebook Developers
5. Facebook Notes
B. Facebook Chat and Messaging
III. Facebook Addiction
A. Facebook Addiction Defined
B. Causes andNature of Facebook Addiction
C. Status of Facebook Addiction in the country
IV. Impact of Facebook Addiction on Academic Performance ofFilipino Students
V. Ways in Minimizing Facebook Addiction in the Philippines

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The Impact of Facebook Addiction
on Academic Performance of Filipino Students
Facebook has paved the way for a faster, more comfortable and efficient social
interaction.Even though many social networking sites preceded it,Facebook is the current biggest
social networking sitewith over six hundred million users worldwide and it has an annual growth
of 45.2% (Inside Facebook gold, June 2011).In addition, it has more than 28 million users in the
Philippines which ranks no. 8 in Facebook statistics by country (socialbakers.com, 2012).
Unfortunately, Filipino students have abused the advantages that Facebook extends to
them and they have been using it without caution and moderation.Eventually, Facebook has
greatly affected their academic lives.Generally, Garcia (2011) stated that Facebook usage have
apparent effects, both positive and negative, on students.In 2010, Kirschner and Karpinskifound
that Facebook usersspent less time in studying and they had lower grades than those who did not
use SNS.However, the study of Kabre and Brown (2011) and Rosen (2011) showed that
Facebook usage has no effect on academic performance of students.
In relation with this worsening phenomenon, this study will seek toanalyze the impact of
Facebook addiction on the academic performance of Filipino students in a multi-perspective
approach which some previous studies failed to do so. It will also try to bring about latest
statistical data and draw conclusion based on the recent trends of Facebook addiction in the
country.
In this study, the researcher will attempt to synthesize information about the topic to
understand the causes and nature of Facebook addiction in the country. He will also gather recent
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statistical data and facts about Facebook addiction in the country as well as its influence to
Filipino students.Lastly, the researcher will focus on the impact of Facebook addiction on the
academic performance of Filipino students and will seek to present practicable means in
lessening its negative effects.
Aside from being the texting capital of the world,after the introduction of internet, the
Philippines has the highest number of internet users in the “16 to 24” age groups who join social
network groups (Cadiao, 2011).Apparently, this condition is worsening as internet services have
been reaching far-flung municipalities in the country.
Actually, according Thadani (2011),today‟s largest social networking sitewhich is
enjoyed by millions of people around the world was created by Mark Zuckerberg, a sophomore
of Harvard University that time, due to a mere chance.Mark, together with his classmates and
roommates Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes;stole students‟ private
dormitory identification pictures by hacking into Harvard‟srecords department andcreated the
Facemash on 2003 where two undergraduate photos are placed side by side and viewers are
asked which one is “hotter” (webhosting.com). Even though they faced charges filed by the
university officials for hacking into their records department,Mark and his
colleaguesimmediately opened The Facebook on 2004 after resolving it. A year later, Mark
dropped “the” from the name and the URL and created the Facebook (FB)which was opened to
everybody who are over 13 years old. Many privacy policy issues were encountered by
Facebook along the way but ithas grown fast and became the biggest social networking site at
present.
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Currently, Facebook contains numerous features which have developed together with its
controversial history.According to Yaday (2006), Facebook Profile- which includes User
Information, Status, Friends in the Network, Photos, Notes, Groups, and TheWall-is one of the
interesting content of Facebook which enables user to share information, upload videos and
photos, post content and interact with persons through messaging and chat.In addition, hestated
that Facebook (FB) Photos is the most popular feature of Facebook because a user can upload
unlimited photosand its restriction only limits sixty (60) photos per album.Meanwhile, a user
canalso create new groups orparticipate existing ones in the Facebook (FB) Groups. Moreover,
the usercanorganize,plan and joinevents and he can also invite and recommend others to an
event. Users canalso write a Facebook blog in the Facebook Notes which will be displayed in his
profile and friends can add comment about it.
On August 2006,Facebook Developers were established that opened Facebook‟s internals
to programmers and let them create widgets, mashups, tools and projects based on Facebookwith
a limitation of 100,000 requests per day(Yaday, 2006).This feature has also been one of the
recent trends in Facebook where games, including Tetris Battle and Ninja Saga, and other
applications, such as Horoscope and Calendar of Birthdays, are created.
Facebook consists of beneficial social networking featureswhich allow user to interact
with a wide-ranged society regardless of distance. It also contains entertaining tools and
applications that enhanceusers‟ intellectual and social capacity. However, how did these useful
contentscaused addiction and contributed negative effects to Filipino students? The answer is in
the definition of addiction and the nature of the Philippines society.
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PsychologyToday.com (2011) defines addiction as“a condition that results when a person
ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be
pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life
responsibilities, such as work or relationships, even health”. However, shortly after the
introduction of internet,this definition of addiction has been widened into a broader sense due to
the birth ofinternet addiction disorders and the most common one is the Facebook Addiction
(Mootee, 2008).
Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD)is now being introduced by psychologists as a form
of addiction (abscbnnews.com).According to Fenichel (2009), FAD is the integration of
Facebook as a part of a person‟s daily activities like waking up, getting dressed, using the
telephone, or checking e-mail. Instead ofaccomplishing certain tasks,Facebook addictsuse
Facebook as an escape.Healso added, “One of the ironies is that the very people who might
otherwise be working with people professionally to treat addictions, social isolation, etc., seem to
be themselves among the most active Facebookers.” Evidently, FADhas become a serious
problem in the society, particlularly in the Filipino community, but Filipinos seem to neglect its
effects.Although no absolute empirical data can determine the new form of addiction, it is
apparent that it is worsening in terms of Facebook usage.
The widespread Facebook addiction in the country can be explained by various factors which
constantly influence Filipinos. Elvin(2010) and Radwan (2011)cited in their internet articles that
unfulfilled social needs and social approval are some of thereasons of social networking
addiction. In an economically depressed country like the Philippines, there are many social
issues that have not been resolved through the years and one of which is prostitution.However,
through Facebook and other social networking sites, victims of these social odds which are
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sometimes unaccepted in their community can easily socialize and they contribute to the
increasing number of Facebook users. Aside from the social problems which cause Facebook
addiction, Elvin (2011) added that the availability of Facebook on mobile phones alsointensifies
the cases of this type of addiction.The country has been nicknamed as the texting capital of the
world several years ago and now surveys revealed that Philippines has the highest percentage of
Facebook users in relation to its total number of internet users (facebookphilippines.ph). These
surveys only show thatmobile phone hasits part in the worsening Facebook usage in the country.
In addition, Filipino culture has a great implication on the status of FB addiction in the
country. The country has obviously a young population, based on the age distribution of
population, which is why the Filipino youth are fragile to these kinds of phenomenon. For
example, when some students sign up on Facebook, others are obliged to join as well because
ofstrong ties with peers and the concept of barkadas who greatly influenceone‟s hobby. Another
significant factor which worsens FB addiction in the country is our attraction to modern
technology. As mentioned earlier, the country has been considered as the texting capital of the
world and the highest number of Facebook users in relation to its internet users.
Furthermore, the unregulated mass media intensifies the worsening Facebook addiction in the
country. Advertisements and online shopping worsen Facebook addiction in the country
becauseit gives the user a more accessible and comfortable way ofengaging in business
transactions though they are not secure.Business industries such as the showbiz industry also
utilize individuals‟ appreciation of Facebook to generate profits. A classic example is the
competition of products on Facebook wherein Starbucks Philippines, Havaianas Philippines and
Nescafe Philippines ranked top 3 Philippine products based on their number of fans
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(facebookphilippines.ph). These factors, when summed up, contribute to the individual reasons
why Filipino youth are addicted to Facebook.
A comScore market research on 2011 showed that Philippines has the highest percentage
of Facebook (FB)users in relation to the country‟s internet users with 93.9% of out the 29.7% of
internet users (facebookphilippines.com). On May 2011,based on the statistics by Socialbakers,
24 500 920 Facebook accounts were already created by Filipinosand the country ranked no. 3
with the most number of new Facebook sign-ups on April 2011 with 1.3 million new
accounts”.Another astonishing statistics by braincontour.com (2012)also showed that the number
of Facebook usersin the country had grown by 78% from November 2010 with 18 million to
April 2011 with 23 million users. Currently, the Philippines ranks no. 8 in Facebook statistics by
country with over 27 593 300 Facebook users (Socialbakers.com, 2012).Although internet
services are not yet available in far-flung areas of the country, these statistics show that
Facebook penetration in the country is worse than we actually imagine.
By the end of January 2012,Socialbakers released another statistics which showed
that27.62%of the Philippinepopulationor 92.91% of Filipino Internet users are Facebook users.It
also illustrated that the number of FB users in the country grew by more than 1 356 040 in the
last six months (from August 2010 to January 2012).Based on statistics of FB users‟ age
distribution in the Philippines, the „largest age group‟ is currently 18 – 24, which is composed
mostly of college students, with total of 10 761 387 users and the 13-17 age group has a 19%
share of FB users which is reflected in the diagram.

Table 1User Age Distribution on Facebook in Philippines
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A finding from Course Smart: Wakefield Research Study (2011) showed that 73% of
college students can't study without some form of technology and 38 % cannot go more than 10
minutes without checking laptop, phone, etc. Apparently, Facebook usage lessens a student‟s
time for study and they browse Facebook after school instead of studying. However, a study by
Kabre and Brown (2011) andRosen (2011), has shown that media hours and checking Facebook
often do not affect a student‟s school performance.Additionally, Ahmed and Qazi (2011)quoted
Linda et al saying“students, using internet more, scored higher on reading skills and had higher
grades as well”. They alsoclaimed that social networking sites do not harm academic
performance of students because, according to them, students are managing their
timeefficiently.Although these studies are partially correct, there scope is limited only in their
countries and these cannot assure the same scenario in the country.
Additionally, according to Cadiao (2011), who focused her study on Filipino college
students, Facebook provides social, mental, emotional and technological benefits to students thus
it helps them improve their academic life.In her study, she used different psychological and
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social perspectives including Jean Piaget‟s Theory of Cognitive Developmentand Social
Constructivist Theories.However, Cadiao (2011) did not consider the concept of Facebook
addiction in her study and focused on moderate Facebook usage only. In addition, she centered
her study only on student perspective which is a can be considered as a relative variable.
Nevertheless,Rouis, Limayem, and Sangari (2011)as well asKirschner and Karpinski
(2010) stated thatFacebook lowers grades because students spent less time in studying than those
who do not use social networking sites.According to Kirscher and Karpinski (2010), 74%out of
the 26% who reported that Facebook had an impact on their lives claimed that it had a negative
impact such as procrastination, distraction, and poor-time management.Similarly, Ahmed and
Qazi(2011)mentionedKubey, Lavin and Barrows (2001) saying that social networking sites
cause impairment of academic performance and internet dependency.Banquil and Burce (2009)
also noted that the grades of social networking sites users are dropping continuously.Likewise,
Nalwa and Anand (2003) suggested that addiction to social networking sites leads to poor
academic performance because addicted users prefer to use internet instead of taking their
personal and professional responsibilities.Evidently, these studies emphasized the existence of
the abuse of Facebook usage that leads to diversion of students‟ attention from their academics to
social networking. Though Rosen (2011) noted that Facebook usage does not affect students‟
academic life because they cannot multi-task, he did not consider that students may focus more
on social networking than studying which is the case the Philippines.
There are many different ways in minimizing FB addiction but it cannot assure total
eradication of the problem. The very basic step in avoiding FB addiction is to admit that you are
addicted to Facebook. An internet article by Thurs (2009), also presented several ways of
minimizing Facebook usage. He said that a person who is addicted to Facebook may remove
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mini updates and email notifications to avoid temptations and use Facebook-blocking
applications to regulate the use of social networking sites. Also, if a person wants to permanently
block social networking sites, thedailymind.com suggested applying the following instruction:
“Click START and then select RUN. In that box type notepad
c:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. A neat little Notepad will appear with a bunch of
computer jargon on it. Scroll down to the last line of that code and type 127.0.0.1 facebook.com.
After that Facebook will never show up on your PC again. You can substitute the domain for any
other domain that you do not want to view.”
This studysought to impart knowledge about the causes and effects of Facebook addiction
in the country.Beforeanalyzing facts and data about Facebook addiction, the researcher presented
a brief background about the history of Facebook and its features as a social networking site in
order to have a clearer idea on why Facebook addiction arises and how it affects the Filipino
youth.In addition, the researcherpresentedcertain statistics about the status of Facebook addiction
in the Philippines and analyzedthe impact of Facebook addiction on Filipino students. Lastly, the
researcher presentedpracticable ways on minimizing Facebook usage and lessening its ill effects.
Based on the facts and data gathered as well asthe analysis and discussions about the
topic, the researcher conclude that Facebook addictionis very rampant in thePhilippines due to
the country‟s tolerance on the usage of the said social networking sites (SNS) which is reflected
in theexcessive intervention of the mass media in these SNS and the weak implementation of
policies concerning minors‟ use of internet services. Even with many contrasting views on the
effects of Facebook addiction on students, the researcher affirms that Facebook addiction
contributes negative impact on Filipino students.Although someprevious studiesare correct in
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saying that Facebook usage has a positive impact on the academic performance of students, the
researcher claims that its addiction causes the impairment of academic performance. Similarly,
the researcher defends his claim because some of these recent studies do not reflect the cases in
the Filipino communitydue to differences ofFacebook penetration in countries and some of them
are based on moderate Facebook usage only.
Finally, theresearcher recommends that the Filipino society must take Facebook addiction
seriously and parents must guide the youth, particularly the students, in preventing FB
addiction.He also asserts that the local government must promulgate policies to regulate
theinternet usage of minors in their respective localities and the national government must
impose regulations on advertisements and other related subjects insocial networking
sites.Facebook policy should also be enhanced to regulate Facebook usage of minors.Lastly,
further studies should be made regarding the topic because the number of FB users is still
growing and Facebook trends, together with other trends of other modern-based technology,
varies from time to time.

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