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SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AFFECT ONE‟S ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE ADVERSELY ________________________________ A Group Paper presented to the UST College

of Nursing ________________________________

As a Partial Fulfillment of the requirements of the subject General Psychology ________________________________

Submitted to: Mr. Jose Ricarte B. Origenes

Submitted by: Kimberly Banquil Nicole Allyson Chua Gemeile Ann Leaño Monique Ann Rivero Charles Allen Burce Sittie Norhanisa Dianalan April Rose Matienzo Nikka Ursula Timog

October 19, 2009

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We extend our sincerest gratitude to Professor Jose Ricarte B. Origenes of the College of Nursing, for his constant support, guidance and motivation, who helped the group immensely in completing this project. The project provided us with an opportunity to understand the fundamentals of research methods in a better manner and apply them in everyday life. The insistence on taking up a socially relevant topic like the use of social networking sites helped us to understand the psychology of the people using these sites better and correlate the research to human behavioral aspects.

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.

CONTENTS

I.

Introduction

1

A. Objectives B. Significance of the Study C. Definition of Terms

2 3 4

II. III.

The Nature of Social Networking Sites and Low Academic Performances

5

Data Supporting the Claim that Social Networking Sites Affect One‟s Academic Performance Adversely 11

IV.

Data Against the Claim that Social Networking Sites Affect One‟s Academic Performance Adversely 19 22 26 28

V. VI. VII.

Comparison of the Two Opposing Data Implications of the Study to Adolescents and the Society in General Conclusion

Appendices

20

Bibliography

40

I. INTRODUCTION

Social networking websites are currently being used regularly my millions of people. 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 society.

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 racial, sexual, religious 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 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 the University of Santo Tomas‟s different colleges through survey forms. Other evidences showcased with this study were retrieved carefully from the web.

A. OBJECTIVES

The students intend to:  

Discuss the nature of social networking sites and low academic performance Provide data supporting the claim that social networking sites affect one‟s academic performance adversely

 

Assess the contrasting evidences thoroughly and systematically. Determine the authenticity of the claim that the adverse effects of social networking sites are more imminent than the positive ones

Associate findings to personal lives of adolescents and society in general

B. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

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 people‟s daily lives. These sites evidently have a lot of positive effects, but their 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 term paper, information about the impact of these sites to society 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.

C. DEFINITION OF TERMS

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.

II. THE NATURE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND LOW ACADEMIC PERFORMANCES

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. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.

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‟ll 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.

While the term "social network site" is used to describe this phenomenon, the term "social networking sites" also appears in public discourse, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. "Networking" emphasizes relationship initiation, often between strangers. While networking is possible on these sites, it is not the primary practice on many of them, nor is it what differentiates them from other forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC).

On many of the large SNSs, participants are not necessarily "networking" or looking to meet new people; instead, they are primarily communicating with people who are already a part of their extended social network. To emphasize this articulated social network as a critical organizing feature of these sites, we label them "social network sites."

The main types of social networking services are those which contain category divisions (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with selfdescription pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook widely used worldwide; MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn being the most widely used in North America; Nexopia (mostly in Canada);Bebo, Hi5, StudiVZ (mostly in Germany), iWiW (mostly in Hungary), Tuenti (mostly and Skyrock in parts of in Europe;

Spain), Decayenne, Tagged, XING; Badoo

and Friendster, Mixi, Multiply, Orkut, Wretch, Xiaonei and Cyworld in Asia and the Pacific Islands and Areapal in India. 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. HOW DOES ‘SNS’ WORK

While SNSs have implemented a wide variety of technical features, their backbone consists of visible profiles that display an articulated list of Friends who are also users of the system. Profiles are unique pages where one can type oneself into being. After joining an SNS, an individual is asked to fill out forms containing a series of questions. The profile is generated using the answers to these questions, which typically include descriptors such as age, location, interests, and an "about me" section. Most sites also encourage users to upload a profile photo. Some sites allow users to enhance their profiles by adding multimedia content or modifying their profile's look and feel. Others, such as Facebook, allow users to add modules ("Applications") that enhance their profile.

The visibility of a profile varies by site and according to user discretion. By default, profiles on Orkut or hi5.com are crawled by search engines, making them visible to anyone, regardless of whether or not the viewer has an account. Alternatively, sites like MySpace allow users to choose whether they want their profile to be public or "Friends only." Facebook takes a different approach—by default, users who are part of the same "network" can view each other's profiles, unless a profile owner has decided to deny permission to those in their network. Structural variations around visibility and access are one of the primary ways that SNSs differentiate themselves from each other.

After joining a social network site, users are prompted to identify others in the system in which they have a relationship. The label for these relationships differs depending on the site popular terms include "Friends," "Contacts," and "Fans." Most SNSs require bi-directional confirmation for Friendship, but some do not. These one-directional ties are sometimes labelled as "Fans" or "Followers," but many sites call these Friends as well. The term "Friends" can be misleading, because the connection does not necessarily mean friendship in the everyday vernacular sense, and the reasons people connect are varied (Boyd, 2006).

The public display of connections is a crucial component of SNSs. The Friends list contains links to each Friend's profile, enabling viewers to traverse the network graph by clicking through the Friends lists. On most sites, the list of Friends is visible to anyone who is permitted to view the profile, although there are exceptions.

Most SNSs also provide a mechanism for users to leave messages on their Friends' profiles. This feature typically involves leaving "comments," although sites employ various labels for this feature. In addition, SNSs often have a private messaging feature similar to webmail. While both private messages and comments are popular on most of the major SNSs, they are not universally available.

Beyond profiles, Friends, comments, and private messaging, SNSs vary greatly in their features and user base. Some have photo-sharing or video-sharing capabilities; others have builtin blogging and instant messaging technology. There are mobile-specific SNSs (e.g., Dodgeball), but some web-based SNSs also support limited mobile interactions (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, and Cyworld). Many SNSs target people from specific geographical regions or linguistic groups, although this does not always determine the site's constituency. Orkut, for example, was

launched in the United States with an English-only interface, but Portuguese-speaking Brazilians quickly became the dominant user group. Some sites are designed with specific ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, political, or other identity-driven categories in mind. There are even SNSs for dogs (Dogster) and cats (Catster), although their owners must manage their profiles.

While SNSs are often designed to be widely accessible, many attract homogeneous populations initially, so it is not uncommon to find groups using sites to segregate themselves by nationality, age, educational level, or other factors that typically segment society, even if that was not the intention of the designers.

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.

III. DATA SUPPORTING THE CLAIM THAT SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AFFECT ONE’S ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE ADVERSELY

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?

Here the researchers present facts that social networking sites do gravely affect the academic performances of users.

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 studied 1-5 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.

“It is the equivalent of the difference between getting an A and a B,” said Karpinski, who will present her findings this week to the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

Each day about 1,700 juniors at an East Coast college log on to Facebook.com to accumulate “friends,” compare movie preferences, share videos and exchange cyber-cocktails and kisses. Unwittingly, these students have become the subjects of academic research.

To study how personal tastes, habits and values affect the formation of social relationships (and how social relationships affect tastes, habits and values), a team of researchers from Harvard and the University of California, Los Angeles, are monitoring the Facebook profiles of an entire class of students at one college, which they declined to name because it could compromise the integrity of their research.

Eliot R. Smith, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University, and a colleague received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study how people meet and learn more about potential romantic partners. “Facebook was attractive to us because it has both those kinds of information,” Professor Smith said.

S. Shyam Sundar, a professor and founder of the Media Effects Research Laboratory at Penn State, has led students in several Facebook studies exploring identity. One involved the creation of mock Facebook profiles. Researchers learned that while people perceive someone who has a high number of friends as popular, attractive and self-confident, people who accumulate “too many” friends (about 800 or more) are seen as insecure.

Among other topics, the Harvard-U.C.L.A. researchers are investigating a concept, first put forth by the pioneering German sociologist Georg Simmel, known as triadic closure: whether one‟s friends are also friends of one another. If this seems trivial, consider that a study in 2004 in The American Journal of Public Health suggested that adolescent girls who are socially isolated and whose friends are not friends with one another experienced more suicidal thoughts.

According to research presented at the American Educational Research Association's 2009 annual 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-yearolds 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.- based NSBA (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 socialnetworking technology—including text messaging—and 81 percent said they had visited a social-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…

Dr Himanshu Tyagi forwarded the idea that sites like Facebook and MySpace could be harmful for the young people that frequent them. According to the doctor, the problem is that when teens begin to live their lives actively online, they may begin to put less value on their own “real” lives (i.e. “real” lives also include education). …the social networking issue. Baroness Greenfield said she:

"has concerns that internet-obsessed children were losing the ability to concentrate and communicate away from the screen."

Thus, losing the ability to concentrate because of too much screen time leads to lower academic performance. Social networking in middle and high school can become a detriment to education… attention and popularity is the most important for which most of them tend to misuse social networking sites and use them for socializing and meeting new people instead of using it for educational purposes. It tends to become a distraction to these kids; they tend to pay more attention to these sites instead of the teachers.

"Education is the key to mobility, and the golden key is a college degree," said report author Stuart Butler. "But our findings show that success in education is crucially influenced by a range of key factors, such as the family environment, community norms, including social

networks, and health during childhood." … Crucial social capital determinants include parental skills, parental education levels and other community influencers such as social networks that can affect mobility both positively and negatively… Exposure to gangs can damage a child's chances of going to college or securing good employment, increase the risk of incarceration, and damage one's prospects for upward mobility. Not only do social networking sites affect one‟s academic performance negatively, they are also causes of damage in a student‟s chances of being well-off in the future.

Tim Pychyl, an associate professor of psychology at Carleton University, says the problem with using Facebook and other commercial social networking tools goes beyond the privacy concerns.

Pychyl argues that while discussion groups, chat, blogs and email can be valuable tools in the classroom, using commercial products like Facebook and Twitter can lead to distraction and procrastination. Because these social networking tools can be used to follow friends and celebrities, view pictures, chat, and play games, they can create problems in the classroom.

"Facebook is like taking a person with a gambling problem to Vegas. It's just too easy to get doing other things rather than the hard work of intellectual work," says Pychyl. "And Twitter's even worse."

Pychyl says many of the functions teachers are looking to Facebook to provide can be found in social software specifically designed for education.

"The kind of things that we want to do with technology to have students work together can be easily done through other classroom management systems."

Classroom management systems, or e-learning systems, such as Blackboard and Desire2Learn, are software packages designed for teachers to develop course material and for students to research online, communicate and submit and collect their work.

Pychyl says these tools are specifically designed for learning and connecting people to information and each other. "Going to Facebook is like saying 'Let's go do our work at the arcade,'" he says.

It's a question of context, Pychyl says, and Facebook and Twitter don't provide a context that conducive to learning. "That virtual space is for a different purpose," he says.

"When we get into a context, our brains just go where they go most easily, which is automatic pilot, and that's not the place that going to stretch and pull you to do learning. I think some of the faculty that are [using Facebook] are just enamored with this new space, but they're not considering the larger psychological issues,"

And Pychyl says he's not the only one worried that Facebook can lead to procrastination and time-wasting.

"It's the students that tell me, 'Oh, I just spend way too much time on Facebook. It's just a black hole,'" he says.

The National School Boards Association (USA) in partnership with research firm Grunwald Associates LLC, and the support of Microsoft, Newscorp and >Verizon has just

published a data-rich survey dissecting social and education related activity patterns by American students. …About one in five (22 percent) of all students surveyed, and about one in three teens (31 percent), are nonconformists, students who report breaking one or more online safety or behavior rules, such as using inappropriate language, posting inappropriate pictures, sharing personal information with strangers or pretending to be someone they are not.

Nonconformists are significantly heavier users of social networking sites than other students, participating in every single type of social networking activity surveyed (28 in all) significantly more frequently than other students both at home and at school — which likely means that they break school rules to do so. For example, 50 percent of nonconformists are producers and 38 percent are editors of online content, compared to just 21 percent and 16 percent, respectively, of other students.

These students are significantly more likely to be heavy users of both new media (online, video games, handhelds) and old media (TV, videos/DVDs, radio). But they are significantly more likely to prefer new media to old.

They also are disproportionately likely to learn about new sites and features online, through the "chat vine" or other online mechanisms, while other students are more likely to hear about them from parents or teachers. Ironically, nonconformists also are more in touch with their parents as well, communicating significantly more frequently with their parents in every way except in person — online or by cell phone, for example — than other students.

These students seem to have an extraordinary set of traditional and 21st century skills, including communication, creativity, collaboration and leadership skills and technology proficiency. Yet they are significantly more likely than other students to have lower grades, which they report as "a mix of Bs and Cs," or lower, than other students…

According to the conducted survey, 22 out of 35 students say that they use the Internet almost everyday. (See Figure 1.) 77% of the surveyed students say that they use the Internet mainly for entertainment. (See Figure 2.)

Based on a poll conducted by the group of researchers last September 24-29, 2009, 109 out of 190 people who have social networking web site accounts agree that social networking sites affect one‟s academic performance adversely. Among the surveyed individuals, 57% say that these sites are causes of distractions, which lead to their low grades, while only 43% say otherwise. (See Figure 3.)

25 out of 35 Internet-using students claim that they attend to these social networking sites instead of studying. (See Figure 4.)

It can be implied that the most popular social networking site, based on the survey, is Facebook. (See Figure 5.)

Based on the following evidences and data, it can be inferred that usage social networking sites can harm and be an obstruction to students‟ academic careers. Social networking sites are therefore, adversely affecting one‟s performance in school.

IV. DATA AGAINST THE CLAIM THAT SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AFFECT ONE’S ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE ADVERSELY

Social networking sites and services may be claimed to gravely affect a student's academic performance yet there are certain issues that regard as contrary to the belief.

Facebook, Friendster, Twitter and Plurk are a number of the sites most of us, particularly the youth, say are addicted to. But do they really decrease one‟s performance in school?

Here the researchers present evidences on how social networking sites may not be too much of a bad thing against education.

A new study may allay fears that Facebook use is related to lower college academic grades. Last month, an unpublished study suggested that using the popular social networking site could lead to diminished grades. Don Tapscott, author of Grown up Digital, says in an article that,

"There isn't a shred of evidence that Facebook is bad for young people. On the contrary, it's a wonderful thing that, with balance, helps them grow, helps their mental abilities develop and it should be encouraged."

Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and a fellow this year at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, also claims that they have found no evidence that Facebook usage is not correlated to low academic performance.

The researchers used relevant information from three existing data sets -- a sample of more than 1,000 undergraduates from the University of Illinois, Chicago; a nationally representative cross sectional sample of 14- to 22-year-olds; and a nationally representative longitudinal panel of American youth aged 14- to 23. They were unable to detect a significant negative

Another important controversy on how Social Networking Sites affect students is on the issue of safety. Universities have imposed strict policies that provide students protection against online disasters. In an article on the educators‟ Web site galeschools.com, Willard writes that using MySpace and its competitors can be positive experiences for many students. Willard asserts that networking sites build “skills that will be a foundation for career success in the 21st century,” but that educators should be concerned because teens do not always make sound decisions, parents are not paying attention at all times, and that sexual predators, hate group recruiters, and child pornographers may frequent such sites. Willard suggests that educators use an approach that includes: “A clear policy, strong focus on educationally valuable use of the Internet supported by curriculum and professional development (no Internet „recess‟), student education about online safety and responsible use, effective monitoring, and appropriate consequences.”

Some networking sites allow schools to designate a student as the responsible moderator for his or her school‟s presence on the service. Posting harmful speech, impersonating another party, and lying about user age are all violations of the use agreements on most social networking sites. If the user agreement is being violated, requesting that inappropriate material be removed may sidestep free speech issues.

Most misuse of networking sites takes place away from school, though, so parents should be informed of the consequences of their kids‟ networking site use. Failing that, educators should not be reticent to involve the police; MySpace has proven itself expedient in responding to subpoenas.

The pie graph of the survey conducted shows that 18 out of 35 students or 51% say that they don‟t find it hard to concentrate on schoolwork, knowing that they can play games, use applications, and visit social networking sites just by logging into their computers. (See Figure 6.) In the pie graph, 74% of the surveyed students claim that they know how to prioritize their studies by ignoring online activities when faced with their academic activities. (See Figure 7.) When comparing their previous grades to their present ones, 27 out of 35 students say that social networking sites do not cause a drop on their grades. (See Figure 8.) 26 out of 35 students claim that they are not addicted to any of the social networking sites and therefore their grades are not affected gravely by these sites. (See Figure 9.)

Based on the information stated above, social networking sites do not denote negative effects on a student's performance in school.

V. COMPARISON OF THE TWO OPPOSING DATA

You are probably no stranger to social networking sites. In actuality, the majority of people in this country alone are very much exposed to the phenomena that are Friendster, Twitter and most ultimately, Facebook. The earlier parts of the term paper discussed the positive and negative effects of these websites. The only thing left now is to compare and contrast these evidences.

A favorable aspect of social networking sites is their ability to connect people of seemingly different culture, background and living location despite the glaring distance in between, promoting intercultural relations and stronger ties. It also increases the chance for single individuals to find their potential partners and with such a vast array to choose from, nonetheless. But even with these obvious advantages, there is still the looming threat of the misuse of these websites. A pressing danger is those of internet sexual predators, who use these networking sites to lure in potential victims, most of which are children ranging from nine to seventeen years old, sometimes even younger. A prime and very much well-known controversy was that of Myspace.com, which has been specifically targeted for these child safety issues after a sixteen year old girl flew to Tel Aviv, Israel to meet and engage in sexual relations with a twenty year old male whom she had met through MySpace.com. Obviously, this connects to the academic performance of an individual, which would surely take a turn for the worse after being engaged in such hazardous activities.

It also strengthens previously-established relationships, such as that of family, relatives and close friends. Research shows that majority of Social Networking Site users (52 % specifically) use these sites to further solidify pre-existing offline relations. Also, those actively

supporting these networking sites are much closer and much more in touch with their family, as they have different means of communicating with them despite the obvious distance barrier in between. But on the other hand, these means of communicating lessens the importance and relevance of face-to-face exposure to people. The same people who are much more in touch with their family are also at the same time weak in terms of in-person communication with them, being so accustomed in their chosen methodology of relating (specifically these people are nonconformist users of the internet). According to Mann, “Networking to me means adding real, incremental value to the person you meet, “You can't screen people on social networks the way you can in real life.” This discomfort of face-to-face relations would carve a great dent on the ability of a person to relate and communicate, thus adversely affecting his/her educational growth.

Social networking sites are also an effective way of pulling out information on other people. If you want to do a background check on the guy who‟s currently dating your daughter or maybe when your brother‟s finally show up on television, just one click and you have all the information you‟ll ever need. Of course those who pull information out of the internet are not solely overprotective dads and curious little sisters. Legal & General‟s recent “Digital Criminal Report” found that out of 2,000 users, 38 percent of Facebook and Twitter users have posted statuses about vacation plans, and 33 percent about leaving for the weekend. With these statistics and other findings, the company claims that burglars are using this information to compile lists for potential targets. In other words, with all the information you post on various sites, you‟re actually building more stalls for internet burglars to shop at. It would of course shake the once smooth-sailing life of a family involved in a burglary, affecting once again not only the financial status of an individual but also his/her academic performance.

It has become an imminent medium of ones‟ expression. Social networking sites have shrunk the world into one convenient box, where a person could virtually communicate one‟s thoughts without the obstacle of not being able to be heard. It also leveled the playing ground for every person, as long as you have the sufficient creativity, talent, and confidence, you have as much chance of being acknowledged as that Hollywood actor flashing his smiles on Good Morning America. However, other users have abused the privilege of freedom given to them by partaking in the act of plagiarism. Internet users post different forms of media (pictures, music, videos, etc.) on their blogs or sites which are actually products of other people‟s efforts. One very ideal example is that of Youtube.com, who is currently being sued for over one billion dollars by Viacom on the claim that earlier site has 160,000 videos that belong to Viacom on their site without Viacom‟s permission. This act of plagiarism does not only apply online. If a person is so accustomed to this activity, he or she would also use this tactic on projects, essays and assignments, affecting his or her academic performance in school.

These social networking sites also provide for us a generation bred with extraordinary 21st century skills, whether it may be communication, creativity, technology proficiency, and of course, collaboration and leadership skills. With the exposure of young people to such technological gadgetries, somehow it‟s not as surprising anymore to see a thirteen year old type out immense codes on a Notepad file and come up with an amazing web page as a result. Though it is so, research states that those who were technologically apt tend to receive a fusion of B‟s and C‟s (or even lower) on their grades, being so immersed in these topics that they forgo those which actually have impact on their class standing. 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.

And lastly are the physical and psychological effects of social networking sites. SNS‟s actually have a substantial contribution on disease prevention and anti-exposure. Because of the decreased actual face-to-face contact, the chances of disease-causing bacteria being handed on to one person to another are significantly decreased. Vices brought about by peer pressure are also reduced, as it is obviously easier to say no when the person who‟s urging you to try some kind of drug is miles away from where you are. There is one existing phenomena called the triadic exposure. Triadic exposure simply means that you are friends with the friends of your friends. Though it may seem quite petty, there are researches (such as that of The American Journal of Public Health during the year 2004) that suggests that adolescent girls who are socially isolated and whose friends are not friends with one another experienced more suicidal thoughts. Also, another study from Emile Durkheim states that men and women who lacked ties to others were 1.9 to 3.1 times more likely to die than those who had many contacts. But according to Lady Greenfield, the negative aspects of the usage of these Social networking sites are much more imminent that those of its positive ones. According to her, “These technologies are infantilizing the brain into the state of small children who are attracted by buzzing noises and bright lights, who have a small attention span and who live for the moment.” The usage of these internet sites are also particularly harmful to children, and could be behind the observed rise in cases of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder: “If the young brain is exposed from the outset to a world of fast action and reaction, of instant new screen images flashing up with the press of a key, such rapid interchange might accustom the brain to operate over such timescales.” Lady Greenfield‟s study is firm evidence that even in such an early age, the usage of social networking sites roots unfavorable causes on ones‟ academic performance.

VI. IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY TO ADOLESCENTS AND THE SOCIETY IN GENERAL The researchers learned from the study “Social Networking Systems Affect One‟s Academic Performance Adversely” that time management is very important. Managing time especially for the students is very important because if a student does not know how to manage his time and apply organization on his schedule, it will surely affect the academic performance of the student.

One good example of this is that according to researchers, 65 percent of Facebook users accessed their account daily, usually checking it several times to see if they had received new messages and updates from their friends and other contacts. The amount of time spent on Facebook at each log-in varied only from just a few minutes to more than an hour. Surveys showed that people who do not have a Facebook account study for an average of eleven to fifteen hours per week, while those with Facebook account study only for one to five hours per week. This big decline on the studying hours of a student may result to poorer performances in exams, recitations, class discussions, and other academic activities. The time which could be spent in reading, studying and taking rests are spent playing, chatting, socializing, and keeping up with friends which may be done after they have finished their school requirements. This shows that a lot of students have difficulty in prioritizing the most important things.

Students also show the act of procrastination and cramming because of these social networking sites that exist in the present day. Because of this study, it has been proven that the everyday habit of procrastination and regular cramming of home works, and studying of lessons

have been the most tremendous factor of acquiring substandard scores, the cause of which is the excessive usage of social networking sites. It is important to learn how to balance one‟s time and to know one‟s priorities first before engaging oneself to other activities. As a student, it is important to remember that the number one priority should be academics rather than entertainment.

VII. CONCLUSION

The researchers have come up with a conclusion that social networking sites do affect one‟s academic performance adversely. It directly causes the gradual drop of grades of students. It directly affects a student‟s academic performance if the student invests his time in social networking sites instead in his studies. Procrastination and time-wasting is a major issue in this study.

It can also be implied that social networking sites are highly addictive to those people who cannot control themselves into constantly using these sites, prioritize entertainment over schoolwork, and gives too much attention to social acceptance and affiliation. The term “addictive” is such an understatement when compared to the unfavorable effects of these social networking sites. Excessive use of these sites has influenced students to consider entertainment over learning. There is such a saying that “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” However, unnecessary “play” is clearly a serious concern in terms of education. It might even be regretful on the student‟s part if this habit continues on. Not only will it lead to low grades, it will also lead to unremarkable job opportunities and mediocre income. Nowadays, one‟s economic status defines one‟s way of living. The more the salary one gains, the better the lifestyle.

The work described above contributes to an ongoing debate as to whether or not social networking sites, most especially Facebook as it is the most popular, affect the academic performances of the youth today, and to questions of the public, particularly parents, such as, “Should these sites be banned in order to decrease the risks of our children getting low grades?” It also contributes to the continuous dialogue regarding the importance of social networking sites, both for practitioners and researchers alike. Vast, uncharted waters are yet to be explored. SNSs

researchers' ability to make causal claims is limited by a lack of experimental or longitudinal studies. Although the situation is rapidly changing, scholars still have a limited understanding of who is and who is not using these sites, why, and for what purposes. Such questions will require large-scale quantitative and qualitative research. The researchers hope that these findings and the work described here will help build a foundation for future investigations of these and other important issues surrounding social network sites.

APPENDICES

FIGURE 1: How often do you use the internet?

Seldom Once in a while Weekly Almost everyday

FIGURE 2: Which do you do more; surf the net for school work or for entertainment?

School work Entertainment

FIGURE 3: Agree or Disagree: Do social networking sites affect your academic performance negatively?

FIGURE 4: Have your experienced instances where you attend to these sites (e.g. Farmville, Restaurant City, etc.) when you‟re supposed to be studying?

Yes No

FIGURE 5: Which social networking site do you use frequently?

Facebook Friendster Multiply Plurk Myspace Twitter Other

FIGURE 6: Do you find it hard to concentrate on schoolwork knowing that you can play these games and visit these sites just by logging into your computer?

Yes No

FIGURE 7: Imagine this scenario: It‟s Sunday morning and you have an assignment due tomorrow morning. You really have plenty of time to do your assignment, but you have started on it earlier in order to get an early sleep later that night. But then you remembered that the harvest period of your crops in Farmville is right that very moment. What will you do?

Log into your facebook account and attend to your farm Ignore it completely

FIGURE 8: Compare your grades before you became engaged into these games/social networking sites and after you became involved. Did you see a drop in your academic performance? (Even the slightest bit of slip is considered.)

Yes No

FIGURE 9: Do you think you are addicted to these games/social networking sites?

Yes No

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