You are on page 1of 5

JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2013, ISSN (Online) 2151-9617 https://sites.google.

com/site/journalofcomputing WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG

44

IMPACT OF FACEBOOK USAGE ON THE ACADEMIC GRADES: A CASE STUDY
Lamia M. Ketari and Mohammadi A. Khanum
Abstract— This paper raises the question about the potential impact of Facebook usage upon undergraduate students time, and ultimately their academic performance, usually measured by Grade Point Average (GPA). The purpose of this study is to investigate if there is any relationship between Facebook use and student’s GPA. We based our study on the hypothesis that Facebook usage has a negative effect on the academic grades of students. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires completed by over 100 female students from the department of Information Technology (IT) in the College of Computer and Information Sciences at King Saud University (KSU). The study findings showed that 55% of the students feel that the use of Facebook or Socail Networking Sites (SNSs) could be negatively related to their academic performance. Hence, our hypothesis found a partial support from the results of the case study. Index Terms— Social Networking Sites, Facebook, Academic Performance .

——————————

——————————

1 INTRODUCTION
VER the past few years, SNSs have become more religion among the college students. SNSs are formed by the connection of many online communities leading towards the sharing of information, knowledge, cultural values, and much more. The first official SNS was the Classmates.com, which was found in 1995. Its main purpose was to provide the students with a mean to connect during or after their degree completion. Two years later, SixDegree.com was created , leading towards the chain of emergence of other SNSs, the Cyworld in 2001, Friendster and Skyblog in 2002, Orkut in 2004, Myspace in 2005, Yahoo 360 in 2005, Twitter and Facebook in the year 2006 [1] . Founded in 2004, Facebook is a SNS that was originally designed for the use of college age students, and operated under restriction to keep it so. Rosen [2] explains that the name Facebook originates from “the small photo albums that colleges once gave to incoming freshmen and faculty to help them cope with meeting so many new people”. The college age demographic restriction only lasted two years until 2006 when it’s founders decided to make it open to the public, so long as a person has a valid email address and the computer skills necessary to create a profile [3]. There are three main unique features to most SNS sites and to

o

Facebook in particular: profiles, friends, and public commenting features like ‘the wall’ and live news feed [4]. People join SNS in order to share information about themselves and learn more about those they consider ‘friends’ [5].

2 MOTIVATIONS

This research has conceptual value because social networks are becoming part of our lives. Especially , Facebook has become part of college students’ everyday lives. Compared to the other social networks users, Facebook users are the most engaged. According to Infographic statistics, 52% users visit Facebook daily, beating out others for daily visitors, such as Twitter (36%), MySpace (7%), and LinkedIn (6%) [6]. Facebook Inc. said that “it reached the 1 billion active monthly users threshold and is up more than 50 million users since june 2012” [7]. One of the Facebook usage statistics reveals that 48% of 18-34 years old check Facebook when they wake up, with 28% doing so before even getting out of bed. The core 18-24 years old segment is now growing the fastest at 74% year on year [8]. “The median age of a Facebook user was 22” [7]. In late 2010, the EDUCAUSE Centre for Applied Research (ECAR) study of 36,950 students from 126 US universities and one Canadian university revealed that out of the 90% students who used social networking sites, 97% students used Facebook [9]. The greatest motivating factor for students to use SNS is to connect to others and to socialize. Some have the difficulty disengaging from their social life. For some, it even raises their anxiety level to be ———————————————— without their cell phones for a few hours [10]. Students • Lamia.M.Ketari is with the Department of IT at CCIS, King Saud Univerare not only using Facebook to socialize, but also they are sity, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. • Mohammadi.A.Khanum is with the Department of IT at CCIS, King Saud increasingly living their social lives in a world without University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. caring that adults are watching out for them. Harassing language is normalized, the sexualization of girls/women is common-place, and the lack of supervision creates an
© 2013 Journal of Computing Press, NY, USA, ISSN 2151-9617

JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2013, ISSN (Online) 2151-9617 https://sites.google.com/site/journalofcomputing WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG

45

“anything goes” wild-wild-west [10]. The increased focuss on the Facebook usage has attracted many researchers to explore its pros and cons. In this paper, we investigate the impact of Facebook usage on academic performance of the students. To achieve this, we have formulated the following hypothesis: “Facebook usage has a negative effect on the students’ academic performance”

3 LITERATURE REVIEW
This paper targets Facebook due to its popularity. It is a social networking site that allows users to create accounts in which users can add their personal information, post pictures, and connect with others. Currently, there is not a lot of evidence about Facebook’s usage for college students. The review of literature is important because there are different opinions regarding the impact of Facebook on the students’ academic performance and their grades. We have categorized the literature review in to two sections, one supporting our hypothesis and the other one not supporting our hypothesis.

versity of Technology in Sweden. Authors surveyed 239 undergraduate students. Results reported that intensive usage of Facebook by students, with extraverted personalities, leaded to poor academic performance, whereas students who are more self-regulated control more effectively their presence on Facebook, hence limiting the apparent negative effect on their academic achievement. The authors said that “the results help students to understand the preliminary consequences of their extensive usage of Facebook and to better manage their social activities on this platform”. In his research [14], Reynol Junco concluded that time spent on Facebook was strongly and significantly negatively related to overall GPA, while only weakly related to time spent preparing for class. Surveyed students were from universities in northeastern United States. A total of 1839 surveys were completed online, and the results showed that students who spend more time on Facebook and/or check their Facebook page often, tend to have lower GPAs. The findings showed certain patterns of Facebook use that are related to lower academic achievment. In fact, it has been noticed that large amounts of time spent posting status updates could predict lower GPAs. Also, higher proportion of time spent chatting on Facebook chat could predict less time spent studying.

3.1 Related Work Supporting Hypothesis
In [11] and [12], the authors reported that students who use Facebook have lower GPAs and spend less time studying than non-users. Authors surveyed 219 students (102 undergraduate students and 117 graduate students) at Ohio state university. The findings showed that 85 % of undergraduates and 52% of graduate students were Facebook users. Also, the study found that GPAs of Facebook users typically ranged a full grade point lower than those of nonusers (3.0 to 3.5 for users versus 3.5 to 4.0 for their non-networking peers). Karpinski states “there’s a disconnect between student’s claim that Facebook use does not impact their studies,and our finding showing they had lower grades and spent less time studying”. In fact, the results showed that Facebook non-users reported spending more time studying than did Facebook users, whereas 79% of Facebook members did not believe there was any link between their GPA and their networking habits. Karpinski said that there is no enough data to conclude that there is a positive raw correlation between Facebook and lower grades. However, she said that “there may be other factors involved, such as personality traits, that link Facebook use and lower grades”. In [12], Paul A. Kirschner and Aryn C. Karpinski conducted an investigation to examine if there are any differences in the academic performance (measured by GPA) of college students who use Facebook and those who don’t use Facebook. Assuming that Facebook use is an activity carried out while studying, or attending a lecture or a workgroup, findings showed that Facebook users revealed having lower GPAs and spend less time studying than non-users. In [13], authors conducted a study on the effects of Facebook usage by undergraduate students at Lulea Uni-

3.2 Related Work Not Supporting Hypothesis
Melissa Rachel [15] used the available published research on Facebook and SNSs to analyze how Manchester college students use Facebook. In the survey, she used 85 students, which comprise of 43 female volunteers and 42 male volunteers. These volunteers were given surveys that included questions about whether Facebook was a useful tool. The results indicate that there were lots of similarities between female and male students usage of the Facebook. Students chose Facebook for chatting, writing wall posts on each other’s profiles, and viewing and adding pictures. The main difference between the two sexes was the time spent on Facebook. Males used Facebook less per day (spending about thirty minutes or less) than females. Ishaf et.al.[16] explored the relationship between SNSs practices and academic performance of the students by exploring the relationship of SNS usage with their studying habits. One thousand students were chosen from different universities of Pakistan (private and public). Personally administrated questionnaires were used as data collection tool showing the response rate of 73%. The results indicate a significant difference of use of SNSs between male and female students. Male students were more inclined towards use of these sites than female students. Studying habits of the students were found to be significantly affected by the time spend on leisure activities, time spent on Internet, time spent on using SNSs, and basic purpose of using SNS. There was not any significant effect of leisure activities and purpose of using Internet on studying habits of the student users.

© 2013 Journal of Computing Press, NY, USA, ISSN 2151-9617

JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2013, ISSN (Online) 2151-9617 https://sites.google.com/site/journalofcomputing WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG

46

In [17], the author conducted a research study at a historically black university in the southern part of the United States to examine the impact of Facebook usage on the academic performance and the quality of life of college students. The study was conducted with 209 participants. 57.9% of the participants were females and 82.8% were between the ages of 18 to 23 years. The results indicate that female students reported higher GPAs than male students. However, the number of hours spent per week on Facebook did not influence the student’s academic performance. In [18], the authors conducted a study to examine the impact of social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, usage on the grades of the college students. The study was carried out on the students of Liberal Arts College in the Midwest. The findings suggest that GPA did not play a role in the use of any of the major social networking tools and number of minutes spent on several of the sites did not differ. The major difference lays in the time spent on Facebook, which did show a negative relationship between time spent on the social network and student’s grades. Similar study was conducted by Chuck Martin [19] at the University of New Hampshire to determine whether there is a correlation between heavy usage of social media and grades. The findings suggest that the most popular online network was Facebook. Infact, 96% of all university students use Facebook on a typical day. The study found that there was no correlation between heavy social media usage and student’s grades.

which are in the age group of 20-22 years. We received responses from 100 students. All respondents are in the final year of their degree. Also, respondents’ cumulative GPAs have been collected to explore if Facebook usage (and SNSs) could affect negatively students’GPAs.

4.2 Findings
Table 1 illustartes the SNSs usage based on the type. The collected data indicated that 81% of the participants are using Social Networking Sites, mainly: Facebook and Twitter. “Multiple” represents using more than one SNS. “DNA” represents the group which didn’t answer that question. “No SNS” are those students who have no SNS accounts and do not use any SNS.

Table1: SNSs usage based on the type
Facebook Twitter My Space Other Multiple No SNS DNA

41% 41% 0% 5% 9% 3% 2%

4 CASE STUDY
In order to examine the impact of Facebook usage on the students’ final grades, we drafted a self-administered questionnaire. Some of the questions are listed below. 1. 2.
3. 4. 5. 6.

Table 2 shows that 74% of the participants claim that they do not have enough time to study.

Table 2: Enough time to study
Yes No DNA 21% 74% 5%

7. 8.

Do you think that you have enough time to study? Do you think you can improve your GPA if you have more available time to study? How do you spend your leisure time? Select the social networking site that is mostly used by you. What features do you use on Facebook? How many hours on average do you spend on Facebook? Do you spend more time on Facebook rather than studying? Do you feel that Facebook (or other SNSs) has negative impact on your performance in studies?

Table 3 shows that 94% of the participants feel that GPA can be improved if they have more time to study.

Table 3: GPA can be improved if more time is available to study
Yes No DNA 94% 4% 2%

4.1 Participants The questionnaire was given to the undergraduate students from the IT department at CCIS, KSU in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Since we surveyed a female college, data were collected from females undergraduate students

Table 4 shows that only 28% of the participants spend their leisure time in studies, whereas 66% of respondents take benefit of their leisure time to perform other activities. Out of

© 2013 Journal of Computing Press, NY, USA, ISSN 2151-9617

JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2013, ISSN (Online) 2151-9617 https://sites.google.com/site/journalofcomputing WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG

47

the many leisure activities, socializing on SNS is more prevelant.

Table 7: Average GPAs of non-Facebook users and Facebook users Users’ Category NonFacebook Facebook Total Users 62% 38% Average GPA 4.29 3.65

Table 4: Spending leisure time
Studying Socializing on SNS Shopping Visiting friends/relatives Multiple activities DNA 28% 32% 7% 24% 3% 6%

6 CONCLUSION
The main objective of this study is to explore the potential negative effects of Facebook usage on students’ academic performance, usually measured by GPA. Based on the related work, we noticed that there are conflicting studies on the topic and that the question needs extensive research. More research and studies from different perspectives can help to actually understand the influence the Facebook usage has on the academic performance of students. Hypothesis Revisited: The study findings show that 55% of the students feel that the use of Facebook or SNSs could be negatively related to their academic performance.However, the current study has some limitations. First, the academic performance was measured using only data from female students. We do believe that a more accurate representation could be achieved if the same data were collected from male students. Second, collected data were only from students in the final year of their degree. Finally, the following variables: (1) time spent on leisure activities; (2) time spent on studying; were not measured accurately (in terms of number of hours) in the questionnaire to show evidence that SNSs usage significantly affect the studying habits of students, and eventually their academic performance. As future work, we plan to improve the current study by focusing on the time spent on studying, leisure activities, and how they are related to psychological perspective, in order to conclude whether or not SNSs interfere with undergraduate students’ academic performance. In addition, we plan to investigate if the cultural and geographical aspects could influence the use of SNSs’ and possibly, lead to different results regarding the relationship between the educational performance of students and the use of SNSs.

Table 5 shows that 84% of the participants claim that they do not spend more time on Facebook than they spend on studies.

Table 5: Spend more time on Facebook than studying
Yes No Sometimes DNA 4% 84% 10% 2%

Table 6 shows that 55% of the participants admit that Facebook usage has or could have negative impact on their grades.

Table 6: Negative impact of Facebook use on grades
Yes No Sometimes DNA 18% 43% 37% 2%

5 DISCUSSION
We categorized the users who spend less than 30 minutes in a given day on Facebook as the non-Facebook users, whereas the ones who spend more than 30 minutes as Facebook users. We found that 62% of the students fall under the non-Facebook users category and 38% under Facebook users category. We compared their GPAs, the findings are shown in table 7. On the other hand, 18% of the students admitted that that the use of Facebook or SNSs could be negatively related to their academic performance, and 37% believe that sometimes it could be the case. In addition, 74% of the participants claim that they do not have enough time to study. However, only 28% of the participants spend their leisure time on studying, even though that 94% of the participants think that their GPA could be improved if more time is available to study.

REFERENCES
[1] Ishfaq Ahmed and Tehmina Fiaz Qazi, “A look out for academic impacts of Social networking sites (SNSs): A student based perspective,” African Journal of Business Management Vol. 5(12), pp. 5022-5031 Rosen, C. (2007, Summer). Virtual friendship and the new narcissism. The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology & Society, 17, 3-15. Bjerregaard M. (2010).Facebook's effects on subtle emotion decoding, academic performance and identity protection. Master Student Thesis Southern Utah University

[2] [3]

© 2013 Journal of Computing Press, NY, USA, ISSN 2151-9617

JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1, JANUARY 2013, ISSN (Online) 2151-9617 https://sites.google.com/site/journalofcomputing WWW.JOURNALOFCOMPUTING.ORG

48

Boyd, d. and Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, histo- [12] Paul A. Kirschner and Aryn C. Karpinski, Facebook® and acary, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, demic performance: Published in: • Journal Computers in Hu13(1), 11-23 man Behavior archive Volume 26 Issue 6, November, 2010. [5] Golder, S., Wilkinson D., & Huberman, B. (2005). Rhythms of social Pages 1237-1245 interaction: Messaging within a massive online network. Retrieved from [13] Rouis, S., Limayem, M., Salehi-Sangari, E., "Impact of Facebook http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iVYm4eiGbUsage on Students' Academic Performance: Role of self0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA41&dq=Golder,+S.,+Wilkinson+D.,+%26+Huberm regulation and trust", Electronic Journal of Research in Educaan,+B.+(2005).++Rhythms+of+social+interaction:+messaging+within+a tional Psychology. Volume 9 Issue 3. (2011). 961-994. +massive+online+network&ots=-e 8T3wEJA&sig=MlQ1aH3Gr378_QGZ1nRkEx5dTOg#v=onepage&q=& [14] Reynol Junco, Shelia R. Cotten, The relationship between multitasking and academic performance. Published in: Computers & Education, Vof=false lume 59, Issue 2, September 2012, Pages 505-514 [6] [infographic] http://mashable.com/2011/11/18/facebook-stats/K. [15] Melissa Rachel Faudree ‘ Is Facebook a Useful Tool for College [7] http://www.arabnews.com/facebook-reaches-1-billion-monthlyStudents?”,retrieved from active-users-0 http://pdfsb.com/readonline/59464a44645142375748422b4348526855 [8] http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/facebook-statistics-stats-facts513d3d-4193385 2011/ [9] Smith, S. D., & Caruso, J. B. (2010). ECAR study of undergraduate [16] Ishfaq Ahmed and Tehmina Fiaz Qazi, “A look out for academic impacts of Social networking sites (SNSs): A student based perspective,” students and information technology. (Research Study, Vol. 6). African Journal of Business Management Vol. 5(12), pp. 5022-5031 Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research. <http://www.educause.edu/Resources/ [17] Kabre, F. & Brown, U. J. (2011). The influence of Facebook usage on ECARStudyofUndergraduateStuden/217333> the academic performance and the quality of life of college students. Journal of Media & Communication Studies, 3(4), 144-150. [10] Dough Fodeman and Marje Monroe “Why Facebook has it wrong http://www.academicjournals.org/JMCS/PDF/pdf2011/April/Kabre%2 about our kids”, retrived from 0and%20Brown.pdf http://www.childrenonline.org/articles/WhyFacebookHasItWrong AboutKids.pdf [18] Stollak, M. J., Vandenberg, A., Burklund, A., & Weiss, S. (2011). [11] Karpinski, A. C. & Duberstein, A. (April 16, 2009). A description of Getting social: The impact of social networking usage on grades among Facebook use andacademic performance among undergraduate and college students. ABBS Annual Conference February 2011. graduate students. In Poster presented at the meeting of the Ameri- [19] Chuck Martin “Social Netwroking Usage and Grades among college can Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA. Students”,retrieved from http://www.unh.edu/news/docs/UNHsocialmedia.pdf

[4]

© 2013 Journal of Computing Press, NY, USA, ISSN 2151-9617