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THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE SOCIAL LIFE OF YOUTH OF

UNIVERSITY OF PESHAWAR, KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA

1. Introduction

Social networking sites (SNS) are quickly becoming one of the most popular tools for social

interaction and information exchange. SNS can be defined as virtual collections of user profiles

which can be shared with others. Despite the prominence of the internet and social networking in

modern life, research concerning the antecedents of SNS use has been limited. However, there is

now a small, but growing body of evidence that suggests individual differences are influential in

guiding on-line behaviour (Amiel & Sargent, 2004; Ryan & Xenos, 2011). O'Keeffe, & Clarke-

Pearson, (2011) stated that using social media Web sites is among the most common activity of

today’s children and adolescents. Any Web site that allows social interaction is considered a

social media site, including social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter;

gaming sites and virtual worlds such as Club Penguin, Second Life, and the Sims; video sites

such as YouTube; and blogs. Such sites offer today’s youth a portal for entertainment and

communication and have grown exponentially in recent years. Keeping in view that this

emerging media has its role in the development of social life of youth in terms of academic

achievements, their health and physical activities, and their relationships which will be analyzed

in this study with respect to surfing of social media.

2. Historical Background of Social Media

According to authors, the first recognizable social network site launched in 1997 sixdegrees.com

which allowed users to create profiles, list their Friends and, beginning in 1998, surf the Friends

lists. Unlike previous SNSs, Facebook was designed to support distinct college networks only.

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Facebook began in early 2004 as a Harvard-only SNS (Cassidy, 2006). To join, a user had to

have a harvard.edu email address. As Facebook began supporting other schools, those users were

also required to have university email addresses associated with those institutions, a requirement

that kept the site relatively closed and contributed to users’ perceptions of the site as an intimate,

private community. Beginning in September 2005, Facebook expanded to include high school

students, professionals inside corporate networks, and, eventually, everyone. The change to open

signup did not mean that new users could easily access users in closed networks—gaining access

to corporate networks still required the appropriate .com address, while gaining access to high

school networks required administrator approval. (As of this writing, only membership in

regional networks requires no permission.) Unlike other SNSs, Facebook users are unable to

make their full profiles public to all users. Another feature that differentiates Facebook is the

ability for outside developers to build “Applications” which allow users to personalize their

profiles and perform other tasks, such as compare movie preferences and chart travel histories

(Ellison, 2007).

3. Surfing Social Media and the Development of Youth

Engaging in various forms of social media is a routine activity that research has shown to benefit

children and adolescents by enhancing communication, social connection, and even technical

skills (Ito , Horst, & Bittani).Because of their limited capacity for self-regulation and

susceptibility to peer pressure, children and adolescents are at some risk as they navigate and

experiment with social media. Recent research indicates that there are frequent online

expressions of offline behaviors, such as bullying, clique-forming, and sexual experimentation,

that have introduced problems such as cyberbullying, privacy issues, and “sexting.”

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Other problems that merit awareness include Internet addiction and concurrent sleep deprivation.

(Lenhart, 2009; Patchin & Hinduja, 2006; Christakis &Moreno) Most of parents are often

unaware of social media use, the end result is often a knowledge and technical skill gap between

parents and youth, which creates a disconnect in how these parents and youth participate in the

online world together (Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robinson & Weigel, 2006).

Social media sites allow teens to accomplish online many of the tasks that are important to them

offline: staying connected with friends and family, making new friends, sharing pictures, and

exchanging ideas. Social media participation also can offer adolescents deeper benefits that

extend into their view of self, community, and the world, including pportunities for community

engagement through raising money for charity and volunteering for local events, including

political and philanthropic events; enhancement of individual and collective creativity through

development and sharing of artistic and musical endeavors; growth of ideas from the creation of

blogs, podcasts, videos, and gaming sites; expansion of one’s online connections through shared

interests to include others from more diverse backgrounds (such communication is an important

step for all adolescents and affords the opportunity for respect, tolerance, and increased discourse

about personal and global issues); and fostering of one’s individual identity and unique social

skills (Boyd, 2008).

Middle and high school students are using social media to connect with one another on

homework and group projects. For example, Facebook and similar social media programs allow

students to gather outside of class to collaborate and exchange ideas about assignments. Some

schools successfully use blogs as teaching tools, which has the benefit of reinforcing skills in

English, written expression, and creativity (Boyd, 2008; Borja, 2005).

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Adolescents are finding that they can access online information about their health concerns

easily and anonymously. Excellent health resources are increasingly available to youth on a

variety of topics of interest to this population, such as sexually transmitted infections, stress

reduction, and signs of depression. Adolescents with chronic illnesses can access Web sites

through which they can develop supportive networks of people with similar conditions. The

mobile technologies that teens use daily, namely cell phones, instant messaging, and text

messaging, have already produced multiple improvements in their health care, such as increased

medication adherence, better disease understanding, and fewer missed appointments. Given that

the new social media venues all have mobile applications, teenagers will have enhanced

opportunities to learn about their health issues and communicate with their doctors (Lenhart,

Purcell, Smith & Zickur, 2010; Krishna, Boren, & Balas, 2009).

4. Statement of the Problem

As discussed above that the use of social media is growing exponentially, our youth surf most of

their time on social media contents. They make fun through social media, make friends, do chat,

enjoy songs and other stuff through different social media. on the other hand it has some

productive uses which may be their educational skill development, their communication skills

development and awareness about trends about physical activities and games. This research will

find out the current trend and intensity of usage of social media among the youth. It will also

analyze both the productive use of social media and the negative consequences of social media

among the youth. Moreover the researcher will also see that whether social media has influenced

the academic performance of youth or not. The researcher will also elaborate the role of social

media in the physical activities of youth. Furthermore, the researcher will evaluate the

relationship of youth in view of social media usage.

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5. Rationale of the Study

there are multiple factors which have effects over the healthy personality development and

socialization of youth. Among these sources the role of media in socialization of youth and

teenagers has discussed by social scientist and researcher more frequently but as social media is

a new source of media and its use is also different from the previous one. The use of social media

is also different. This study will elaborate the role of social media so that the negative elements

which contribute in the disturbance of personality and healthy development of youth can be

avoided through different strategies. Moreover, suggestions will be made on the base of study

which will promote the productive use of social media. Finally, the attention of authorities will

be drawn towards the problem associated with the excessive use of social media, which can be

stopped by some preventive measures.

6. Objectives

 To find out socio-demographic profile of sampled respondent;

 to explore the positive and negative aspect of social media on the social lives of youth;

 to examine the association between independent variables and dependent variable;

 to present suggestions for the betterment of social life of youth on the base of the study.

7. Research Questions

 How social media is associated with the academic achievement of youth?

 How social media effects the physical activities of youth?

 How social media shapes the relationships of youth?

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8. Conceptual Framework

Independent Variables Dependent Variable

 Educational Aspect of Youth Life

 Physical Activities  Surfing Social Media

 Relationships

9. Nature of the Study

Research methodology has mainly three different types, i.e quantitative, qualitative and mixed

methods research. The nature of this study is quantitative because the researcher will findout the

role of social media on the social life of youth and for this purpose, the primary data will be

collected from youth. Therefore, the researcher used quantitative research study, as it suits the

current study in a best way. Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements and

the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls,

questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational

techniques. Quantitative research focuses on gathering numerical data and generalizing it across

groups of people or to explain a particular phenomenon (Babbie, 2010).

10. Universe of the Study

Universe of the study indicates the territorial limits within which the researcher conducts his

research and if case universe of the study is not specified, it would become boundless and thus

difficult to manage (Creswell, 2007). The research study will be conducted on the undergraduate
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students of University of Peshawar and the total number of enrolled undergraduate students in

the University of Peshawar is 12000 (Office of the Director of Admission, University of

Peshawar, 2017).

11. Sampling Techniques and Sample Size

Sampling techniques for data collection is one of the important steps in research. The researcher

will use simple random sampling for the selection of the respondents in this study. This

technique will be employed because data will be collected from diverse respondents among the

youth of University of Peshawar. A sample size of 384 for 12000 population is drawn according

to sekaran (2004).

12. Tools of Data Collection

Questionnaire is a set of questions arranged in such a manner that information on variables can

be collected. The respondent is free to responds the questions as he/she likes. The respondent is

morally bound to reply correctly (Taga, 2007). The data was collected from educated

respondents, therefore the researcher will the structured questionnaire as a tool of data collection

for this study.

13. Data Analysis

Data analysis will be carried out by using a computer software, SPSS (Statistical Package for

Social Sciences). The collected data will be tabulated and analyzed through percentage and

frequency with the help of SPSS. Moreover, chi-square test will be applied in order to examine

the association between independent and dependent variables.

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13.1 Uni-variate Analysis

Study variables including dependent and independent variables will be analyzed through uni-

variate technique by using percentagewise and frequencies tabulation.

13.2 Bi-variate Analysis

To ascertain the strength of association between dependent and independent variables, the

statistical technique for bi-variate will be applied. Chi-square test will be used to find out the

magnitude of association between dependent and independent variables.

14. Ethical Consideration

Denzin and Lincoln (2000), stated that research ethics deals with the kind of relationships

established between the researcher and the people which they have to study during their research,

general ethical principles in research includes the informed consent, minimize risks associated

with research, confidentiality of respondents views and identity. These principles will be kept in

consideration while conducting this study.

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