Effects of social media on Academic Performance for College Students

Effects of social media on Academic Performance for College Students


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Katheryn Sullivan-Ham

August 13, 2022


Effects of social media on Academic Performance for College Students

The impact of social media on college students’ academic performance was a new direction I decided to pursue after considering my professor’s response from milestone one. As a result of a growth in the use of social media, many college students can generate and share information and network at a phenomenal rate. Thanks to recent technological developments, cell phones have essentially become minicomputers. A favorable or bad effect on college student’s academic performance can be attributed to their use of social media. Researchers hope to find out if students’ conduct and academic performance are impacted by their use of social media (Bernard & Ndzandza, 2018).

Problem Statement

Many students’ daily routines are now dominated by internet use. College students with so much to see and do are hard to picture not checking their social media accounts for new information. Most college students use social media to keep up with current events and hot-button problems worldwide. However, this conduct may not adversely affect the kids’ performance. Some students utilize social media to get the information they can use in their academic endeavors. Using social media, college students influence the public conversation in several ways, from education, the environment, fashion, entertainment, and technology to politics. On the contrary, social media has been criticized for creating user dependency. When it comes to social media, most students spend more than 30 minutes daily on it. This could impact their success because the college requires students to achieve certain grades on each exam (Chaker et al., 2022).

Communication among students has been made easier thanks to social media, prompting more of them to use the networking tools available. Due to its favorable impact on student achievement, social media has been highlighted in the field of social science. Because of this, social media has fostered research in a variety of sectors. These requests for study have piqued the interest of many pupils (Alsaad et al., 2018). Modern technological advancements have facilitated the entire procedure. Time spent in school can be saved by attending class through the internet.

Several articles I am relying on for my research are cited in this article. Online debate is facilitated through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, according to an essay by Bernard & Ndzandza (2018). Students’ use of social media for communication has exploded. This means that the article can meet the requirements of most of the sources of information in this study. Several more articles are cited in the study to support the conclusion that the use of social media has an impact on academic performance, such as https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1108/09720073.2017.1317962 and https://newlearningtimes.com/cms/article/4805.


It is through the creation of virtual ties that social media facilitates the exchange of ideas, opinions, and information. Aside from that, the platform allows for a quick reaction time for electronic communication users. Social networking is a valuable resource for students. Furthermore, students’ college performance is both negatively and positively impacted by social media. Social media’s impact on student achievement is the subject of a qualitative study I conducted for my thesis.

Initial Draft of Methods, Data Analysis, and Anticipated Results



College graduates from Psych 510 and Psych 520 at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) will take part. Men and women of varied ages (from 21 to 70) will take part in the study. Seven to ten people are needed for this study, and they will have to utilize a computer or smartphone to complete the survey, which will then be analyzed using SPSS.


Before engaging in the survey, study participants will need to read the introduction. They will also need to fill out a consent form. After they finish the study’s introductory materials, participants will be prompted to answer some demographic questions (Sheldon & Gail, 1988). They will be asked several demographic questions, such as whether they are working more than 36 hours per week and whether they are attending graduate school full- or part-time. After that, they will be given a survey to fill out regarding their everyday stress levels and whether they exercise. They will be asked to read two hypothetical scenarios and respond to a survey for each. What follows is an explanation of the specifics of each survey, as well as some guidance on how to conduct yourself ethically.


Qualtrics, an online survey program, is being used by Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) for the distribution of study materials to participants.


The demographics questionnaire will inquire about the respondent’s age, marital status, employment, education level, stress levels, and exercise habits.

Effects of Work and Stress on Quality of Life

There will be a poll given out to gauge how much stress people feel they are under regularly. The survey considers the respondent’s employment status, their attendance at full- or part-time graduate school, and their physical activity levels (Sheldon & Gail, 1988). The most common psychological tool for evaluating stress is the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), which asks respondents to rate how stressful they feel in various situations in their lives multiple open-ended questions on present levels of experienced stress are included in the items, and all of which are intended to measure how unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overburdened respondents believe their lives to be. The questions are broad in scope and do not focus on any one demographic. The PSS questions all pertain to the respondent’s emotional state and mental state during the previous month, and in each case, the respondent is asked to rate the frequency with which they experienced a given emotion or thought.


To gauge how they might react to two different stressful situations, participants will read the corresponding scenarios. In each case, the main character is a full-grown adult who is also pursuing post-secondary education (Perceived Stress Scale. (n.d.). In one, an adult will be attending school part-time while working and raising a family, while in the other, a single adult will be working full-time while also attending school full-time.

The Rating of Perceived Stress

The participant will rate their mood over the past month on a scale with ten questions. The numerical scale runs from 0 to 4, with zero meaning never and four meaning very often.

Problems of an Ethical Nature

Each subject will give their informed consent before taking part in the study to prevent any potential ethical violations. The small size of the study’s sample size raises ethical and methodological questions about the appropriateness of reporting results that lack statistical significance. A further minor ethical dilemma is raised by the asking of specific demographic questions; therefore, the choice to not answer any of the questions is so important. Due to the similarity of the participants, this raises some ethical concerns. They are from various socioeconomic backgrounds, but they share a common interest in going to college. Therefore, secrecy must be strictly observed (Perceived Stress Scale. (n.d.).

Techniques for Analyzing Data

The collected data will be coded appropriately, and then the findings will be analyzed using IMB SPSS. The participants will have finished the PSS survey in addition to the specific surveys for each scenario (Perceived Stress Scale. (n.d.) The data will be analyzed using dependent samples t-tests. Not only will averages and standard deviations be presented, but also descriptive statistics. Graphs will be used to describe the survey results only if they are useful. The sample will be analyzed for outliers by looking at the range and the average. The mean, median, mode, and standard deviations, as well as the p-value and Pearson’s R, will be presented.

Statistics derived from the PSS will be the most informative. In addition, t-tests for dependent samples will be run between the two scenario surveys and each PSS survey. The outcomes will demonstrate whether the two hypothetical situations differ from the PSS poll’s findings. The PSS survey will be correlated with each scenario survey to determine the most likely outcomes.


The projected results will show a statistically significant difference between the stress levels of working people and those of full-time students. Based on the data, it appears that working adults who also have families have significantly greater levels of stress (Cohen et al., 2019). Also, statistical comparisons will be made between the PSS and the two scenario polls. In terms of usefulness for reporting purposes, the PSS survey will prove superior to scenario surveys because it will reveal participants’ actual emotions about various topics over the past month. Ethical considerations will be considered as the results are interpreted. As it is only distributed to graduate students at SNHU, the size of the sample is expected to be low. It is difficult to draw broad conclusions from the results since the normal distribution will not be normal due to the small sample size.

Positive impacts of social media on education performances

According to John & Emefa (2018), the 1990s saw the birth of social media, which resulted in major changes in the world. Platforms for communication have advanced significantly. Beyond the effects on the economy, the educational system has also been affected. They might have a variety of beneficial or harmful effects. New concepts and content have been developed and are being used by students all around the world because of this. In addition, the author points out that more than 90% of students at higher institutions were using social media to research various subjects. John & Emefa’s (2018) research shows that social media has four main advantages for students at tertiary institutions. ‘Positive relationships are fostered, motivation to study is improved, individualized course needs and materials are presented, and collaboration skills are developed. Since the advent of social media in the 21st century, learning has been facilitated. Connecting to fresh ideas more easily via social media has also expanded students’ collective knowledge (Cao & Tian, 2022).

E-learning platforms have also emerged due to social media, allowing students to learn from the comfort of their homes. Students also benefit from the site because it allows them to engage with other students on class projects and assignments. As a result, students can help each other with their studies. As a result of these outcomes, social media has helped kids learn and perform better by providing educational resources. It is impossible to overestimate the impact of social media on academic attainment. According to Heffner (2016)’s study, students who feel down about their grades can turn to social media for support. As a result of the internet, students can contact each other and resolve various educational issues. There should also be instructional platforms that teach people how to get the most out of social media (Gilbert et al., 2018).

The benefits of social media on academic performance are also supported in the study by Benard & Ndzandza (2018). In their study, the researchers compared the merits and demerits of social media platforms on students. They found that college students have gained a great deal in their academics due to the wide availability of academic information on social media. The improvement in academic performance is attributed to exposure to learning materials on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Also, by allowing information sharing between students, social media fostered student-to-student and student-to-educator interactions. Other studies also support social media’s role in bolstering interaction between students and learners. Research has shown that using social media in learning institutions has promoted access to academic resources and collaboration between student and faculty members (Effects of Social Media Usage on Academic Performance, 2017).

Negative impacts of social media on education performance

According to John & Emefa (2018), the introduction of these tools has had substantial consequences on the negative effects of social media on education. The information on social media has been affected by privacy cases. No obvious negative effects of social media on schooling are presented in this article. Also, while some students use social media to better their performance, some use it for non-academic matters like entertainment and video gaming, which consumes time that could be used for studies (Effects of Social Media Usage on Academic Performance, 2017). Students sometimes need constant supervision on social media to ensure they use it constructively (Talaue et al., 2017). Therefore, the teachers may have an extra supervision burden monitoring social media use, and performance may decline in the case of colleges and universities.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The articles selected for the literature review provide social media’s benefits and detriments on student education performance. According to the studies, access to social media encourages collaboration between students and their teachers. Increased cooperation promotes information sharing on class issues which contributes to better performance. Also, social media platforms are awash with learning resources. Therefore, students can access classroom information from social media platforms to bolster their performance. Applications like YouTube have many learning videos where students can consult further to enhance their understanding of the different concepts. Despite these benefits, using social media can be detrimental to students because many are not self-directed. For instance, many students consider social media platforms as sites for video games, chatting, and connecting with friends. Subsequently, they will rarely use social media for academic performance. Consequently, social media can result in maximum academic benefits when students are self-directed or monitored by students and parents. Studies are therefore needed to explain how students’ use of social media platforms can be controlled to make it productive.


To summarize, using social media in the classroom has a significant impact. Although there are some downsides, the benefit surpasses them. As a result of the ease with which students may now communicate via social media, new sources of knowledge are becoming available. Social media is the only way to perform research and other tasks at a tertiary institution. To maximize the benefits of social media, educational channels should be built that teach students how to use it effectively (Borah et al., 2022).




Bernard, K. J., & Ndzandza, P. E. (2018). EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN GHANAIAN UNIVERSITIES: A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4687&context=libphilprac

Borah, P. S., Iqbal, S., & Akhtar, S. (2022). Linking social media usage and SME’s sustainable performance: The role of digital leadership and innovation capabilities. Technology in Society, 68, 101900.

Cao, G., & Tian, Q. (2022). Social media use and its effect on university student’s learning and academic performance in the UAE. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 54(1), 18-33.

Chaker, N. N., Nowlin, E. L., Pivonka, M. T., Itani, O. S., & Agnihotri, R. (2022). Inside sales social media use and its strategic implications for salesperson-customer digital engagement and performance. Industrial Marketing Management, 100, 127-144.

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983) “A Global Measure of Perceived Stress,” in Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Pg 385-396.

Effects of Social Media Usage on Academic Performance. (2017, November 8). Retrieved from https://newlearningtimes.com/cms/article/4805/effects-of-social-media-usage-on-academic

Gilbert, M, T., Alsaad, A., alrushaidan, N., alhugai, A., Alfa had, S. (2018). THE IMPACT OF social media on academic performance of selected college students http://aircconline.com/ijait/V8N5/8518ijait03.pdf

Heffner, Tara. (2016). “The effects of social media use in undergraduate students” Theses and Dissertations. 1440. http://rdw.rowan.edu/etd/1440

John, B, K., & Emefa, D, P. (2018). Effect of social media on the academic performance of students in Ghanaian universities: a case study of the University of Ghana, legion.

Perceived Stress Scale. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2019, from https://www.mindgarden.com/132perceived-stress-scale#horizontalTab3

Sheldon Cohen & Gail Williamson, (1988). “Perceived Stress in a Probability Sample of the United States,” in Social Psychology of Health, ed. S. Spacapan & S. Oskamp

Talaue, G., Alsaad, A., Alhugail, A., & Alfahhad, S. (2018). THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SELECTED COLLEGE STUDENTS. Retrieved from http://aircconline.com/ijait/V8N5/8518ijait03.pdf


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