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Research Proposal: Effects of Social Media on the Academic Performance of College Students

Statement of the Research Problem

Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are currently used by many people to connect with their friends and relatives around the globe (Dale & Lewis, 2013). The use of the various social media platforms has grown so fast that it has even attracted the attention of college students; they are so engrossed in the sites that they have almost completely forgotten about their academic work. College students are considered victims of the social media sites more than any group of people as they negatively impact their academic performance (Windham, 2007).
College students easily get tempted to use the various social media platforms when trying to obtain learning materials online. In most cases, the students end up spending almost all their times on the social media and forget about the course materials they originally intended to look for (Guffey & Almonte, 2010).

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Some students claim that visiting social media sites during class time helps them deal with the boredom they experience in college. Social media sites are alleged to divert the students’ attention as they do their academic work; additionally, some scholars argue that social media sites weaken the learning and researching capabilities of college students (Wankel & Wankel, 2011).
The excessive use of the social media sites also affects the students’ physical and mental health status. In some cases, the students spend so much time on the sites that they forget to take their meals in time, which affects their wellbeing. In other cases, the students become so tired in after spending a lot of time on these sites (Haigh, 2010). To remain active, the students resort to taking a lot of tea or coffee, which is harmful to their health. The students are then unable concentrate on their class work as some of them become unwell and weak. As a result, the students’ academic performance goes down (Luppicini & Haghi, 2013).

Research Objectives

The Main Research Question: Does spending time on social media sites weaken the academic performance of college students?
Research Hypothesis: Spending time on social media sites weakens the academic performance of college students.

To achieve the main research goal, four research objectives were formulated. The objectives include:
1. To discuss the nature and addiction of the social media sites with regard to college students.
2. To obtain data supporting the notion that spending time on social media sites affects college students negatively.
3. To assess and disapprove any contrasting evidence on the issue
4. To authenticate the claim that social media weakens the academic performance of college students.

Research Methods

This research will be carried out as a survey and a literature review. The main data collection methods will be interviews and questionnaires. The participants to be included in the study will be students drawn from three local colleges. There will be a total of 40 participants from each of the three colleges, which adds up to a total of 120 participants for the entire exercise. The interview will be conducted through questionnaires that will be administered on a face-to-face basis. The interview is scheduled to take place within 3 to 4 days to give the interviewers sufficient time to complete the exercise properly. Supporting data for the literature review will be obtained from academic sources such as published books and peer reviewed journals.

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