Saginaw Valley State University
Econ 235 MW 10:30-12:20
College students today are advised to spend the same amount of time studying schoolwork as the number of credit hours they are taking. For example if a student is taking 16 credit hours then he or she should make an effort to study for 16 hours each week. This can be a difficult task for students who may be working full-time jobs, are actively participating in extracurricular activities, or students who simply aren’t disciplined and get easily distracted. Today, with all the technology that is so easily available to us, there are a number of distractions that could potentially get in the way of a student’s studying. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others are popular among college students for a number of reasons. If they do not have good time management skills, checking ones Facebook or twitter page while studying can become hours of unproductivity. There have been numerous studies done that show Facebook has been a site of distraction for students. One such study done by Paul A. Kirschner and Aryn C. Karpinski, illustrated how students on Facebook typically had lower grade point averages and spent less time studying than those students who were not active on Facebook. This study was done in 2009 and social networking sites have become increasingly popular in the past few years. For this reason, the hypothesis that was tested for this paper is that there is a negative correlation between the amount of time spent on social networking sites and the amount of time spent studying.
Another broader study was done on the affects all social networking sites have on students and the mediums they use to interact on such sites by researchers from St. Norbert College. They went into greater detail than the first mentioned study by asking questions such as “Does actively participating in social media (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs, YouTube, etc.) impact one's academic performance? Is social media usage impacted by the ownership of smart phones?” (Stollak, Vandenberg, Burklund, & Weiss, 2011). Their findings proved that students with smart phones were in fact more likely to spend time on social networks, although they found little support to relate participating in social networking sites and ones GPA. They did point out though that more popular sites were where students spent more of their time and overuse could influence how much they learn.
When developing the survey for this study, there were a few background information question asked in order to have an idea of the kind of person that was participating in the survey. Questions such as the students age, race, gender and whether or not they had a full or part-time job, if any. Several fundamental questions were also asked to the students, such as how many social networking sites they were apart of, the average number of hours they spent on those sites, how many hours they spent studying each day, and how many times they checked those
social networking sites while studying. These questions were basis of the study and determined if there was in fact a negative correlation between the two activities. There was also a question that asked the students to rate how much they felt social networking sites were distracting them from studying. In the study done by Paul A. Kirschner and Aryn C. Karpinski, many respondents did not feel that spending time on Facebook affected their study habits; although the study went on to prove that there was indeed a correlation. The increased number of social networking sites available today could prove to be a major reason for why there may be a correlation between these two variables. There were also general questions asked to get an idea on the students’ academic background, such as average number of credit hours per semester, college level, current GPA, if they live on