ISSN 1556-6757








Volume 2, Issue 1, 2011


The usage and implications of social networking sites: A survey of college students.   Jason Tham and Niaz Ahmed


This study examined the usage and implications of social networking sites among college students. A survey was administered to a non-random sample of 445 college students on SNS use, perceptions of SNS communications, and awareness of the impacts of SNS in academic performance and personal development. Data were collected from a non-random sample of students at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota during the spring semester of 2011. Results revealed that female college students spent more time on SNSs than male students. In general, for both males and females, the time spent on SNS decreased as the age of the respondent increased. As for respondents’ perception of the influence of SNS usage on their academic performance, significant differences were found in terms of age. A greater number of younger students reported negative perception of the effect of SNSs on their academic performance. Significant correlations were found between age and gender, and the influence of SNS on users’ personal development. Results also revealed that there were significant relationships between users’ class rank and field of study, and the influence of SNS. Positive correlations were found in SNS usage rate and students’ networking with friends, family members, and professionals, while negative correlations were observed between SNS usage rate and students’ search for volunteer opportunities, and awareness of others' improved search for a date. Positive correlations were also found between age and students’ networking with friends, family, and professionals as well as between age and awareness of others' experience of cyberbullying. On the other hand, a negative correlation was found between age and users’ awareness of others’ improved search for a date via SNS. Data also revealed that students’ perceptions of the influence of SNS were consistent with the actual effects as revealed by the findings. Full Article