Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences
, Pages 2216-2222
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Under a Creative Commons license
Social networking sites are widely used by university students. This study investigated the purposes for which social networking sites are used and their effects on learning, social interaction, and sleep duration.
Material and methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 300, 17–29-year-old female students at Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz University. A questionnaire was used to collect data. Chi-squared (Fisher’s exact test) test was used to analyze the data.
The results showed that 97% of the students used social media applications. Only 1% of them used social media for academic purposes. Whereas 35% of them used these platforms to chat with others, 43% of them browsed these sites to pass time. Moreover, 57% of them were addicted to social media. Additionally, 52% of them reported that social media use had affected their learning activities, 66% of them felt more drawn toward social media than toward academic activities, and 74% of them spent their free time on social media platforms. The most popular applications (i.e., based on usage) were Snapchat (45%), Instagram (22%), Twitter (18%), and WhatsApp (7%). Further, 46% and 39% of them reported going to bed between 11pm and 12 am and between 1 am and 2 am, respectively. Finally, 68% of them attributed their delayed bedtime to social media use, and 59% of them reported that social media had affected their social interactions.
A majority of the participants reported prolonged use of social networking sites for nonacademic purposes. These habitual behaviors can distract students from their academic work, adversely affect their academic performance, social interactions, and sleep duration, and lead to a sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity, which in turn can render them vulnerable to non-communicable diseases and mental health problems.
Social media application
Distraction from academic work
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This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Peer review under responsibility of King Saud University.(Video) c o l l e g e
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University.