Social Media, its effects and Research Reflection

Hey it’s me, Lachy Smith, alive and in writing 😉

This semester has been insane but I’m glad I decided to research such a relatable topic; “Social Media and its Effects on University Students”. We’re all victims of social media when it comes to trying to study and focus in lectures. I wrote this report as a basis for me to find out if I was the only one who was worried I spend too much time on ASOS rather than concentrating on lecture notes!

The concept of my report was to explore the multiple impacts Social Media has on University students to the present day. Reflecting on the many aspects of both research and data analysis, I have become more aware of the issues surrounding Social Media on campus. Fifty-seven students took part in my survey and their participation has enabled me to conduct a successful research report on a very relatable topic.

The concept of Reflexivity plays an important role in my research as it focuses on why I decided to conduct my research and what conclusions I can take from the data collected. I have an interest in Social Media, just like everyone else with a smart phone. But after conducting all the research, I have realised how big the issue of Social Media is. According to the data I had collected, over 80% of students had confessed that Social Media was a tool for distraction. Whereas, almost 50% of them had attempted/were successful in moderating their use of platforms during face-to-face learning.

Relating to the collection of data and the inclusion of time management, the concept of Flexibility fell into place. One of the main issues faced was attracting participants for my survey. With a reasonable 57 responses, I hoped for at least 75 for more improved data. As far as time management goes, working on collecting data, analysing this and grouping the results I found it hard to think of ways to make it creative and a lot more engaging in my report. Time management for me has always been a minor work in progress. The easiest part was finding background research as I already had insight into the Social Media industry, putting these together to form a thesis was also a success. Flexibility refers to how well projects are managing all aspects of the research process. Reflecting on my research, I had managed to piece all aspects of the report together to effectively conclude my final thesis of “Social Media and its effects on University Students”.

In terms of choosing a topic to research, I myself have a very curious mind. Curiosity forms a basis for the research I had conducted as I wanted to explore the many reasons as to why students were choosing to distract themselves from important learning content by scrolling and posting on social media. The main question I had in my mind was; “Why do we pay thousands of dollars for a degree, only to sit in lecture halls and disengage ourselves from what’s being taught?”. The evolution of Social Media has dramatically increased as it becomes easier to access for individuals, students especially. Curiosity involves the role of Ontology; “a particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of things that have existence…” ( Definition of Ontology, 2017) (4). In relation to my research, ontology explores the role of the reality of Social Media and why individuals come to be attached to constantly wanting to be interacting with the online world. Curiosity lead me to the realisations of the numerous impacts Social Media has on students’ studies and the strategies in which we can moderate our use to focus our attention on our education (as discussed in my report).

Reflecting on the entire research project process, I learnt a lot about the ways in which Social Media impacts the focus of students. In relation to the research process, the data provided great insight to my overall research topic. The data was the most interesting aspect because reading student’s responses on the topic made me aware that almost every student can/is effected by the power of Social Media. Since its introduction to society, Social Media has become a huge impact on our lives and will continue to do so in the future. I believe that my paper can be used as a reliable source in finding ways for Universities to increase the engagement and interaction of its students. Overall, this topic has taught me that a lot of other students face the same issues when trying to focus on their learning and it has provided me with strategies we as students can use in order to maintain focus while on campus.

That’s a wrap from me guys, I really enjoyed doing this assessment even if it took endless amounts of stress due to my poor time management skills. I’m hoping this data can be used for future research as Social Media intends to grow faster than ever!

Merci, Lachy.

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