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Technology such as social media websites have become famous parts of life for many young
people today. Online social media have expanded amazing worldwide growth and popularity.
Although with time all generations have come to embrace the changes social network has
brought about, teenagers and young adults are the most activist users of these sites.
According to various research studies in the field of online social networks, it has been
revealed that these sites are impacting the lives of the youth greatly.
Online social networking has achieved an exceptional global growth over the last decade by
attracting attention from all age groups. It is a known fact that young adults and Teenagers
are the most avid users of such sites. Based on the findings of several research studies in the
Online Social Networks (OSNs) area, it has been found that these SN sites are having a great
impact on the lives of young people. This study was carried out in with youngsters between
age group of 18 to 29 years of age. Hence, the impact generated due to social networking
sites/applications are studied from point of view of youngsters. These should focus the
growth and give the worthwhile output to the students for using social networking sites. In
this research paper a questionnaire is framed which focuses the increased use of social
Networking and helps to understand the background for using it. As a youngster, are they
utilizing their precious time for good purpose or not? So, these things matter a lot for overall
development of society through these youngsters.

Major highlights are:

_ Privacy policies are taken care off

_ Applicability or leisure time activity
_ bridging the gap between relatives, friends, etc.
_ Victim of sites

These are some of the social issues which need to be properly analyzed as there are many
Cases in which social networking sites give wrong message in the community. Also,
Government should play its role for improving the public security in many times.

Almost all teens love social media such as, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Youtube,
Vine, etc. What teens don’t see is how much of an impact it has on their self-esteem and their


Impact of social media on students

Today’s world is a global village. Everyone is connected to one another in this vast network
generated by the Internet. As said by Marshall McLuhan, a philosopher of communication
theory, “The new electronic independence re-creates the world in the image of a global
village.” This electronic independence is inherently dependent upon the Internet. It
illuminates the lives of thousands of people by spreading knowledge internationally, thereby
making us global citizens. In the past, the communicating and free sharing of thoughts among
people were restricted by long distance, nationality and/or religion. But now, even these
barriers cannot stop the flow of information and knowledge. The new world of social
networking allows free sharing of thoughts. Online social networks are created by websites
such as Facebook, which has emerged as a giant in this social world. So how do these
networks affect our education? How do they influence the lives of students?Humans are
social animals. We always like to remain in some group or another, and we prefer to follow
what this group does. All of our traditions and cultures are the product of this group-oriented
facet of human nature. A well-known American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, stated in his
“Theory of Motivation” that the social need of human beings is the third most important
requirement after our physical and safety needs — the third tier in his hierarchy of needs.
Even our self-esteem comes after this social dependence. This is the main reason billions of
people use social networking to stay connected, make friends and satisfy their social
needs. As of 2015 the world’s largest social networking company, Facebook, has 1.49 billion
active users, and the number of users is increasing every year. One of the most interesting
things to look at is the increasing number of student users on such social networking sites. As
per the survey conducted by Pew Research Centre, 72 percent of high school and 78 percent
of college students spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These numbers indicate
how much the student community is involved in this virtual world of social
networking. Actually, many reasons exist that explain why students love to spend time
socializing. Firstly, social networks provide them the freedom to do whatever they want — to
upload what they want and talk to whom they want. They like to make new friends and
comment on the lives of different people. Students can create other online identities that the
real world does not allow. The freedom it gives them to act just by sitting in front of a
computer enthrals them, and they then demand for more freedom. Never before has it been so
easy for young minds to create a digital image of their actions through such a spontaneous
medium. But this has a darker side that has gained the attention of many parents, and even
eminent psychologists, all over the world. One of the biggest problems is the identity crisis
constant social networking products. As said by Professor S. Shyam Sunder, a renowned
researcher at Penn State, “The types of actions users take and the kinds of information they
are adding to their profiles are a reflection of their identities.”

Many psychologists are worried about the identity crisis that our present generation may face
today. The lives of people, especially students, are largely influenced by what is posted by
other people on their profiles. The habits that students learn are decided more by what their
friends do and less by the teachings of parents or professors.

Our students have become prone to frequent fluctuations in mood and self-control. If one of a
student’s friends posted about his or her present relationship with someone, then other friends
are pressed to do the same thing. Actions that attract more public attention hold more value,
even despite some of them being immoral or illegal. We even see that many students are
worried about their looks, and so they always try to upload nicer pictures than their friends. A
recent survey has stated that whenever someone uploads a profile picture, it immediately
affects the moods of friends. It often produces stress, anxiety or fear about their identities as
people. Consistently thinking in this way can sometimes lead to depression.

The most important things in a student’s life are studying, learning good habits and gaining
knowledge to become a person with moral character. But today, as we see in various studies,
this optimal learning process is seriously jeopardized by students becoming entrapped by the
ploys of social networking. Students neglect their studies by spending time on social
networking websites rather than studying or interacting with people in person. Actively and
frequently participating in social networking can negatively affect their grades or hamper
their journeys to their future careers.

Getting too involved in social media can lead to an addiction that inculcates bad habits.
Students prefer to chat with friends for hours, and this leads to a waste of time that could
have been used for studying, playing or learning new skills. It is often said that a long-term
friendship or relationship is developed when people meet each other, spend time and share
their experiences. But this virtual way of communicating with each other does not lead to a
natural, friendly experience and hence cannot produce a healthy relationship with those
friends. Also, these relationships tend to terminate easily due to a lack of personal contact.

The system generates a competition to make as many new friends as possible and the so-
called “social quotient” of a person is decided by how many friends they have and not on
how good-natured and congenial the person really is. Often, students who are not old enough
to accurately analyze the word “like” or comment on social or political issues, and this leads
sometimes to serious controversies.

Considering all of the above pros and cons, it is necessary to develop certain regulations over
the use of such social networking sites, especially for high school and college students. But
still, students should get the choice to spend time socializing in an effective way. It should
not hamper their school or college performance, and it should be kept in mind that social
networking sites create virtual worlds that drastically differ from reality. Students should
develop the cognitive and intuitive ability to analyze how much time they want to spend on
social media. It is left up to the students to decide what really matters in their life and how
much of this virtual life translates to real life.

Types of social networking sites
1. Social Connections

Keeping in touch with friends and family members is one of the greatest benefits of social
networking. Here is a list of the most widely-used websites for building social connections

 Facebook: Arguably the most popular social media utility, Facebook provides a way for
users to build connections and share information with people and organizations they
choose to interact with online.

 Twitter: Share your thoughts and keep up with others via this real-time information

 Google +: This relatively new entrant to the social connection marketplace is designed
to allow users to build circles of contacts that they are able to interact with and that is
integrated with other Google products

 MySpace: Though it initially began as a general social media site, MySpace has evolved
to focus on social entertainment, providing a venue for social connections related to
movies, music games and more.

2. Multimedia Sharing

Social networking makes it easy to share video and photography content online. Here are
some of the most popular sites for multimedia sharing.

 YouTube: Social media platform that allows users to share and view video content

 Flickr: This site provides a powerful option for managing digital photographs online, as
well as for sharing them with others.

3. Professional

Professional social networks are designed to provide opportunities for career-related growth.
Some of these types of networks provide a general forum for professionals to connect, while
others are focused on specific occupations or interests. A few examples of professional social
networks are listed below.

 LinkedIn: As of November of 2011, LinkedIn had more than 135 million members,
making it the largest online professional network. Participants have an opportunity to
build relationships by making connections and joining relevant groups.

 Classroom 2.0: Social network specifically designed to help teachers connect, share and
help each other with profession-specific matters.

4. Informational

Informational communities are made up of people seeking answers to everyday problems.

For example, when you are thinking about starting a home improvement project or want to
learn how to go green at home, you may perform a web search and discover countless blogs,
websites, and forums filled with people who are looking for the same kind of information. A
few examples include:

 Super Green Me: Online community where individuals interested in adopting green
living practices can interact

 Do-It-Yourself Community: Social media resource to allow do-it-yourself enthusiasts to

interact with each other


The study has taken overall objectives of identifying the factors of social networking sites
and its impacts on youth and examining whether the social networking sites influence the
lifestyle of students.


 To find out the usage of Social Networking sites among students.

 To identify how Social Networking Sites benefitted to the students.
 To know whether there is any negative effects on the personal life of youth by Social
Networking Sites.
 To know the positive impacts created by Social Networking Sites among students.
 To identify how Social Networking sites affect the lifestyle of students.


This study is based on the secondary data.

The information has been retrieved from various social media sites and collected information
and reviews about the social networking sites of students and their lifestyle.


The realm of Social Networking Sites is increasingly emerging as the subject of research in
the field of social sciences. Scholars in many fields have begun to investigate the various
aspects of Social Networking Sites. Many studies have been conducted around the world to
investigate how these sites may influence issues of identity, privacy, social capital, youth
culture, education and interpersonal relationships. The review of literature allows us to study
the main perspectives similar studies conducted in the same field. Further review of literature
has not only widened the horizon for understanding the themes related to the study, but also
has sharpened the method of arranging the components in the framework of the study.

Studies on the Usage of Social Networking Sites among Students

Since the last decade the usage of Social Networking Sites among college students is
increasing rapidly throughout the world. Compared with any other group of people the usage
of Social Networking Sites among college students is more, mainly because they are attracted
extensively to the new technology and particularly to the opportunity it offers for creating
social networks.

Kuan-Yu Lin and His-Peng Lu (2011) applied network externalities and motivation theory
to understand the usage of Social Networking Sites among college students. After conducting
an empirical research involving 402 samples, using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM)
Approach, Lin and Lu (2011) found that “Enjoyment” was the most influential factor for the
increasing usage of Social Networking Sites among the college students.

Bicen and Cavus (2010) evaluated the usage of Social Networking Sites among students in
the department of computer education instructional technology and found which social
networking sites are the most preferred by students. The study revealed that use and sharing
of knowledge on Internet is made an integral part of college students’ lives. Results show that
Live Spaces and Facebook are the commonly used sites by the students.

Miller, Parsons and Lifer (2010) conducted a survey among students, about the use of
social networking sites and the appropriateness of the content that they post. The responses
indicate that students routinely post content that is not appropriate for all audiences,
especially potential employers. Considering how extensively the press has covered the

negative impacts of inappropriate posting, the fact that students know of continuing the
practice is surprising.

Park (2010) explores the usage of Social Networking Sites by different university users. He
studied three groups of users' (undergraduate, graduate and faculty) at Yonsei University in
Seoul, South Korea. The analysis indicated that the three groups of users demonstrated
distinct patterns of use of social networking sites. The study stipulated that undergraduates
used the profile service more than the community service while graduates used the
community service more than the profile service. Yet most of the faculty members were not
active users.

Indian Studies on Social Networking Sites

Mishra (2011) discussed the legal implications of social networking sites in USA and India,
impact of Social Networking Sites on social life, legal issues raised in Social Networking
Sites in Indian region, laws pertaining to social networking sites in India and USA and legal
obligations for social networking users and sites. The facts revealed that Indian are less aware
regarding the legal implications of these sites than USA

Mohamed Haneefa K and Sumitha E (2011) attempted to explore the perception and use of
Social Networking Sites by the students of Calicut University, Kerala. The study finds that
majority of the students are aware about these sites and used for communication purpose with
friends. Orkut is the most used site among the respondents. The students' activities on these
sites are sending messages and meeting new friends. Lack of security and privacy is the main
hindrance in using these sites.

Biswajit Das and Jyoti Shankar Sahoo in their study (2010) entitled “Social Networking
Sites – A critical analysis of its impact on personal and public life” clearly stated the danger
of the impacts Social Networking Sites pose. The Social Networking Sites allow people to
have virtual communication. A person defines himself through what kind of friends he/she
has. Consequently this peculiar behaviour of people raises many questions that impact on the
personal and public life. It also traces back the history of Social Networking Sites. People use
SNS for many purposes primarily because SNS give an opportunity to express their views
and provide independence and connects a person to million others in the world.

Kuppuswamy and Narayan (2010) studied the impact of social networking sites on the
education of youth. The study finds that social networking websites have both positive as
well as negative impact on the education of youth, depending on one's interest to use it in a
positive manner for his or her education and vice versa.

Sardar (2010) while conducting a survey having pafameters such as age groups, common
used SNSs, purposes of using SNSs and the factors influence the respondents to access social
networking websites. The study finds that 25-30 age group most active on Social Networking
Sites. Facebook is the most commonly used network and finding new friends is the factor
most responsible for using Social Networking Sites.


Benefits of students using social media

Socialization and Communication: Social media sites allow teens to accomplish online many
of the tasks that are important to them offline: staying connected with friends and family,
making new friends, sharing pictures, and exchanging ideas. Social media participation also
can offer adolescents deeper benefits that extend into their view of self, community, and the
world, including

1. Opportunities for community engagement through raising money for charity and volunteering
for local events, including political and philanthropic events

2. Enhancement of individual and collective creativity through development and sharing of

artistic and musical endeavours;

3. Growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos, and gaming sites;

4. Expansion of one's online connections through shared interests to include others from more
diverse backgrounds (such communication is an important step for all adolescents and affords
the opportunity for respect, tolerance, and increased discourse about personal and global

Enhanced Learning Opportunities

Middle and high school students are using social media to connect with one another on
homework and group projects. For example, Facebook and similar social media programs
allow students to gather outside of class to collaborate and exchange ideas about assignments.
Some schools successfully use blogs as teaching tools, which has the benefit of reinforcing
skills in English, written expression, and creativity.

Accessing Health Information

Adolescents are finding that they can access online information about their health concerns
easily and anonymously. Adolescents with chronic illnesses can access Web sites through
which they can develop supportive networks of people with similar conditions. The mobile

technologies that teens use daily, namely cell phones, instant messaging, and text messaging,
have already produced multiple improvements in their health care, such as increased
medication adherence, better disease understanding, and fewer missed appointments.
However, because of their young age, adolescents can encounter inaccuracies during these
searches and require parental involvement to be sure they are using reliable online resources,
interpreting the information correctly, and not becoming overwhelmed by the information
they are reading.

Risks of youth using social media

Using social media becomes a risk to adolescents more often than most adults realize. Most
risks fall into the following categories: peer-to-peer; inappropriate content; lack of
understanding of online privacy issues; and outside influences of third-party advertising

Cyber bullying and Online Harassment

Cyber bullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or

hostile information about another person. It is the most common online risk for all teens and
is a peer-to-peer risk.

Although “online harassment” is often used interchangeably with the term “cyber bullying,”
it is actually a different entity. Current data suggest that online harassment is not as common
as offline harassment, and participation in social networking sites does not put most children
at risk of online harassment. On the other hand, cyber bullying is quite common, can occur to
any young person online, and can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including
depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and, tragically, suicide.


Sexting can be defined as “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages,

photographs, or images via cell phone, computer, or other digital devices.” Many of these
images become distributed rapidly via cell phones or the Internet. This phenomenon does
occur among the teen population; a recent survey revealed that 20% of teens have sent or
posted nude or semi-nude photographs or videos of themselves. Some teens who have
engaged in sexting have been threatened or charged with felony child pornography charges,
although some states have started characterizing such behaviours as juvenile-law
misdemeanors. Additional consequences include school suspension for perpetrators and
emotional distress with accompanying mental health conditions for victims. In many
circumstances, however, the sexting incident is not shared beyond a small peer group or a
couple and is not found to be distressing at all.

Facebook Depression

Researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” defined as

depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media
sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression.,
Acceptance by and contact with peers is an important element of adolescent life. The
intensity of the online world is thought to be a factor that may trigger depression in some
adolescents. As with offline depression, preadolescents and adolescents who suffer from
Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites
and blogs for “help” that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or
aggressive or self-destructive behaviours.

Using social media to engage adolescents and young adults with their health
Social media is a popular means of interaction for adolescents and young adults, in which
they create, share, and exchange information in virtual communities and networks. Social
media allows participants to be the creators and consumers of content that is then discussed,
modified and shared. The platforms for social media are diverse and evolving; these include
social networking sites (Facebook), internet forums (, blogs and micro
blogs (Twitter), photograph or video sharing (Instagram, YouTube), crowd sourcing
(Wikipedia, Kickstarter), podcasts (This American Life), and virtual game or social worlds
(Second Life).

In this paper, we discuss methods to engage adolescents and young adults on topics related to
their health since they are a difficult-to-reach population with relatively low healthcare
utilization, while at the same time being ubiquitous users and often the earliest adopters of
social media. Their infrequent healthcare use compared to younger children or older adults
occurs during a high-risk period for unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections,
substance abuse, unintentional injuries, violence, eating disorders and mental health disease.
On the other hand, national surveys show that around 90% of teens and young adults under
30 report using social media. Additionally, the growing prevalence of smart phones and other
hand-held devices are making social media sites accessible from anywhere; in 2013, one in
four teens were “cell-mostly” internet users.1 With nearly constant access to social media at
home or in the palms of their hands, how can we, as healthcare providers, do a better job of
engaging adolescents and young adults with their health and overall well-being through social
media? We address this question by discussing the opportunities and challenges in healthcare
delivery, health education and health policy as relevant to the adolescent and young adult

Social media affects teens’ self-esteem, personal identity
(Hayley Raney, Contributing Writer November 11, 2015)
Almost all teens love social media such as, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Youtube,
Vine, etc. What teens don’t see is how much of an impact it has on their self-esteem.
In today’s social networking, teens are worried about how many “likes” they can get, how
many followers they gain and how many retweets they have, even though none of it matters.
“Social media creates an environment where disordered thoughts and behaviours really
thrive,” The Dove Self-Esteem Project says.
Frankly, it’s getting even worse considering the negative effects of social networking are
already impacting the generations before us.
Without a lot of “likes,” followers, or retweets, teens see themselves as “not good enough.”
Teens are constantly exposed to seeing this “perfect image” of who they should be, all
provided by social media.
They feel if they can’t become that “perfect image,” then they’re not good enough for anyone
or themselves.
This constant exposure to “perfection” from social media affects a teen’s self-identity, self-
esteem and even may cause depression.
Teens that want these so called causes can be pushed to become unsure of who they are and
who they want to become. Social media can affect a teen’s self-esteem by changing their
entire style such as clothes, music, and personality and even change what kind of friends they
These conflicts that teens deal with throughout the social media world can create a massive
amount of depression as teens struggle to be socially “accepted.”These effects of depression
lead to teens having severe insecurities, which then conclude that social networking degrades
teens. Social networking can even lead to addiction, which can highly affect a teenager’s
health. It can cause teens to have anxiety, sleeping problems and not being able to function in
the real world.

According to the details of this study, Social Networking Sites benefitted the youth in
many ways. Most among the benefits are:

 They were able to connect with existing friends

 They found it as a great way to enjoy
 They are able to link with prospective employers and recruiters.
 SNS enable them to show their talents and creativity
 It helps them to choose brands and products

Youth describes positive effects of SNS on their personal life than the negative effects.
Majority of the participants says that, they can be more creative, more outgoing and more
popular with SNS.

Most of the respondents have got into websites which is dangerous or inappropriate. Even
though they get into such websites, many of them do not think too much about it.

A larger portion of the students are influenced by Social Networking Sites in choosing
fashion, trend or style. Only a few respondents were having a habit of looking for a chic
restaurant or star hotel in SNS. A smaller number of respondents were selecting an exercise
pattern or fitness activity from SNS in their daily life.

Many of the students are using different job portals through SNS. A smaller number of
respondents are taking diet information in their daily life through SNS.


In the light of the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:
1. Students should be educated on the influence of Social media on their academic

2. Students should be monitored by teachers and parents on how they use these sites.

3. Teachers should ensure they use the social media as a tool to improve the academic
performance of students in schools.

4. Students should better manage their study time in and prevent distractions that can be
provided by the social media. There should be a decrease in the number of time spent by
students when surfing the net.

5. Social Networking Sites should be expanded and new pages should be created to
enhance academic activities and avoid setbacks in the students’ academic performance.

6. The students should create a balance between chit-chatting and academic activities.
More attention should be directed to research.

7. The use of Social media network by students should focus on the academic relevance
of those sites instead of using them for negative purposes.


The result from the findings of this study showed that, though Social media have negative
effects on teenagers such as lack of privacy, distracting students from their academic work,
taking most of their productive time, and such like, they also have benefits and can be used
appropriately. For instance, students can form online communities in order to plan for a
project, have group discussions about class material, or use the Social networking sites(SNS)
as a way to keep in contact when a student who has been absent needs to be updated on
current academic information.
The findings of this study and earlier ones showed some noteworthy results. The first
independent variable influencing the academic performance of students, that is, social media
participation was negatively related with students’ outcome, while the other independent
variables were positively related with students’ outcome. The results of this study suggest
that lecturers should come up with a template on how their students can maximize the
benefits of Social media, that school management should incorporate rules and regulations on
the use of the social media in the school and, that the government should put in place
adequate control measures to regulate their use among students and lecturers.