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Social media and Academic performance

There is a growing concern that poor academic performance and social media usage are related terms, and that question should be studied further. Social media usage damages reading, writing, and other habits that provoke questionable life choices and poor academic performance in the long run.


This proposed study will use critical discourse analysis (CDA) to investigate how social media usage among university students of English writing class translates to reading habits and grammar over the course of the semester. The findings of this proposed research may enable us to develop solutions to reverse this trend.


In the United States, there is rising concerns about the impact of students’ usage of social media and academic performance, in particular, reading habits. Indeed, some researchers describe students’ excessive social media usage as an “addiction” and point to its negative impact on grades (cite people here). 

Junco, Heiberger, and Loken (2010) trace a direct link between students’ social media usage and their grades and conclude that overall the social media usage has negative impacts on the overall school performance. The previous research did not provide the comprehensive study of University students’ involvement in social media and the effect it causes in their lives. The research will use the micro-level of CDA in order to analyze proper literacy performance of each student. Teachers will be involved, and GPA will be compared in order to track changes on CDA micro-level.

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Literature review

The literature documents a close relation between social media usage and academic performance. Students who are constantly engaged in social media are prone to have poor reading habits and grammar and thus leading to poor performance for university students and colleges. Igbokwe, Obidike, and Ezeji (2012) continued to emphasize that there is the direct link between the social media usage and the reading performance among students. Unfortunately, the time that students could spend to read and learn more things is spent on social media. That clearly damages their learning habits and skills, but that trend is impossible to overcome fully. In addition to social media, Wood et al. (2014) argue that texting also has a negative impact on the overall school performance of the youth (Wood et al., 2014). He stated the fact that literacy experience correlates with the way student write on the daily basis. Unlike adults, most of which have fully-developed writing skills, children are still developing these critical skills, the abbreviations commonly used in texting and social media. Therefore, children are facing problems with their writing skills, and those problems have a negative impact on children’s performance.

The importance of writing and reading skills development was emphasized by Tsang (1996). Both problems with reading and writing can trigger the problem with grades while the enhanced development of these skills might increase the learning ability and help students on their way to success. Tsang traces the link between children’s assignment grades and their writing and reading skills. Grades were lower for those who read and write worse than others. Hence, those children spent less time learning and reading so that their school performance cannot benefit out of their laziness.

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Moreover, the worst problem that the youth might face is the Internet addiction. Andreassen et al. (2012) examined the impact of the Internet addiction among youth. They also identified the meaning of the social media addiction that is the daily usage of the social media, which damages all other activities and develops in the form of the psychological addiction (disease). Authors discussed all negative aspects of the Internet addiction and discussed the effect of it on the overall performance of people. They pointed that people are less tended to do any work instead of the social media surfing. People do not learn because they chat and engage with others through the social media instead. That has a negative impact on the overall performance of the youth because they do not have enough time and will to perform better due to their social media addiction. Sometimes, that problem has to be managed inside the family, but it appeared that doctor’s help might be helpful in some cases too. Therefore, the social media became a threat to the youth and might damage their school performance as well as overall mental well-being.

In our research, the study will summarize all previous perspective and expand that knowledge in a matter of the direct correlation between specific aspects of students’ performance. It was evident that students at schools and universities experience specific challenges that correlate with the social media usage. This project will further study direct links between the social media usage and reading and writing skills as well as conclude with the shift in overall students’ performance due to the usage of social media. Moreover, this study will provide the needed in-depth investigation of that problem for university students while there was not enough research in that sample group. University students have more freedom and it might be difficult for them to manage their time effectively while the usage of the social media would provide more problems for time management due to the overload of responsibilities. University students were not mentioned as different sample group in other researches, but it is evident that their behavior differs from K-12 students. From that perspective, the sample group of university students is more reliable and appeared to be more trustworthy while there is not enough research for university and college participants.


This proposed research will answer the following questions:

  1. What is the correlation between the social media usage and poor reading habits?
  2. What is the reliance between social media habits like texting and the literacy experience like the usage of grammatically correct spelling?
  3. What is the reliance between social media addiction and the negative impact of two previous traits.

To answer these questions, this study will employ a mixed method approach. Credible websites such as Center for Disease Control will also be used to provide important data. The data samples will be obtained from students from English writing at our University class due to their experience. Those students are tended to read and write a lot for their assignment so that their performance would have a tighter correlation with the social media usage in the long run. The class that has the best feedback from the teacher will be used to conduct the study. I will contact teachers of all English writing classes in the University and the first one who will positively reply me back will help me with this research. I will meet the teacher before the study starts in order to ask him or her for help. Moreover, I will move on to other teachers if any of them will regret to participate until I find the person who will help me with that project. The first phase of the study, which is questionnaire, will be held when he or she tells me to come and handle them. I will ask the teacher to tell them previously that I will come and for what purpose. The expected number of students would be around 20-30 in total (one class).

Students would be asked to fill questionnaires about their social media activities. The most active ones will be interviewed in-person in order to clarify their performance in details. I will ask those questions about their overall performance, their GPA; hours of social media usage, what activities do they attend via social media. After all, I will design the specific Facebook page for the specific class of my choice. I will entertain people who attend it and try to make this page as fun as possible. That ability to communicate on this page will be granted to all. All students will be free to express them on this online page. After all, the statistics will be obtained from the website at the end of the semester. I will compare results and find those who were the most active individuals on that web page. It will be important to find out their GPA so that I will try to interview them the second time. I will ask them specific questions about their performance and changes that happened to them during the course. On the other side, I understand that some specific life events could impact my results so that I will ask all participants about life-concerning issues that they experience in the past semester. What I want to know is there anything that could impact their performance dramatically, except their social media usage?

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After all, I will gather all the information and interpret it in order to understand the true answer to my research questions. CDA will be used for the proper analysis of the obtained information. The usage of micro-level CDA will be enhanced by the comprehensive information about students GPA and overall performance. Teacher’s feedback is necessary in order to understand the shift in their literacy experience. All micro issues will be considered and even possible outside influences will affect the final answer on the research question. It will be important to use all information to answer the research question properly.


The ethical part of that problem will be hard to manage, but specific explanations will be granted to sample students so that they will know that their information is secure and private. I will use only numbers to conduct the scientific research and I will say that to them. Moreover, I will ask the teacher about their performance in the specific class that I chose and then ask about the GPA because even one grade in one class would be enough to draw some conclusions. I will try to gather all of the sample students that I will need in one class after the whole experiment and ask them to give their permission for the teacher to reveal some of their personal information to me (GPA and personal feedback). I will set up the meeting date via social media. I will ask both students personally and the teacher after all to get the needed information. I will need those numbers to draw right conclusions so that I would ask even teachers to give me an average GPA of most active users if they are frightened to do that or to get the proper information because students can lie. The average number will keep their privacy and also tell me the proper information. I understand that the ethical part of this research might stop me from obtaining the needed information, but I will try to do my best in order to get as much information as it is possible without creating any ethical issues. However, I will choose an English writing class in order to ask teachers about the performance of these students in the past and how their skills developed during the semester and the overall performance in correlated courses. It is also important to know either their performance increased or decreased during the last semester to understand the correlation between the performance and social media usage. The teacher’s personal feedback would be granted only after all students will allow him or her to do so.

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