As one of the media of communication, social networking plays an important role in people’s lives. Its usage may vary from one person to another depending on the benefits that this medium can provide for them. For students specifically, social networking
serves as their channel to express their thoughts and feelings about a certain issue. It helps them in building up stronger relationships with their loved ones especially those who are living far away from them. It makes them more vigilant about the happenings
in different places by getting news from their friends on the Internet. Most importantly, while it entertains them, it also helps them in doing research.
Yet some university administrations perceive students’ social networking activities as detrimental to students’ academics and have blocked sites such as Facebook during office hours. But does social networking take away the time that students ought to spend
on their study time and media use?
To answer this question a study was conducted in a Visayas State University in America. Using a survey, time diary and a focus group discussion, this study was conducted among 116 randomly selected college students.
Respondents’ social networking usage did not displace their time spent for watching television, texting on mobile phone, reading books, and listening to radio. On the other hand, newspaper reading and landline telephone use were displaced due to social networking
Although in general, motivations was not associated with displacement effects on study habits, a significant relationship was found between cognitive motivations and displacement effects on study habits. This suggests that motivated people who use social
networking to fulfil cognitive needs to acquire information, knowledge and understanding are more likely displace their study time duration. In terms of social networking use and displacement effects on study habits, a significant difference was found between
male and female respondents, with females reporting higher networking usage than males. This supports the previous study that teen girls are more likely to use social networking and posted online profile than boys.
Technique used in Study and results
All respondents who participated in the survey were given a time diary on which they were to record their study hours, media use and time spent in using social networking sites for two weeks. Out of 116 respondents who participated in the survey, only 62
percent of them returned their time diaries. A total of 72 time diaries were analyzed.
Respondent profile. Close to two-thirds (64.7%) of the respondents aging from 16 to 28 were female while the remaining 35.3% were male. A little more than one-fifth (20.7%) of the respondents were enrolled in BS Hotel Restaurant and Tourism
Management (BSHRTM), followed by more than a tenth (12.9%) who were enrolled in both Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) .
Displacement effects on study habits
When asked about the effect of social networking use on their study time duration (in hours), more than three-fifths (69%) of the respondents indicated that it stayed the same, while exactly a fourth (25%) of them reported a decrease. The remaining 6 percent
of them expressed that their time in studying increased because of social networking use. Since more than two-thirds (69%) of the respondents indicated that their hours spent in studying did not decrease, it appears that social networking use did not have
a displacement effect on respondents’ study habits.
Displacement effects on media use
Overall, 11.2 percent of the respondents reported an increase in time spent on other media as a result of social networking use, (46.6%) reported that their time spent on the six media activities stayed the same while more than two-fifths (42.2%) of the
respondents answered that the time they spent on other media decreased because of social networking use.
Displacement effects on media-related activities
Of the six media-related activities, only reading newspaper (56.9%) and using landline telephone (55.2%) decreased since the respondents started using social networking sites.