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The Impact of Social Media on Saudi Female
University Students: A Case Study
Brunel University1
Dr. Amani Hamdan
University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Outline
 Social Media….Definition and facts
 The Research question
 Theoretical Perspective
 SM and Youth-female university students
 Literature Review
 The Study
 The Sample
 Results and Discussion
 References
Brunel University2
Research Importance
 This study importance is stemmed from:
 Social Media revolution is becoming significantly more
effective than any traditional media.
 Digital media landscape imposes on the Arab states the
need to think thoroughly of its depth as a source for
freedom of expression and social change.
 How can SM affect education?
 Youth as leaders of world change
 SM affect on educational, cultural, exchange, and social
values.
 SM is becoming not only a source of communication but
an engine of education, cultural exchange, and social
change. Brunel University3
Facebook and Twitter in Saudi
Arabia: Numbers Talk
 The total number of Facebook users in the Arab world
stands at 45,194,452 (June, 2012), up from 37,390,837 at
the beginning of the year (January 2012), having increased
by about 50% since the same time last year (29,845,871
in end June 2011).
 Youth (between the ages of 15 and 29) continue to make
up around 70% of Facebook users in the Arab region, a
number that has been holding steady since April 2011.
 Gulf Countries Council dominate the top five Arab
Facebook users as percentage of population.
Brunel University4
Facebook Figures
 Saudi Arabia constitutes about a quarter of total
Facebook users in the Arab region (1.6 million new
Facebook users between January and June 2012)
 As a result Arabic now is the fastest growing language on
Facebook in the region, with an increase in the number
of Facebook users who predominantly use the Arabic
interface.
Brunel University5
Twitter Figures
 Saudi Arabia, which leads the Arab countries with
830,291 Twitter users in 2012.
 Comes at the 2nd
amongst the top five Arab countries in terms
of number of Twitter users.
 88% of tweets in March 2012 were generated by Kuwait,
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain
 Arabic tweets numbering almost double those in English
through March 2012 (62.1% and 32.6% respectively)
 Amongst top Five Twitter Populations (Sep. 2011 and
March 2012) is Saudi Arabia.
Brunel University6
Youth and SM: At Crossroads
 Although studies have conceptualized the internet as an
information repository and Young people as knowledge
recipients fewer studies have emphasized youth’s role as
producers (Greenhow, 2011, p. 57).
 SM in Saudi – Towards educational, cultural and Societal
change.
 SM as a venue through which youth and young women
university students build relationships, exchange ideas
and improve their social integration.
Brunel University7
Background
The recent major increase of SM is worthy of further
discussion .
For example, in the Arab world the number of Facebook
users increased from 37,390,837 in January 2012 to
45,194,452in June 2012 …or by an increase of 20%.
Over the 2 years (June 2010 – June 2012) the number of
Facebook users almost tripled increasing from 16 million to
45 million reflecting the huge interest in SN.
The share of women users in the total has also been on the
rise reflecting the impact that SN could have on a larger
number of female users in the Arab world and SA the subject
of this research.
Brunel University8
Background
 The number of Arab users is expected to increase rapidly
over the coming few years because of the increase in
internet services and rapid deployment of modern
technologies.
 Facebook  registered an increase of 10 million users
between June 2012 – June 2013. In March 2013, Arab
Twitter users generated 3336 million tweets.
 About 70% of users are youth between the ages of 15
and 29.
Brunel University9
Research Question
• What is the affect of SM on female university
students in Saudi Arabia?
• How does SM affect their education, culture,
social change?
Brunel University10
Why Saudi Female students?
 Researcher Access
 Critical country, age group and gender
 Limited scientific data on such age group
Brunel University11
Theoretical Perspective
 Over the past few decades the expansion of Internet use
has dramatically affected the general population.
 Now the world is at one’s fingertips and one no longer
has to spend hours searching through reference books in
order to find information.
 Technology is step towards betterment, no doubt but
any technology which can provide ease of social
networks can be dangerous for SN addicts.
Brunel University12
Theoretical Framework
Brunel University13
Theoretical Perspective
 Previous research has calculated that more than 90% of
college students use SM.
 Technology has shown a fast development by producing
small communication devices but these small
communication devices can be used for accessing social
networks any time anywhere, these devices include
pocket computers, laptops, iPads and even simple mobile
phones (which support internet) (Tariq, 2012).
Brunel University14
Theoretical Perspective
 A few research studies discussed the affect of social
media on education.
 A recent study by McCamey et al., (2015) investigated
the relationship between Internet use (including the use
of SM), the level of Internet dependency, and academic
performance as measured by self-reported student grade
point average (GPA). Results reveal that there is no
statistically significant relationship between the level of
Internet dependency, the amount of time spent on the
Internet, or the amount of time spent on SM or SN sites
and academic performance as measured by GPA.
Brunel University15
Theoretical Perspective
 Providing ubiquitous facility of social networks is a
straight invitation of addiction to youth, as academic
satisfaction is not enough for those students who suffers
from social isolation.
 SN grab the total attention and concentration of the
students and diverts them towards non educational,
unethical and inappropriate actions such as useless
chatting, time killing by random searching and not doing
their jobs.
 As SN has introduce many attractive tasks like gamming,
advertisements…so that people can never get enough of
these things.
Brunel University16
The Sample: The Characteristics of
Participants
 Gender: Females
 Ethnicity: Saudis
 Age group 18-30
 University students
 Full-timer and part timers (first year-fourth year)
 Different colleges (Business, Health Sciences, Arts,
Engineering, and Interior Design)
Brunel University17
Survey
 DATA COLLECTION
Survey 100 students in a SA
university Three dimensions (30 items
per dimension):
 Education
 Culture exchange
 Social change
Brunel University18
Glimpse of the Questions (Likert Scale)
 I use SM such as Twitter and Facebook for educational
purposes
 I use SM to help me do my research
 I use SM to exchange ideas about different cultures
 I use SM to connect with students in different universities
 I use SM to communicate with friends
 I network to find out latest in my field of study
 I network to have fun and spend time
 I network to read celebrity news
Brunel University19
Results and discussion
 The answers to the main research questions are
presented below:
 The analysis of the data showed that more than 70%
of female students who participated in the study do
agree that SM is useful for cultural exchange, social
change and improvement of communication.
Brunel University20
Results 1
Many participants indicated that SM is more influential in
social change and cultural exchange than in education which
is also indicated in the literature (Greenhow, 2010).
Brunel University21
Results 2
 81% of participants agree that social media had an a
negative impact on their education—Reasons
 DISTRACTION TO non educational
 DISTRACTION TO non ethical
 LIVING INSIDE FANATASY WORLD
 This finding supports many studies in literature like
(Tariq et al, 2012), (Kuppuswamy et al, 2010) and
(Tiffany, 2009).
Brunel University22
Results 3
 The participants were asked to pinpoint the reasons that
prevent them from using SM for Educational purposes.
The first reason that participants (about 37%) indicated is
that they usually get distracted by advertisement of
products.
 The other reasons mentioned were lack of sophisticated
or exiting study material, SM is a venue for fun and
connection with others, shortage of time due to heavy
workload, difficulty in finding data in their mother tongue,
and distraction by celebrity news.
Brunel University23
Brunel University24
 The results also indicated that there was no
significant difference between Science and Humanities
majors.
 However, the results showed that the relationship is
stronger for Science majors (r = 0.42, p < .05) in
using SM for educational purposes than the
Humanities majors (r = 0.31, p < .05).
Results 4
Results 5
 Further, it was not surprising to find that there was a
significant relationship between the ability of students
to use SM and SN effectively for educational
proposes and their GPA, r = 0.69, p < .05.
 This seems obvious because many students, about
63%, indicated that they did not have any training on
how to use online educational discussion, read
research papers in their field.
 In addition, about 73% of them did not have
information about how to select the appropriate
databases for education.
Brunel University25
Results 6
 Given the importance of SM and that it is becoming part
of youth daily routine, whatever obstacles participants
found that render them from using it for educational
purposes which the findings could be used to solve social
issues and cultural misunderstanding and therefore
benefit the world should be taken seriously by policy
makers, sociologists and educators.
 Ministry of Education should encourage and pave the way
to help youth –female students-to use SM and SN
effectively.
Brunel University26
Results 7
 When participants were asked about whether their
universities encourage them to use Twitter and Facebook
to read, collect data or produce research papers, about
68% disagree that universities encourage them.
 This may be due to the fact that most universities do not
have their professors or faculty staff set this as a goal to
discuss this with their students, as was reported by 82%
of the participants.
Brunel University27
Results 8
 Furthermore, 77% of the participants indicated that
universities do not provide training workshops about
using Facebook or twitter.
 In terms of funding research, 75% reported that
universities do not fund any research papers or
workshops around effective use of SM in teaching and
learning.
Brunel University28
Results 9
 SN obligate a very negative impression people of every age
including teenagers, young adults and adults are continuously
attracted towards SM, SN, international and national
jurisdiction must take action against SN websites.
Brunel University29
What is Next
 The healthy debate that has dominated policy discourses
for more than two years has finally shifted the question
of the societal impact of social media usage from the “if”
to the “how”, “why” and “what next”
 What is next in the AR: female Youth and female in
particular in SA
 The need to develop responses that nurture relational
and socially just cultures through SM.
 The need to provide training on how best to use SM for
educational purposes.
Brunel University30
What is Next?
 Media literacy course
 Critical thinking skills course
 Law and jurisdiction for SM use in Saudi Arabia
 Tariq et al (2012) study showed that larger than
expected existence of faked identities exist in SM in
Pakistan.
 Further studies
Brunel University31
References
 Tariq, W., M. Mehboob, et al. (2012). "The Impact of Social Media and Social Networks on
Education and Students of Pakistan." International Journal of Computer Science Issues 9(4):
407-411.
 Social Media in the Arab World: Influencing Societal and Cultural Change? (Electrnoic)(2012).
Dubai: Arab Social Media Report.
 Greenhow, C. (2010). Youth as content producers in a niche social network site. New
Directions for youth development, 128(Winter), 55-63.
 MCCAMEY, Randy; WILSON, Brooke; SHAW, Joanna. Internet Dependency and Academic
Performance. The Journal of Social Media in Society, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, jul. 2015. ISSN
2325-503x. Available at: <http://www.thejsms.org/index.php/TSMRI/article/view/98>. Date
accessed: 23 Jul. 2015.
 Sooryaamoorthy, R. (2011). Communication, youth, social change and... International sociology,
26(5), 604-612.
Brunel University32
 Thank you for listening
 Questions
Contact:
Amani K. Hamdan, PhD
Associate Professor
AlKhobar, Saudi Arabia
akhalghamdi@uod.edu.sa
Brunel University33

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Amani Hamdan

  • 1. The Impact of Social Media on Saudi Female University Students: A Case Study Brunel University1 Dr. Amani Hamdan University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  • 2. Outline  Social Media….Definition and facts  The Research question  Theoretical Perspective  SM and Youth-female university students  Literature Review  The Study  The Sample  Results and Discussion  References Brunel University2
  • 3. Research Importance  This study importance is stemmed from:  Social Media revolution is becoming significantly more effective than any traditional media.  Digital media landscape imposes on the Arab states the need to think thoroughly of its depth as a source for freedom of expression and social change.  How can SM affect education?  Youth as leaders of world change  SM affect on educational, cultural, exchange, and social values.  SM is becoming not only a source of communication but an engine of education, cultural exchange, and social change. Brunel University3
  • 4. Facebook and Twitter in Saudi Arabia: Numbers Talk  The total number of Facebook users in the Arab world stands at 45,194,452 (June, 2012), up from 37,390,837 at the beginning of the year (January 2012), having increased by about 50% since the same time last year (29,845,871 in end June 2011).  Youth (between the ages of 15 and 29) continue to make up around 70% of Facebook users in the Arab region, a number that has been holding steady since April 2011.  Gulf Countries Council dominate the top five Arab Facebook users as percentage of population. Brunel University4
  • 5. Facebook Figures  Saudi Arabia constitutes about a quarter of total Facebook users in the Arab region (1.6 million new Facebook users between January and June 2012)  As a result Arabic now is the fastest growing language on Facebook in the region, with an increase in the number of Facebook users who predominantly use the Arabic interface. Brunel University5
  • 6. Twitter Figures  Saudi Arabia, which leads the Arab countries with 830,291 Twitter users in 2012.  Comes at the 2nd amongst the top five Arab countries in terms of number of Twitter users.  88% of tweets in March 2012 were generated by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain  Arabic tweets numbering almost double those in English through March 2012 (62.1% and 32.6% respectively)  Amongst top Five Twitter Populations (Sep. 2011 and March 2012) is Saudi Arabia. Brunel University6
  • 7. Youth and SM: At Crossroads  Although studies have conceptualized the internet as an information repository and Young people as knowledge recipients fewer studies have emphasized youth’s role as producers (Greenhow, 2011, p. 57).  SM in Saudi – Towards educational, cultural and Societal change.  SM as a venue through which youth and young women university students build relationships, exchange ideas and improve their social integration. Brunel University7
  • 8. Background The recent major increase of SM is worthy of further discussion . For example, in the Arab world the number of Facebook users increased from 37,390,837 in January 2012 to 45,194,452in June 2012 …or by an increase of 20%. Over the 2 years (June 2010 – June 2012) the number of Facebook users almost tripled increasing from 16 million to 45 million reflecting the huge interest in SN. The share of women users in the total has also been on the rise reflecting the impact that SN could have on a larger number of female users in the Arab world and SA the subject of this research. Brunel University8
  • 9. Background  The number of Arab users is expected to increase rapidly over the coming few years because of the increase in internet services and rapid deployment of modern technologies.  Facebook  registered an increase of 10 million users between June 2012 – June 2013. In March 2013, Arab Twitter users generated 3336 million tweets.  About 70% of users are youth between the ages of 15 and 29. Brunel University9
  • 10. Research Question • What is the affect of SM on female university students in Saudi Arabia? • How does SM affect their education, culture, social change? Brunel University10
  • 11. Why Saudi Female students?  Researcher Access  Critical country, age group and gender  Limited scientific data on such age group Brunel University11
  • 12. Theoretical Perspective  Over the past few decades the expansion of Internet use has dramatically affected the general population.  Now the world is at one’s fingertips and one no longer has to spend hours searching through reference books in order to find information.  Technology is step towards betterment, no doubt but any technology which can provide ease of social networks can be dangerous for SN addicts. Brunel University12
  • 14. Theoretical Perspective  Previous research has calculated that more than 90% of college students use SM.  Technology has shown a fast development by producing small communication devices but these small communication devices can be used for accessing social networks any time anywhere, these devices include pocket computers, laptops, iPads and even simple mobile phones (which support internet) (Tariq, 2012). Brunel University14
  • 15. Theoretical Perspective  A few research studies discussed the affect of social media on education.  A recent study by McCamey et al., (2015) investigated the relationship between Internet use (including the use of SM), the level of Internet dependency, and academic performance as measured by self-reported student grade point average (GPA). Results reveal that there is no statistically significant relationship between the level of Internet dependency, the amount of time spent on the Internet, or the amount of time spent on SM or SN sites and academic performance as measured by GPA. Brunel University15
  • 16. Theoretical Perspective  Providing ubiquitous facility of social networks is a straight invitation of addiction to youth, as academic satisfaction is not enough for those students who suffers from social isolation.  SN grab the total attention and concentration of the students and diverts them towards non educational, unethical and inappropriate actions such as useless chatting, time killing by random searching and not doing their jobs.  As SN has introduce many attractive tasks like gamming, advertisements…so that people can never get enough of these things. Brunel University16
  • 17. The Sample: The Characteristics of Participants  Gender: Females  Ethnicity: Saudis  Age group 18-30  University students  Full-timer and part timers (first year-fourth year)  Different colleges (Business, Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, and Interior Design) Brunel University17
  • 18. Survey  DATA COLLECTION Survey 100 students in a SA university Three dimensions (30 items per dimension):  Education  Culture exchange  Social change Brunel University18
  • 19. Glimpse of the Questions (Likert Scale)  I use SM such as Twitter and Facebook for educational purposes  I use SM to help me do my research  I use SM to exchange ideas about different cultures  I use SM to connect with students in different universities  I use SM to communicate with friends  I network to find out latest in my field of study  I network to have fun and spend time  I network to read celebrity news Brunel University19
  • 20. Results and discussion  The answers to the main research questions are presented below:  The analysis of the data showed that more than 70% of female students who participated in the study do agree that SM is useful for cultural exchange, social change and improvement of communication. Brunel University20
  • 21. Results 1 Many participants indicated that SM is more influential in social change and cultural exchange than in education which is also indicated in the literature (Greenhow, 2010). Brunel University21
  • 22. Results 2  81% of participants agree that social media had an a negative impact on their education—Reasons  DISTRACTION TO non educational  DISTRACTION TO non ethical  LIVING INSIDE FANATASY WORLD  This finding supports many studies in literature like (Tariq et al, 2012), (Kuppuswamy et al, 2010) and (Tiffany, 2009). Brunel University22
  • 23. Results 3  The participants were asked to pinpoint the reasons that prevent them from using SM for Educational purposes. The first reason that participants (about 37%) indicated is that they usually get distracted by advertisement of products.  The other reasons mentioned were lack of sophisticated or exiting study material, SM is a venue for fun and connection with others, shortage of time due to heavy workload, difficulty in finding data in their mother tongue, and distraction by celebrity news. Brunel University23
  • 24. Brunel University24  The results also indicated that there was no significant difference between Science and Humanities majors.  However, the results showed that the relationship is stronger for Science majors (r = 0.42, p < .05) in using SM for educational purposes than the Humanities majors (r = 0.31, p < .05). Results 4
  • 25. Results 5  Further, it was not surprising to find that there was a significant relationship between the ability of students to use SM and SN effectively for educational proposes and their GPA, r = 0.69, p < .05.  This seems obvious because many students, about 63%, indicated that they did not have any training on how to use online educational discussion, read research papers in their field.  In addition, about 73% of them did not have information about how to select the appropriate databases for education. Brunel University25
  • 26. Results 6  Given the importance of SM and that it is becoming part of youth daily routine, whatever obstacles participants found that render them from using it for educational purposes which the findings could be used to solve social issues and cultural misunderstanding and therefore benefit the world should be taken seriously by policy makers, sociologists and educators.  Ministry of Education should encourage and pave the way to help youth –female students-to use SM and SN effectively. Brunel University26
  • 27. Results 7  When participants were asked about whether their universities encourage them to use Twitter and Facebook to read, collect data or produce research papers, about 68% disagree that universities encourage them.  This may be due to the fact that most universities do not have their professors or faculty staff set this as a goal to discuss this with their students, as was reported by 82% of the participants. Brunel University27
  • 28. Results 8  Furthermore, 77% of the participants indicated that universities do not provide training workshops about using Facebook or twitter.  In terms of funding research, 75% reported that universities do not fund any research papers or workshops around effective use of SM in teaching and learning. Brunel University28
  • 29. Results 9  SN obligate a very negative impression people of every age including teenagers, young adults and adults are continuously attracted towards SM, SN, international and national jurisdiction must take action against SN websites. Brunel University29
  • 30. What is Next  The healthy debate that has dominated policy discourses for more than two years has finally shifted the question of the societal impact of social media usage from the “if” to the “how”, “why” and “what next”  What is next in the AR: female Youth and female in particular in SA  The need to develop responses that nurture relational and socially just cultures through SM.  The need to provide training on how best to use SM for educational purposes. Brunel University30
  • 31. What is Next?  Media literacy course  Critical thinking skills course  Law and jurisdiction for SM use in Saudi Arabia  Tariq et al (2012) study showed that larger than expected existence of faked identities exist in SM in Pakistan.  Further studies Brunel University31
  • 32. References  Tariq, W., M. Mehboob, et al. (2012). "The Impact of Social Media and Social Networks on Education and Students of Pakistan." International Journal of Computer Science Issues 9(4): 407-411.  Social Media in the Arab World: Influencing Societal and Cultural Change? (Electrnoic)(2012). Dubai: Arab Social Media Report.  Greenhow, C. (2010). Youth as content producers in a niche social network site. New Directions for youth development, 128(Winter), 55-63.  MCCAMEY, Randy; WILSON, Brooke; SHAW, Joanna. Internet Dependency and Academic Performance. The Journal of Social Media in Society, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, jul. 2015. ISSN 2325-503x. Available at: <http://www.thejsms.org/index.php/TSMRI/article/view/98>. Date accessed: 23 Jul. 2015.  Sooryaamoorthy, R. (2011). Communication, youth, social change and... International sociology, 26(5), 604-612. Brunel University32
  • 33.  Thank you for listening  Questions Contact: Amani K. Hamdan, PhD Associate Professor AlKhobar, Saudi Arabia akhalghamdi@uod.edu.sa Brunel University33