Facebook is a social networking site and website launched in February 2004 and was founded by Mark Zuckerberg. The popularity of online social network is growing at a rapid rate, such as Facebook. By end of 2008, Facebook became the most popular social network with 140 million active users Rayport, (2009). Today students use Facebook, because it is the other way to communicate with friends and family all over the world other than Twitter, my space and other social networks. Facebook offers many different options for social networking and entertainment, whereas it is free and the cheapest way to communicate with others. As far as communication goes, Facebook offers a chat option in which students can send messages instantly to one another regarding their work. They can also talk to numerous people at the same time. It is another way of communicating is using a private message option to write messages to another person.
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Facebook also offers the option to write on another person’s profile where other people may view the message. However, these are not the only things can be found in Facebook. There are many applications and games can also be found on this site. There are ways to post items in other people’s profiles. A person can play interactive games that involve playing with other people on the site. Whereas, there are many choices of games and applications that people can choose. Examples of the games are Farmville, Pet Society, Poker, Sims and many more. These games can be interacted with friends and family. Games that this website provides continue to grow and in turn it continues to keep people intrigued and keeps them coming back.
Facebook has become common among college students, Facebook games and applications and are one of the reason students are on Facebook. They spend many hours on games and applications till late at night, rather than studying or revising. This could affect the student’s marks and concentration during class. This is mainly because Facebook entertains them with variety of games and applications. Another reason could be because students too stress while studying, they need break, one of the option they log on to Facebook, on their phones, tabs, personal computer or laptops. When it is time to get back to their books, they spent more time on Facebook, and time just passes away without them knowing. This shows students can spend more time on Facebook rather than studying.
The applications that most students spent their time on Facebook, that are uploading photos, posting links on their wall and also sending links on their wall friends’ wall. Whereas famous games on Facebook such as Pet Society, Texas Hold’em Poker, The Sims Social and Farmville. Pet Society allows users to raise their pet in a self-decorated pet house. Users are able to play games, bring their pet to play with neighbours, as well as having the responsibility to feed their pets on time and clean them every day. Whereas, Texas Hold´em Poker is a casino game that allows users to play poker as in real casinos, but with in-game currency. The game is nearly identical to other real cash poker games, fold, having a standard interface of check, and raise, and can sit down at any seat at the table. The game Sims Social is a unique computer game that allows players to create and control their own virtual household of people, known as Sims. Players control everything from their Sims’ career choices to their eating habits, dreams, relationships, Thaddeus (2006). Farmville is an aspect of farm management such as growing and harvesting crops, planting, ploughing land, and harvesting trees and bushes, and generally run a basic farm.
Some exploratory studies by Canales et al, (2009); Karpinski & Duberstein, (2009) shown that the extended presence of students on Facebook has harmful effect on their task performance. While Facebook games are often said to be developed for people to spend their leisure time, it is proven that the games are addictive, causing people to spend a lot of time visiting the games. These two studies demonstrated that long hours spent on Facebook seem to decrease students’ academic performance and thus, their achievement grades.
Students spend an average of 30 to 35 minutes a day surfing Facebook from The Learning Network blog, Schulten (2009). Many college students note that they actually spend only 3 to 4 minutes during each visit to check updates, making several visit a day; other spend up to 8 hours a day on the website. Students also acknowledge that they find the website totally distracting and the time consuming, but they also noted that they cannot quit visiting the website because they like it and can use it to keep in contact with all their family and friends, whether they meet them every day or not (Facebook, 2010).
Some students are likely to spend more time than others on Facebook; they would be more immersed in related tasked as they spend long hours surfing on the websites thereby promoting their distraction from any tasks as they spend long hours surfing the website, thus promoting their distraction from any tasks performed in parallel. For example, users become interested in sharing information with friends and participating in discussion as well as uploading or watching videos and pictures.
Students and other active user engage in long discussions about daily issues, checking their Facebook profiles from homes and from their cell phones. Students also check updates while preparing their assignments, which interferes with their assignments preparation. They are distracted from main occupation and their working memory load allocated to these tasks makes it difficult for them to focused and prepare their homework effectively. This would lead to instable results and likely decreased in their global achievement due to participation with Facebook.
There have been many studies about using Facebook as a learning tool. One study showed that most students joined Facebook because Facebook was associated with university-level education by Madge et. al., (2009). This same study also found that Facebook is mainly used to keep up with social aspects of college life and it is a part of most students’ daily routine by Madge, et. al., (2009). However, students also did not seem to agree that Facebook helped their academic life cited by Madge et. al., (2009). Other studies have found that when students are asked why they did not put more effort into schoolwork that Facebook distraction was a regular explanation. Therefore, it is obvious that Facebook has become a very important feature of college life. There were no differences in Facebook use between different members of racial and ethnic groups that were part of the study, or between women and men. Younger and full-time students were more likely to be Facebook users.
This study is to find out, does the time spent on games and application on Facebook affect the academic performance of students in SEGi University, Kota Damansara. Therefore the purpose of this study is to know whether Facebook games and application affects the grade point average (GPA) of students and the amount of time spent on Facebook games and application affects their studies. Grade point average (GPA) is a commonly used indicator of academic performance. Thus, the relationship among time spent on Facebook games and application and academic performance will be surveyed. In present study, Mass Communication students have been selected to conduct this study in SEGi University, Kota Damansara. The Facebook games that will be focusing on are Farmville, Pet Society, The Sims Social and Poker. While, Facebook application are pictures and videos that students spent time posting.
1.1.2 Statement of the research problem
The main problem which is being addressed in this research is, how far does the time spent on games and applications on Facebook affect the academic performance of college students? The fact that excessive gaming will lead to a fall in academic performance is being illustrated on a report by Vivek Anand, (2007). It mentions that time management is the cause of the negative correlation of time spent on gaming and students’ academic performance. This also applies on Facebook gaming as they have the same nature and interrupts students’ time management in the same way.
Many students in University already have laptops, smartphones; that supports the gaming in Facebook and tabs will bring it to the University. Therefore when they get notifications on their electronic devices, they will concentrate more on Facebook rather than the lecturer. Due to the lack of concentration towards the subject, students will tend to play games, chat with friends, post pictures and many more activities that capture their attention. This is not the fault of the lecturer, when students do not do well in their exams, is because they did not want to focus during the lecture.
Karpinski focused on the relationship between time spent on Facebook and the academic performance of students San Miguel, (2009). He added the overall finding indicated “more time on Facebook equals slightly lower grades. In Karpinski’s study the regular Facebook user had a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5, while the rare Facebook user had a GPA of 3.5-4.0. Also, the regular Facebook user studied for 1-5 hours per week, while the rare Facebook user would student 11-15 hours per week. Many researchers are aware that Facebook is not the only thing that could possibly be taking away study time. However, 55 percent of those surveyed “access their pages several times a day or at least once a day for a long period of time” stated by San Miguel, (2009).
1.1.3 Research questions
To find out does time spent on Facebook games affect academic performance?
To find out does time spent on Facebook application affect academic performance?
1.1.4 Research objectives
To determine the relationship between games and applications on Facebook and time spent.
To find out the relationship between time spent and academic performance.
1.1.5 Significance of the study
The effect of this study is to know whether Facebook games and applications affect students’ academic performance. This study is to find out does time spent on Facebook games and applications affect students’ grades. In this present study to find out does Facebook games and applications affect students’ academic performance, then hours students spent on Facebook games and applications affect their grades. In this study student agrees that the more time spent on Facebook games affect their academic performance, they spent hours on games rather than studying. Whereas Facebook application consume time and it does not affect their academic performance.
This study will be beneficial to SEGi University students who want to know the factor, does the time spent on Facebook games and applications lower their academic performance, and does it affect their GPA. Therefore, the study is significant in this regard. It attempts to combine Facebook games and applications and the time consume does it affect the grades and academic performance. It will provide valuable information about Facebook games, applications, time spent, and academic performance. In this study will be shown the results of students when Facebook excessively. It also will serve as resource materials for others who want to carry out research in related field.
1.1.6 Scope/Limitation of the study
A limitation of this project that is the participants are sampled from only one University, focusing at SEGi University on Mass Communication students, Kota Damansara. Therefore, the findings cannot be generalized to all colleges and universities. The researcher chooses the institution because of size, familiarity, cost-effectiveness, and diversity of students. Another limitation this study is that, the researcher cannot control whether the participants fill out the survey correctly and accurately. Nor can the researcher make the participants be truthful with their responses.
Students may also underestimate or overestimate the time they spent on the activities listed on the survey. Students might also have trouble of distinguishing between being logged on and actively using their Facebook site. In addition, students may also under-report or over-report their GPA score. It attempts to combine Facebook application and games and the time consume does it affect the grades.
The major limitation of this study is that it is cross-sectional and correlational in nature, and therefore it is impossible to determine the causal mechanisms between Facebook academic performance and time spent. While the data show that engagement and Facebook use are related, the direction of the effect is dif¬cult to determine. For instance, students who spend more time on Facebook games and application also score higher on the engagement scale and also the grades are higher however it could be that students who are more engaged to begin with spend more time on Facebook games and application.
It will provide valuable information about Facebook, does it affect the students grades and to manage their time. It also will serve as resource materials for others who want to carry out research in related field.
2.1 Background of the literature
The present study conducted a comprehensive examination of the pertinent literature to understand better on the time spent on games and application on Facebook and how it affects academic performance. This chapter is organized into two main categories of research literature that shape the problem. The first section focuses on the definition and historical context games and applications on Facebook. The second section focuses on the time spent on academic performance and the students GPA on University students. The literature review revealed significant information about Facebook, games and application on Facebook, the time spent on the games and application, academic performance, and student’s grades.
2.2 Facebook Games and Application
Facebook games are originated from the development of Facebook Platform, which allow 3rd party developers to develop applications that can be deeply integrated into Facebook, and have mass distribution through the social graph. Facebook Platform has proven to be extremely popular immediately after its launch. According to Facebook Platform Statistics, (2010). More than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications, and there are 550,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform. Considering there are more than 500 million active Facebook users worldwide, the number of people engaged in the platform is huge. The applications on Facebook Platform often incorporate Flash technologies to enhance interaction with users, which quickly develop into the form of games.
Facebook is one of the social network, students spend most of the time because of the application that have many choices for them to check, view and post. As mention by Block, (2010). Games are often said to be developed for people to spend their leisure time, it is proven that games are fairly addictive, causing people to spend a lot of time visiting the games.
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Games such as Pet Society are developed by Playfish in the year 2007. Pet Society is a pet raising game that allows users to raise their pet in a self-decorated pet house. Users are able to play games, bring their pet to play with neighbours, as well as having the responsibility to feed their pets on time and clean them every day, Block (2010). It functions are to design their pets by choosing genders, names, colours, and physical appearance features.
There are a variety of activities with which the user can interact with the pet, including washing, brushing, petting and feeding the pet. There are also activities whereby pets can interact with the pets of those in the “friends” network. A pet can visit the pets of their friends and perform the same activities to these pets, such as washing, grooming, feeding and many more. A pet can visit other pets as many times per day as it is inclined. Pets will receive coins on the first visit to each friend of the day and Paw Points on this and each subsequent visit. Ways to earn coins in Pet Society include the Daily Lottery, visiting friends, and winning awards, cleaning or playing with pets, winning hurdle races or betting on the outcome of hurdle races. By earning a certain number of paw points makes the pet level up. Students will spend most of their time visiting their friend’s pets and also to make sure they play till the next level. This causes them to spend a lot of time visiting the game.
Next game would be, Farmville. This is an application where you can create and manage your own virtual farm. Buying animals and regularly growing and tending to crops is daily routine for those addicted to Farmville and once you have gathered enough money, you can spend it on farm extensions and other big items that allow you to make your farm that extra little bit more personal. After few hours you have to come back to harvest the crop, if not your crop will die and for this time are wasted. Students spend more of their time waiting for their crops to harvest and because of that they will be thinking of the game rather than focusing on the book.
Another game that students would be addicted is The Sims Social is a Facebook videogames developed by Playfish. It lets the user to create their own customizable character. In this version, the player uses their character to interact with those of their Facebook friends. The character can develop like or dislike for other Sims, creating relationship that can publicized on the user’s Facebook page. In this game Sims are able to develop skills, such as art, cooking, music, writing, athletic, driving, and various project skill items which are tied with specific themed collections. The Sims Social is also able to select their careers and traits. It also has needs such as social, fun, hunger, hygiene, bladder, and sleep. The Sims cannot die, therefore all mood meters cycle from deep green (good) to lighter green, yellow, orange, red, and finally gray. The Sims Social uses the socializing features of Facebook to allow players to send and receive gifts in order to finish certain quests or objects. For example, when a Sims levels up to a skill, they must have certain items to unlock the next level. Most of these items are obtained by sending requests to other friends or by interacting with friends’ Sims.
Lastly is Texas Hold’em Poker. It is developed by Zynga in the year of 2007, Block (2010). According to Texas Hold’em is a poker variation of seven card stud poker where poker players share common cards called “the board”. Due to the fact that the starting two card poker hand is comprised entirely of face-down poker cards, the obligation to open the betting is rotated clockwise after each poker hand. This is accomplished with the use of a “dealer button” and “blinds.” A dealer button is a round disk with the word dealer written on it. Blinds are mandatory bets made by the first two players clockwise from the dealer button. The blinds posted in all limit games are in the amounts of 1/2 of the lower limit for the first player (small blind) and the lower limit for the second player (big blind). The blinds in a $10-$20 game would, therefore, be $5 and $10. Poker is a type of card game in which poker players bet on the value of the poker card combination (“hand”) in their possession, by placing a bet into a central poker game pot. The poker winner is the one who holds the poker hand with the highest value according to an established poker rankings hierarchy, or otherwise the poker player who remains in the poker hand after all others have folded.
Students are addicted to this game because they want to raise the amount of money, called chips. They can play and bet with their friends. If one of them loses the game, they will play even more and this consumes time. Students are able to compete and interact with your their friends that they really know who they are in the Facebook Platform. Every time one log onto the game, they can see the progress of their friends in the game fairly easily. People can keep in touch with friends with minimal time and financial costs, which is an important factor of game addiction. Their friends that are playing the game are automatically added to the player list of them, bringing much convenience. This will encourage people to keep on playing the games, and invite more people to join the community. This we can see that, students will spend more time playing games, because they have to pass to the new level and beat their friends.
2.3 Facebook and Academic Performance
Over the past few years, the use of social software tools like Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook has been increasing. Facebook, in particular, has become hugely popular among college and university students since its inception in 2004. While participation in sites like Facebook raises some concerns about privacy, there are potential benefits from participation, such as meeting new people through the site, or learning more about people in one’s offline community. A lot of students prefer to use Facebook, because it offers multiple functions. For example they are able to post link with picture, therefore people spend most time on Facebook just by reading those links, going through the pictures and also chatting with friends and commenting on it.
According to Hargittai,( 2008); Jones & Fox,( 2009); Matney & Borland, (2009). Facebook has become, the most popular social media website for college, and research shows that anywhere between 85 and 99 percent of college students use Facebook. Whereas, there are few researcher, Cooper & Weaver, (2003); DiMaggio, Hargittai, Celeste, & Shafer, (2004); Hargittai, (2008); Junco, Merson, & Salter, (2010); Kaiser Family Foundation, (2004) agreed that Facebook has become the use of social media in the world. There are persistent differences along gender, socioeconomic, and racial lines in technology adoption and the usage, often referred to as the digital divide.
Further, Subrahmanyam, Smahel, & Greenfield, (2006); Valkenburg & Peter, (2007); Wolak, Mitchell, & Finkelhor, (2003) shows that adolescents consider the Internet a highly important medium in their everyday social life and use it to form and maintain social relationships. In this survey we can say that students use Facebook to interact with their family and friends, to keep in touch and to maintain their friendship and relationship between each other.
A researcher in the education department at Ohio State University, Aryn Karpinski (2009), stated that students who spending much time on Facebook regularly surf Facebook does not do well in their academic performance. The American research found that Facebook rituals, including adding many friends, adding applications, ‘poking’ other users and joining groups, can swallow up hours of study time. Some students were spending as little as an hour a week on academic work as they were too busy surfing Facebook. This study shows people who spend more time on Facebook spend less time studying.
Kubey, Lavin, and Barrows (2001) found that students who spent five times more hours online reported schoolwork problems. Ten to fifteen per cent of the student participants felt their Internet visits were out of control. Although this study did not mention Facebook specifically, the researchers did mention that the captive social opportunities of the Internet appeared to be the culprit of the schoolwork problems (Kubey et. al, 2001). In addition, Vanden Boogart (2006) discovered that excessive 35 Facebook use was found among students with lower GPAs. Conversely, Pasek, More, & Hargittai (2009) and Kolek and Saunders (2008) found no correlation between Facebook use and GPA in their studies.
Bauerlein (2008) claimed that social networking sites (i.e. Facebook) raise vocabulary problems, which can lead to weaker reading and writing skills. Students who write and read messages on social network sites often use new lingo (i.e. short-hand versions of words), incomplete sentences, misspelled words, and incorrect grammar. Online social network etiquette allows for students to write poorly because it is a very lax environment for writing and sending messages.
Unfortunately, when students consistently practice poor writing skills when participating in online activities, they start to develop bad writing habits that could also hinder their academic performance.
Some exploratory studies by Canales et al, (2009); Karpinski & Duberstein, (2009) have shown that the extended presence of students on Facebook has harmful effect on their task performance. These two studies revealed that long hours spent on Facebook seem to decrease students’ academic performance and thus, their achievement grades. Students spend an average of 30 to 35 minutes a day surfing Facebook from The Learning Network blog, Schulten (2009). Many students noted that they actually spend only 3 to 4 minutes during each visit to check updates, making several visit a day; other spend up to 8 hours a day on the website. From this study we will know that students prefer using Facebook rather than studying and they prefer spending time on Facebook.
Students who are logged on to Facebook while studying get significantly lower grades than those who did not use Facebook, according to psychologists. A study has found that the exam results of those who used the social networking site while homework, were 20 percent lower than rare users. According to researchers, the findings put a dent in the theory that young people’s brains are better at multitasking on digital gadgets.
“The problem is that most people have Facebook or other social networking sites, their emails and maybe instant messaging constantly running in the background while they are carrying out other tasks,” the Daily Mail quoted study author Professor Paul Kirschner as saying.
“Our study, and other previous work, suggests that while people may think constant task-switching allows them to get more done in less time, the reality is it extends the amount of time needed to carry out tasks and leads to more mistakes,” (pg 1237-1245)
His team studied 219 students aged between 19 and 54 at an American university. It was observed that the Facebook users had a typical grade point average score from zero up to four of 3.06. Non-users had an average GPA of 3.82. Those who did not use the site also said they devoted more time to studying, spending an average of 88 per cent longer working outside class. Three fourth of the Facebook users claimed they didn’t believe spending time on the site affected their academic performance.
The study by Open University in the Netherlands will be published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. According to Professor Paul Kirschner:
“The problem is that most people have Facebook or other social networking sites, their emails and maybe instant messaging constantly running in the background while they are carrying out other tasks. The Facebook users among them had a typical grade point average – a score from zero up to four – of 3.06. Non-users had an average GPA of 3.82” (pg 1237-1245)
According to the researcher, students are always with their laptops, hand phone, and tabs. Therefore they will get the notifications while studying, students will tend to concentrate more on Facebook rather than their subject. Therefore, whenever the lecturer explains in the class, their concentration will be on Facebook. When comes to exam the students who did not use Facebook while concentrating in class will score more in exams rather than the students, that are more on Facebook.
Yamamichi, (2011). Stated that the Facebook Statistics also mentions, “that there are more than 250 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices” and “people that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than rare mobile users.” This shows many of students not only use laptops and tabs, but they use Facebook on their mobile device to connect to Facebook.
Canales, Wilbanks, and Yeoman (2007). Conducted their survey on sixty-one college students, they found that students who use Facebook more often generally have lower GPAs and tend more towards extraversion and neurosis (associated with anxiety, anger, depression, and impulsivity) than those students who use Facebook less.
Referring to Choney, ( 2010) statement “Users of Facebook have an average GPA of 3.06, while non-users have an average GPA of 3.82”. It shows Facebook does affect their academic performance, to be included that students not using Facebook getting higher GPA then users in their exam. Another statement by Fodeman and Monroe, (2009). “Students have an irresistible need to connect with their peers because of the development of these 24/7 accessible technologies”. Therefore, the usage of Facebook can become a habit that may affect the academic performance of students as well as their quality of life.
The theory of this study is the Uses and Gratification (U&G). Uses and gratifications is a psychological communication perspective that examines how individuals use mass media. An audience based theoretical framework, it is grounded on the assumption that individuals select media and content to fulfill felt needs or wants. These needs are expressed as motives for adopting particular medium use and are connected to social and physical makeup of individual. Based on perceived needs, social and psychological characteristics, and media attributes, individuals use media and experience related gratifications. The perspective can be used to understand a variety of media uses and consequences. It assumes a relatively active audience, which consciously selects content and media to satisfy specific needs or desires. For example students do come to Facebook to fulfill their needs for self-expression. Some may post on statues to express their needs and also chat or message their friends.
In this study, have to understanding the thoughts and behaviours of the students in using Facebook games and applications. The media uses and gratifications theory looks at understanding what people do with media outlets. This approach focuses on why people use particular media rather than on content. In contrast to the concern of the media effects tradition with what media do to people.
Uses and Gratification can be seen as part of a broader trend amongst media researchers which is more concerned with ‘what people do with media’, allowing for a variety of responses and interpretations. Katz, Blumler, and Gurevitch (1974) describe the concept as one that is concerned with “the social and psychological origins of needs, which generate expectations of the mass media or other sources, which lead to differential patterns of media exposure”. This means many people use media to satisfy their needs, for example students use media such as Facebook to past their time, for a learning tool, play games and many more.
Uses and Gratifications Approach offers another way of explaining why people expose themselves to some communications. Katz, Blumler, and Gurevitch’s Uses and Gratification Theory suggest that media users play an active role in choosing and using media. Users take an active part in the communication process and are goal-oriented in their media usage. Theorists say that media users seek out source that best fulfills their needs. Uses and Gratifications Theory assumes that users have alternate choices to satisfy their needs (Griffin, 2000). Focus of this theory is that viewers attend, perceive and remember information that is pleasurable or that will in some way help satisfy their needs
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