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SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE: POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON THE LIFE STYLE OF INDIAN YOUTH

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Abstract

Utilization of social media is an integral part of Indian youth today. Over utilization of social media, has captured the attention of youth entirely. The dependency of youths on the social media has reached at such level that, without social media, every young person cannot think about the direction of their growth. Dependency of youth on social media is now leading to addiction. Through the several studies, it is widely accepted that over utilization of social media has profound negative influence on the Indian youth. Simultaneously, social media have also some positive effects on the life of youth. This study highlights the main purposes of utilizing social media by the youth, and attempt has been made to find out the time spent on browsing social networking sites by the youth. This study focuses on the major; and the positive and negative effects of utilizing social media on the life of youth. The result of study shows that, over utilization of social media leads youth towards addiction.
University College of Takestan
9753-2382ISSN
)17(20 127-123 Volume 5,Issue3
Available online at http://UCTjournals.com
Iranian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Research
UCT . J. Soc. Scien. Human. Resear. (UJSSHR)
Social Media Usage: Positive and Negative Effects on the Life Style of
Indian Youth
Monica Munjial Singh1, Mohammad Amiri2*, Sherry Sabbarwal3
1Associate Professor, University Institute of Emerging Areas in Social Science, Centre for Social Work, Panjab University,
Chandigarh
2PhD Scholar, University Institute of Emerging Areas in Social Science, Centre for Social Work, Panjab University,
Chandigarh
3Professor, University Institute of Emerging Areas in Social Science, Centre for Social Work, Panjab University,
Chandigarh, India
Original Article:
Received 1 Aug. 2017 Accepted 30 Aug. 2017 Published 25 Nov. 2017
*Corresponding author:
Mohammad.amiri.qiau@gmail.com
Peer review under responsibility of Iranian Journal of
Social Sciences and Humanities Research
ABSTRACT
Utilization of social media is an integral part of Indian youth today. Over utilization of
social media, has captured the attention of youth entirely. The dependency of youths on the
social media has reached at such level that, without social media, every young person cannot
think about the direction of their growth. Dependency of youth on social media is now
leading to addiction. Through the several studies, it is widely accepted that over utilization
of social media has profound negative influence on the Indian youth. Simultaneously, social
media have also some positive effects on the life of youth. This study highlights the main
purposes of utilizing social media by the youth, and attempt has been made to find out the
time spent on browsing social networking sites by the youth. This study focuses on the
major; and the positive and negative effects of utilizing social media on the life of youth.
The result of study shows that, over utilization of social media leads youth towards
addiction.
Keywords
Indian Youth; Positive and Negative
Effects; Social Media;
Youth’s life style.
Munjial Singh et al.,
Iranian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Vol 5 Issue 3 (2017)
1. Introduction
Today, youths are the defining users of social media. Social
media made available a platform for youth to build social
networks or social relations among people. Nowadays,
lucrative electronic gadgets are attracting the attention of the
young generation; they are the largest customer of electronic
gadgets and services, which makes them addicted in a short
span of time. Effects of using social media have been found
to be far reaching and potentially dangerous in affecting the
health and mental related behavior of youth, who are not yet
mature enough to differentiate between fantasy and reality.
Apart from this, over utilization of social media, decreases
the amount of time available for pursuing other activities
which are useful for their physical health and mental health
and spending of time with family members.
The present electronic era has brought several pros and cons.
The electronic era not only provided better, faster and
improved working ability of young people, but also an
emergence and new form of disorder in Indian youths. Since
last decade, the over utilization of social media is an ongoing
activity which is increasing at an alarming rate and leading to
addiction form among Indian young people which is a serious
concern. Problems arriving from over utilization of social
media have been documented worldwide including in India,
where the use of the social media has increased noticeably.
It is observed through the studies, that the social media is
more addictive among the youths, over utilization of it has
been referred to as behavioral addiction and one’s inability to
avoid being online to the point where it effects the users life,
relationships, emotions users’ social life etc. There are
various forms of social media addiction, such as forming
online friendship, accessing pornography, gaming, online
shopping etc. It is observed that, over utilization of social
media, refrain from participating in real life activities, young
people lives mostly in the virtual than in real life. Through
this study an attempt has been made to highlight the negative
and positive effects of social media on the Indian youths and
their opinion about social media.
2. Background and Literature Review
[1] Bhargava and Rani (2015), have opined that, the
influence of social websites can be good on students, if there
is a closer look on the real impact of social media. Authors
have further opined that, several social media websites are
now a day’s continuously distracting adolescent students
from their educational career. Through, the study authors
have observed that, adolescent students are emphasizing on
social media sites which is a complete wastage of time.
Through this study authors have focused on the impacts of
social media on Indian education, students and impacts on
adolescents’ life. Authors have further described that, how
social media networking websites are addictive and harmful
for Indian youth and adolescents. Authors have concluded
that, addiction of social media could extinct the future of
Indian youth and it had a very bad effect on education.
Authors have recommended to the parents that, parents
should regularly check their children’s activities on social
media network and do not let them overuse of social network
websites. Authors have also recommended to government to
ban all the porn sites.
[2] Gurusamy (2014), have examined the influence of social
Networking Sites on interpersonal relationships of college
students. Authors have also constructed a profile which
focused on the students’ usage pattern of social Networking
sites. Through this study authors have explained the concept
of social networking sites and social network through
sociological perspective. Authors have found that, the usage
of social networking sites has effects on the interpersonal
relationship of college students, especially with their
members of family, friends and teachers. Authors have also
observed that, due to the availability of social networking
sites, the communication between students and their family
members, between students and friends has increased. In this
research study, usage pattern, purpose of usage of social
networking, time spend, preferred social networking etc.,
have been focused keeping the scientific research base. This
study provides an outlook for investigating the technological
implications on society in the domain of sociology.
[7] Valkenburg et al., (2009), have discussed on the state of
the literature on the consequences of online communication
technologies for adolescents’ social connectedness and well-
being. Authors have observed that, adolescents are spending
more time for social media than adults. Through this study
authors have first explain the reasons of diverge of recent
studies from past studies. Authors have discussed on a viable
hypothesis to explain the recent findings and discussed on
some contingent factors that may deserve special attention
for future study. In the opinion of authors, the research
studies pertaining to social media usage, internet usage is still
new for scholars, sociologist and does not yet permit to draw
decisive conclusions.
[8] Wanajak (2011), has differentiated between normal daily
social media/ Internet use behaviors and addictive behaviors’.
Author has also highlights the impacts of those behaviors that
may signify maladaptive use. The main aims of the study are,
to generate a consensus definitions and diagnostic criteria of
Internet Addiction from the literature. Through this study
author has also identified the prevalence of Internet addiction
among secondary school students between aged from 11 to
19 years old, and identified the important factors that may
influence Internet use among secondary school students.
Author has also highlighted the potential intervention
strategies which help to minimize harm of Internet addiction.
Through the study author has found that, the amount of time
spent on the Internet is related to gender, having Internet
access at home, using the Internet alone. It is also observed
that, Internet addiction is directly correlated with the amount
of time spent on the using of social media and Internet per
week, with addictive spending on average 29 hours per week
for social media.
3. Significance of the Study
Through the review of literature, it is observed that majority
of the study papers related to the impacts of social media on
the young people, are conducted in western countries, which
are having developed society. There is easy accessibility of
social networking sites and the services provided by social
media are large in these countries. On the contrary,
developing countries like India there are very few studies that
have been conducted in the Indian context and even these
studies are related only to the effects of social media on trade
and business, manufacturing sector, service sector etc. No
study has been conducted with sociological perspective that
is the effects of social media on the different segments of the
University College of Takestan
people in the society. The segment of young people in the
society is comparatively neglected in the studies. Therefore,
it is significant to understand the positive and negative
opinions of the young people about the usage of social media
and it is also significant to identify the age group of the
young people who are engaged in the utilization of social
media for a long time; due to which they are facing several
mental and physical problems. This study may be an
additional knowledge in the respective area of study for the
upcoming scholars. This study is important with a view to get
the information pertaining to the young social media users
from the pre and post graduating colleges of various faculties
in Chandigarh city. This study will provide information to the
social media users about, the positive and negative effects of
over utilization of social media on their mental and physical
condition and make them aware about the control of the
utilization of the social media.
4. Objectives of the Study
1. To identify the age group of youth engaged in over-
utilization of social media
2. To understand the main purpose of usage of social media
among the Indian youth
3. To find out how much time do youth spend on the social
networking?
4. To understand the positive and negative opinion of
selected youth about the usage of social media
5. To identify the negative effects due to over utilization of
social media on the physical and mental health of selected
youth
5. Materials and Methods
Research Methodology
The present study is simple and exploratory in nature. For the
study purpose questionnaire survey method has been adopted
with a view to collect primary information from youth about
age group of youth, main purpose of utilization of social
media, their positive and negative opinion about social media
and the effects of social media on the physical and mental
health of the selected youth.
5.1 Selection of Sample
A purposive sample of 126 students (in the range of age 16
years to 25 years) in pre and post-graduation colleges situated
in Chandigarh City was selected for eliciting the data for
study. 126 students were selected from 11 pre and post-
graduation colleges of various faculties. This questionnaire
which is the main tool for collection of primary information?
It is framed with a view to fulfil the objectives of the present
study. Questionnaire was distributed in the selected colleges
in order to identify the users of social media. The following
table indicates the number of youth (Students) selected from
pre and post-graduation colleges.
Colleges
No. of Students
No. Of Colleges
Pre-graduation
colleges
69
6
Post-graduation
colleges
57
5
Total
126
11
6. Results and Discussion
The following table indicates the age group wise distribution
of social media users from the selected sample.
Table1. Age group wise distribution of social media users
Frequency
Percentage
69
55%
57
45%
126
100%
The above table depicts the major age group of youths who
are engaged in over-utilisation of social media. The above
mentioned age groups are selected for the study purpose
because nowadays, in India majority of the social media
users are belonging to these age groups. As per the collected
information, 55% of the youth are in the age group of 16
years to 20 years, and 45% youth are in the age group of 21
years to 25 years. The large numbers of youths are involved
in over-utilisation of social media.
Table 2. Purposes of using social media by selected youth
(multiple responses)
Purposes
Frequency
Percentage
For E-mail
84
67%
For Site Surfing
126
100%
For Chatting
97
77%
For Social Networking
106
84%
For Entertainment, downloading
movies/ music etc.
116
92%
For Blogging with Social
Networking Sites
67
53%
The above table indicates the main purpose of using social
media by the selected youth. The main purpose of utilization
of social media for site surfing and for down loading movies,
music by 100% and 92% youths respectively. Entertainment
and site surfing are two main common purposes of utilization
of social media. 53% youths are found to be engaged in
blogging with social networking sites. 77% youths are
utilizing the social media for chatting purpose. 84% youths
have reported social networking as their main purpose of
usage of social media. 67% youths have reported that, they
utilize social media for checking e-mails. Almost all the
selected youth are utilizing social media for various purposes.
The following table indicates the time spent by the selected
youths for social media in a day.
Table 3. Time spent by youths for social media in a day.
Duration
Frequency
Percentage
Less than a 1 hour
13
10%
1 hours to 3 hours
18
14%
3 hours to 5 hours
59
47%
More than 5 hours
36
29%
Total
126
100%
In the above table, 10% of the selected youth spend less than
an hour on social media. 47% youths are using social media
for 3 to 5 hours and 29% are using it for more than 5 hours in
a day. 14% youths are using social media for 1 hour to 3
hours in a day. Majority of the youth are exposed to social
media for larger periods due to various attractive offers
available by Internet service provider companies like free
data for three months, availability of 3G, 4G services at very
lower costs etc.
Munjial Singh et al.,
Iranian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Vol 5 Issue 3 (2017)
Table 4.1. Positive opinion of selected youth about the usage
of social media (multiple responses)
Opinions
Frequen
cy
Percent
age
Social media is an effective
communication tool
126
100%
Social media has made available
location-based services
119
94%
Social media has enhanced creativity
among youth
81
64%
Social media helps youth to refine and
develop artistic abilities, inner
potential
76
60%
Other opinion
65
52%
The above table highlights positive opinion of selected youth
about utilization of social media. In the opinion of 100%
youth social media is an effective communication tool, which
enables users to communicate with other social media users
within a fraction of time. In the opinion of 94% youth, due to
awareness about social media, they can easily get location-
based services like money transfer, online bill payment,
online shopping, online booking of railway tickets,
entertainment programmes tickets etc. 52% youth opined
that, social media is very helpful for their academic purposes
or learning purposes and it helps the students in attending the
virtual class rooms and it is a good way to increase contacts.
In the opinion of 64% of youth social media enhances
creativity among youth and 60% of youth have opined that
social media helps in refining and developing their artistic
abilities and inner potentials.
There are a lot of negative opinions regarding impact of
social media which have been expressed by the selected
youth and also mentioned in various other literature reviews.
The negative opinions about usages of social media
expressed by the youths have been indicated in the following
table:
Table 4.2. Negative opinion of selected youths about the over
usage of social media (multiple response)
Opinions
Frequen
cy
Percent
age
Lure of using social media shifts away
the concentration of youth from
academic activities or study
112
89%
Users are spending more and more time
on useless activities
126
100%
There is a time imbalance between
lunch and dinner
89
71%
Over utilization of social media
decreases interactions with others
77
61%
Over utilization of social media
increase hate towards education and
study
103
81%
In the opinion of 89% of youth lure of using social media
shifts away the concentration of youth from academic
activities or study. 94% of youth opined that social media is
used to spread misinformation, rumors and responsible for
increasing cybercrimes among young people, like
blackmailing, sexual harassment with their unknown friends
through chatting. 100% of youth opined that social media
users are spending more and more time on useless activities,
like chatting, watching films etc. In the opinion of 71%
youth, due to addiction of social media the users are not able
to take their lunch or dinner, breakfast on proper time.
Spending 5 hours or more than 5 hours in a day on the social
media also leads to unhealthy snacking and hence obesity.
According to 61% youth over-utilization of social media
decreases the interaction of users with their family members,
relatives, friends, etc. It is observed that, in a family where all
members are staying together, users of social media do not
spend time to interact with their family members, as they
become self-centered or individually engaged in their own
virtual world through social media. Over utilization of social
media, also disturbs the users’ academic career and it creates
hate towards educational activities and study, was opined by
81% youths.
To understand the negative effects of over-utilization of
social media on physical and mental health of the young
users is also one of the major objectives of the present study.
The following table indicates the negative effects of over
utilization of social media on the physical health and mental
health of the users:
Table 5.1. Negative effects of over utilization of social
media on the physical health of the users
Effects
Frequen
cy
Percenta
ge
Problem of high blood pressure
32
25%
Constant headache /Back pain/Eye
strain/Hand corns
68
54%
Problem related to digestion/stomach
26
21%
Total
126
100%
As per the information provided by the selected youth it is
observed that, majority of them facing the problem like
constant headache, back pain, eye strain and hand corns. 25%
youth are facing the problem of high blood pressure, due to
2D and 3D monitors of the social media applications.
Majority of young people are using these applications for a
longer duration thus by watching longer time same monitor
screen could cause high blood pressure and tension which
could be dangerous for physical health of the users and 21%
youth are facing the problem relating to digestion or stomach,
because of lack of body movement and due to lack to
adequate sleep.
There are also some negative effects on the mental health of
the youth which are indicated in the following table.
Table 5.2. Negative effects of over utilization of social media
on the mental health of the users
Effects
Frequen
cy
Percenta
ge
Mental tiredness
59
47%
Strain on Mind
37
29%
Anxiety
26
21%
Panic-stricken
04
3%
Total
126
100%
It has been found that 47% youth are effected mentally due to
over utilization of social media. 29% youth are facing
problems like strain on mind which kills their inner self
University College of Takestan
confidence for lifetime, which as a result decreases their real
life social community participation and hampers their
academic achievements. Such people start living in a
delusional world and start to hate education or studies.
Anxiety, mind strain etc. are considered to be the symptoms
of ill mental health. As per the primary information collected
by the selected youths 21% of them are facing the problem of
anxiety. Reason for anxiety is insistence of social media
users for fast and immediate work results through social
media, which is the effect of gaming and use of social media.
Today’s young generation wants immediate results in every
work and when they are not able to obtain expected results,
they become nervous and anxious.
7. Observations and Conclusion
i.Through the study it is observed that over utilization of
social media is growing among the youth, between the ages
of 16 years to 25 years. The youth belonging to the age
group of 16 years to 20 years constitute high percentage
(55%) in the selected sample of youth.
ii.Majority of the selected youth are using social media for the
purpose of site surfing, chatting, entertainment etc.
iii.Majority of the selected youth are spending varying amount
of time from less than one hour to more than 5 hours every
day on social media. Numerous youth are spending so much
time (1/3 duration of a day) on social media, that it
interferes with their daily routine activities.
iv.Several youth have expressed their positive opinions
regarding utilization of social media. They are in the
opinion that, they cannot imagine their life without social
media, even though they are facing several bad or negative
effects of over utilization of social media.
v.Over-utilization of social media has disastrous effects on the
users’ mental and physical health like mental fatigue, strain,
anxiety and panic-stricken etc. During the survey it is
observed that, in many youth anxiety levels are very high
and they are anxious about their gadgets. They become
panic-stricken when they are not utilizing social media.
vi.It is concluded that, over-utilization of social media reduces
the productive capacity of users due to continuous surfing
and creates physical as well as mental problems.
vii.Now-a-days growth in entertainment modes, ubiquitous data
and computational process can be found in several domains
and context, including social media
viii.Over utilization of social media, makes youth sluggish and
unenthusiastic to have interactions with people in real life.
8. Suggestions
i.It is suggested to the parents that, they should check
regularly their teenage children’s activities on social media
and do not let them use social networking websites
unnecessarily.
ii.If parents of teenaged social media users properly observe
their children’s activities on internet, it will be very helpful
for child’s learning purpose and educational performance.
iii.Internet service providers and other concerned competitive
authorities should look into the matter of negative effects of
social media on young generation, so as to provide a better
environment to the young users.
iv.Awareness programmes related to social media usage
should be arranged at school level.
v.There should be arrangement of training programmes by
schools focusing on negative impacts of internet addiction
and encouraging students to not fall prey to the harmful
impacts of social media.
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394&context=theses
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... Using social networking sites over a normal limit has shown various negative effects on one's health. Research showed that excessive use of social media for < 3 hours among people aged 16-25 were having symptoms related to hypertension, body pain, headache, and digestive problems [3] . World health organizations (WHO) classify adolescents are those who are in the age of 10-19 years [4] . ...
... According to our survey findings 54.3% indicated there is no change in their lifestyle, however 38.3% indicated social media has influenced their lives significantly. This is an underwhelming number as majority of the studies conducted previously have indicated more than 50% of the youth thinks social media has changed their lives significantly [[15]- [16]]. ...
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The influence of social media on Indian teenagers Retrieved from https
  • A Bhargava
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Bhargava, A, Rani, M. (2015). The influence of social media on Indian teenagers. International Journal of Science, Technology & Management, 4, 246-256. Retrieved from https://www.ijstm.com/images/short_pdf/1430388 217_524.pdf
A study on the influence of social networking sites on the interpersonal relationships of college students in Chennai and Coimbatore cities of India
  • M P Gurusamy
Gurusamy, M. P. (2014). A study on the influence of social networking sites on the interpersonal relationships of college students in Chennai and Coimbatore cities of India. International Journal of World Research, XI, 48-56. Retrieved from
Social media: key issues and new challenges-a study of nalgonda district
  • S K Kasturi
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Kasturi, S. K., & Vardhan, P. B. (2014). Social media: key issues and new challenges-a study of nalgonda district. Global Media Journal-Indian Edition, 5, 1-12. Retrieved from http://www.caluniv.ac.in/global-mdiajournal/COMMENTARY-JUNE-2014/C_1.pdf
The influence of social media on Indian teenagers
  • A Bhargava
Bhargava, A, Rani, M. (2015). The influence of social media on Indian teenagers. International Journal of Science, Technology & Management, 4, 246-256. Retrieved from https://www.ijstm.com/images/short_pdf/1430388