Smartphones with Social Networking applications – an academic distraction to Year 1 students in Raffles Institution?

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Smartphones with Social Networking applications – an academic distraction to Year 1 students in Raffles Institution?
Over the years, social networking among students has become more popular. It is a way to make connections with friends and helps many people feel as though they belong to a community.
Smartphones are sophisticated mobile phones that can access the internet and application softwares. According to Jha and Corey (2010) common use of smartphones is to allow social networking (p. 9). The most common social networking websites are Facebook and Twitter.

Social networking is a system that thrives on constant checking and updating. With the portable smartphone, people can easily check for updates and stay ‘connected’ with their friends anytime and anywhere. This can help youths interact with one another, but along with it comes the obsession in this technology. We often see students using such applications between lessons on their smartphones. The effect is even more significant for students because youths often get much more addicted than adults.

Research done by Stolak, Vandenberg, Burkland and Weiss proves that this will definitely affect their studies. Instead of studying, the student might be driven to check for updates frequently or to play addictive games with their friends on Facebook, thus wasting a lot of time.

  1. Framing our research topic

    • Some problems related to the usage of Smartphones are that Smartphones have access to social networking applications. These applications can be highly addictive and may disrupt a student’s studies.

    • This problem can be solved if the parent restricts the student’s Smartphone usage, especially on social networking applications. There already are a few applications that can restrict user’s social networking website usage, but with each solution, there is a loophole. The problem can also be solved if the student exercises self-discipline and does not get addicted to such applications.

    • Such an application is much more effective than relying on one’s self-control. Confiscating the students Smartphone is not a good idea too because in severe cases, the student can become hostile or depressed if completely deprived of his Smartphone social networking applications and possibly even a mode of communication as the parents would unlikely buy him a regular cell phone. Besides, the student can simply find a way to get his Smartphone back when his parents are unaware. A reasonable restrictive application where the student is satisfied yet not addicted to the applications is much more effective and generates more benefits.

  1. Reasons for choice of topic

    • I chose this topic because this phenomenon is very common among youths. It is a prevalent and relevant topic to today’s youths and the results that we may find can be very important and significant to our target audience. Many students in my class even use their Smartphones to check gaming applications on Facebook during lessons. I feel that there really is a need for this project and it will benefit the society.

    • It helps me to fufil the requirements as I can apply my knowledge of the topic from online readings and print. I can definitely apply my findings to benefit the Year 1 RI students. I can also conduct an evaluation of the topic.

    • If a solution can be developed students will be able to focus on their studies better and achieve more acadamically. This project can also inform the society about the negative effects that the addictive Smartphone (students may also be addicted to other Smartphone applications but the addiction to social networking applications is more common as social networking sites have both games and networking functions.) has on students.

  1. Feasibility of our project

  • There is a need to carry out the project as a good solution to solve the problem I have raised has not been reached.

  • It is possible to carry out this project as there are many ready sources of reliable information I can find in the library, online and also from surveys that I carry out using my batch mates.

  • This course of action is logical and realistic as it can be done over a span of several weeks if we stay on task. It is possible to carry out and complete the project as we’re not really going to develop the application; we’re just making suggestions for an effective restrictive application and spreading awareness about how to stop addiction to social networking sites. The topic is also interesting, thus ensuring that our group will be driven to work on this project.

  • Creating the application is an area open to much innovation and creativity and in the process, many ideas can be generated. We can then analyze these ideas by evaluating the effectiveness of the application.

  1. Manageability of our project

  • These are the few phases that we can take for this project:

1. Information Gathering

  1. Brainstorming for possible solutions

  2. Applying our findings.

The above mentioned tasks shall be equally divided among my group members and we can effectively co-ordinate with the use of wikispaces.

  • Methodology: There are research papers that prove or show that students’ grades are negatively affected by social networking on smartphones. To dwelve deeper to find the truth, we can find out if people are addicted to social networking via their Smartphones instead of social networking through the computer by conducting surveys on different RI Year 1 classes. Generally, if one spends a significantly large amount of time on smartphone social networking, they may be addicted.

  • There are many opportunities for group work. (Eg. We can brainstorm for solutions together and also for ideas for the application. We can communicate with each other and work together to gather more information. We can also tap on each other strengths. For example, someone who knows how to create an online survey can do so, and someone who has high linguistic capabilities can write the proposal.)

  • I anticipate that there may be time constraints and also ineffective communication and co-ordination among my group members. Of course, this can be solved by us being more on task and also using wikispaces to organise our work.

5. Accessibility of the information we require

  • We will require knowledge in areas like smartphone application building, social networking addiction and smartphones.

  • Some of the information will be obtained from primary sources, like research papers. Some of the information will be obtained form secondary sources, like guidebooks. However, we will try to get the most reliable sources possible.

  • Newspaper articles, online newspaper articles, online journal articles, online magazine articles, books, surveys, interviews, etc.

  • Some of the information may not be that reliable but may still be relevant, eg. a blog post from a social network addict. Nonetheless, we will still try to find the most reliable and up to date information using the information literacy skills our mentors have taught us.

Done by: Ang Kai Hui, Rafe (1)


College Degrees. (2011, January 28). Negative Effects of Smartphones in The

Classroom. Retrieved from
Jha, P., & Corey, M. (2010, October 6). Too Smart?. Upper Arlington High school,

74(2), Retrieved from
Stolak, M.J., Vandenberg, A., Burkland, A., & Weiss, S. (2011). Getting Social: The

Impact of Social Networking Usage On Grades Among College Students. ASBBS Annual Conference: Las Vegas, 18(1), Retrieved from

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