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UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE ON SOCIAL SKILLS

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UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA

THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE ON SOCIAL SKILLS: A CASE STUDY ON UiTM STUDENTS

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CHE NORERDAWANI HAFIFA BT CHE AWANG

Bachelor of Mass Communication (Hons.)
Journalism

DECEMBER 2018

INTRODUCTION
Social media has become part and parcel of our daily life. There are lots of boons and banes when it comes to social media usage. As for sure, social media is a time pass platform for most people nowadays, nevertheless the age and education background.
Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram dominate the social media landscapes among students in Malaysian public and private universities based on a recent survey carried out by Monash University Malaysia and University of Malaya (UM) (New Straits Times, 2017).
The content on social media is very engaging, thus people tend to forget about time and their sense of purpose. Social media networking websites and apps create captivating content to make people feel happy, connected, and excited. But, without strong self-restraint, many people would fall down the social media hole, mostly due to FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome.
Teenagers nowadays is lacking in face to face communication as they have become so obsessed with interacting virtually. This phenomenon condenses conversations and relationships to the form of an app. The problem with these apps is that social skills, such as conversation skills, body language, and many others, might deteriorate (Brown, 2015). Even though some might say that social media improves socialization, but is it still counts as socializing if people’s face is stuck to screens all day long?
Thus, this study is conducted to clearly identify and evaluate the effects of social media usage towards UiTM students’ social skills.

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the last two decades, advances in information technologies have substantially altered the way humans interact between email, texting, social networking, instant messaging, and Skype. People now have the resources that would make them possible to spend days or months without coming into face-to-face with another person, yet still stay connected with the world (Sampathirao, 2016). Currently, few researches are being conducted to study the implications of social media to its users. We cannot just keep on utilizing this platform without understanding and evaluating its effect towards the society.
According to Dursun & Cahadar (2015), people enter into oriented actions to meet socializing needs in the environment. Thus, social media come into play, acting as the platform that provides socializing opportunities for individuals in a virtual environment. These networks can be considered as the key component for its high user preferences. People nowadays are too busy living the high paper chase life, so they have very limited time to actually meet and communicate face to face. Social media counter this issue by providing easily accessible social networks that connect people all over the globe.
Social intelligence is in two dimensions; cognitive (understanding people) and behavioural. Later in studies, it is emphasized that social intelligence has a multi-dimensional structure (Dogan & Cetin, 2009). On the other hand, Uzamaz (2000) describes social intelligence as a pioneer of social skill concept which includes communication, understanding and expressing feelings, coping with aggression or stress, as well as cognitive problem solving. All of these elements are the key components that would build up excellent social skills. Thus, it is necessary to identify how social media would impact our youngsters’ social intelligence.

PROBLEM STATEMENT
People nowadays rely too much on social media; they utilize it for sharing memories, reconnecting with friends, planning events, and communicating almost instantaneously. This phenomenon is such a big leap for human interaction. Just like most things, social media comes with various debatable pros and cons.
According to Statista, global internet users are now spending at least 2.25 hours each day purely on social media alone. Not only are people spending way too much time on these platforms, but they are using Snapchat and texting as their sole mediums of communication (Halpern, 2018). Sooner or later, this would somehow affect the social skills of our generation. When virtual conversation becomes number one, people would turn away from face to face contact.
The dawn of the millennium saw a trend that transforms our young generation once and for all, which is the rise of social media. Social media raised much broader concerns regarding online social interaction (Valkenburg ; Piotrowski, 2017). Many researches and academicians are wondering and constantly figuring out the impacts of social media usage. Would social media cause loneliness, inept socialization, or could it be the platform that transforms our youngsters into much more brilliant, inspirational, innovative, and socially advanced generation?

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Firstly, the purpose of this study is to explain the relationship between social media usage and social skills among UiTM students. As we already know, social media is being used constantly by youngsters, especially students. Sometimes, they could become obsessed and addicted to these social networks; they cannot go a day without scrolling through it. This study focuses on the correlation between those two variables; social media usage and social skills.
Secondly, this study is also conducted to explore how social media is able to affect social skills among the UiTM students. There are diverse possibilities in ways people can be affected by social media, as everyone is built differently.
Thirdly, the purpose of this study is to explore the factors that affect students’ social skills. Those factors could be environmental, economic, psychotic, or even neurobiological. Social skills are composed of various components like understanding and reacting to feelings, making conversations, picking up emotional cues, and many more.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the factors that affect students’ social skills?
2. How social media is able to affect social skills?
3. What are the effects of social media towards UiTM students’ social skills?

RESEARCH CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1. To explore the factors that affect students’ social skills
2. To explore the effects of social media on social skills
3. To explain the relationship between social media usage and UiTM students’ social skills

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1. H0: There is no significance difference in factors that affect students’ social skills according to students’ gender

2. H0: There is no significance difference in factors that affect students’ social skills according to students’ economic background

3. H0: There is no significant difference in the effects of social media on social skills according to students’ gender

4. H0: There is no significant difference in the effects of social media on social skills according to students’ economic background

5. H0: There is no significant relationship between social media usage and students’ social skills

6. H1: There is significant difference in factors that affect students’ social skills according to students’ gender

7. H1: There is significant difference in factors that affect students’ social skills according to students’ economic background
8. H1: There is significant difference in the effects of social media on social skills according to students’ gender

9. H1: There is significant difference in the effects of social media on social skills according to students’ economic background

10. H1: There is significant relationship between social media usage and students’ social skills

VARIABLE CONCEPTUAL AND OPERATIONAL DEFINITION

Conceptual Definition
Independent variable: Social media usage
Merriam-Webster defines social media as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and micro blogging) through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content. Social Media is described as the collection of online communication channels dedicated to community based input, interaction, content sharing and collaboration. Some of the commonly known communication websites are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest (Bhamare, 2018). Cohen (2011) explained that social Media are the platforms that enable the interactive web by engaging users to participate in, comment on and create content as means of communicating with their social graph, other users and the public. Basically, social media promotes freedom of expression and user generated contents, where everyone is interconnected virtually.

Dependent variable: Social skills
Gresham and Elliott (1984) defined social skills as socially acceptable learned behaviours that enable a person to interact with others in ways that elicit positive responses and assist in avoiding negative responses. Social skills are also said to be culturally associated learned behaviors exhibited during interactions between a child and peers and adults as comprising social skills(Ladd, 2005). Simply put, social skills are those skills that enable individuals to function competently at social tasks (Cook et al., 2008).

Operational Definition
Independent Variable: Social media usage
Functionality and the usage of Social Media Network has spread into several aspects as described in framework proposed by Jan Kietzmann (Hermida, 2011). This framework states that there are seven building block of social media functionality, which is: identity, conversation, sharing, presence, relationship, reputation and groups. The initial concept for assessing social media usage includes two parts: a pool of items assessing frequency of usage of various technologies and media and a smaller pool of items assessing attitudes toward technology and toward task switching. (Rosen et al., 2013).

Dependent Variable: Social skills
Constantino, Przybeck, Friesen, and Todd (2000) defined social skills in part through five components: social awareness, social cognition, social communication, social motivation, and autistic mannerisms. Social awareness involves the ability to recognize social cues and represents the sensory aspects of reciprocal behaviour. Social cognition is the ability to interpret social cues once they are identified and represents the cognitive-interpretive aspect of reciprocal behaviour. Meanwhile, social communication includes behaviours such as expressive social communication and represents the motoric aspect of reciprocal behaviour. Social motivation incorporates factors such as social anxiety, inhibition, and empathic orientation that influence the individual’s motivation to respond in a socially responsive manner. Finally, autistic mannerisms include aspects of ASD such as stereotyped behaviours and highly restricted interests that, while idiosyncratic, need to be addressed in any intervention designed to improve social functioning (Matson, 2017).

SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be carried out among UiTM students, ranging from various faculties, ages, genders, and economic backgrounds. In completing this study, a survey will be disseminated around the UiTM campus to obtain data of social media usage and students’ social skills. The criteria for the respondents are set quite generally, so that a wide array of respondents can be obtained. Also, this scope of study is limited to only UiTM students, as it will be easier for me to approach the respondents.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research would identify the effects of social media towards its user. Since social media is growing at a fast pace, it is rather crucial to figure out its impact towards our society, especially the young generation.
It is also vital to determine and understand the factors that can affect students’ social skills because this finesse ability is necessary as we continue living our life, day in and day out. The world is made up of societies; it requires constant socialization as people would interact either voluntarily or involuntarily. Social skills are the foundation towards building a strong, united, and socially intelligent nation. After all, good social skills would improve our daily life, helping us understand the world that surrounds us and allowing us to naturally fit in with the community.

SUMMARY
Social media sites are growing in popularity instantly. It is a vital part of students’ life nowadays. As a unique age group; the middle phase between childhood and adulthood, university students is the forefront of social transformation. Thus, evaluating social media usage and social skills of university students is important for the sake of creating a better future. The society has transformed so much due to virtual interaction, and university students are right at the centre of this social revolution. They pioneered the uses of internet for file sharing and recreational purposes.

LITERATURE REVIEW

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