Research Proposal: Social Media Addiction lowers our Academic Performance

The birth of the internet brought us closer and made us smarter…

This paradox could be true, could be false. Up to you.

My intended research topic is the impact social media has on academic performance. Social media are online platforms that enable users to create, share content and participate in social networking. Social media has grown exponentially, becoming a significant part of our lives and our daily routine. 72% of the Australian population have actively adopted social media and statistics show an 10% increase of users each year.

Thanks to smartphones, connecting to people has never been faster and easier. However, our relationship with smartphones and social media can be negative, as we can become addicted.

A multitude of studies showed that technological addictions, including addictions on the Internet and social networking sites, had positive associations with stress, anxiety, and depression and negative association with academic performance, all of which negatively affects satisfaction with life (Samaha 2016). There are various forms of anxiety which includes excessive worrying, a sense of fear, restlessness, overly emotional responses and negative thinking (Vitasari P 2010).

The Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences research found a correlation between high levels of anxiety and low academic performance (Vitasari P 2010). A study from Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking investigates the relationship between people’s media multitasking and depression and anxiety (Becker 2013).  This multitasking behavior is the use of smart phones for texting, checking social networks, surfing the web, playing games and listening to music whilst in class or studying.

Ritesh Chugh, Senior Lecturer CQ University Australia presents the realities of social media addiction in Australia, states the expenses of addiction & obsessive behavior result in:

  • Poor social relationships
  • Isolation
  • Compulsivity
  • Stress
  • Victimization
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Exhibitionism
  • Preference for online interactions.

Ritesh introduces strategies for users to practice, so they can build a healthier and less toxic relationship with social media, through discipline and self-control (Chugh 2010). Understanding and managing our emotions are essential for our well-being and are key to academic success (MacCann 2020).

To strengthen my understanding of this topic and to develop a somewhat successful questionnaire, I will research symptoms of behavioral addiction. Understanding these signs, I will tailor my questions to point out the underlying behavioral patterns. From the brief research I have conducted, I put up two polls on twitter for the BCM212 students. My aim for these two questions was to discover the amount of time spent on social media for non-university related purposes and how much students check their phones.

I received the following results.

41% of the respondents spend 2-3 hours on social media a day.
62.5% of the respondents check their phone often when studying.

These results suggest our high dependence on social media and smartphone. No one had turned their phone off to avoid distractions when studying and 62.5 % check their phone, this could suggest obsessive behavior. From doing some research for this topic, I can see the relationships between our addiction to social media, anxiety and academic performance.

This research project will be beneficial not just for my own self-development but my peers as well. As we discover and become aware of bad habits we have built, we can educate ourselves and find healthier process that enable us to reach our full potential.

This topic resonates with me, because I have found myself over the years becoming more addicted to social media and it affecting my mental health. Being aware of this, I notice its potential to impact my academic performance. This topic is accessible and relevant in today and for our future selves. Mental Health as a topic can be quite sensitive, I will take into account of this and be as ethical as possible.


Becker M, Alzahabi R, & Hopwood C 2013, ‘Media Multitasking is Associated with Symptoms of Depression and Social Anxiety’, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, vol 16, no.2, pp. 132-165.

Chugh R 2016, ‘Addicted to social media? Try an e-fasting plan’, The Conversation, 4 April, viewed 25 March 2020, <>.

Hawi N, Samaha M 2016, ‘The relations among social media addiction, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in university students’ Social Science Computer Review, vol 35, no.5, pp. 576-586.

MacCann C, Minbashian A, Double K 2020, ‘Understanding Emotions is nearly as important as IQ for students academic success’, The Conversation, 3 March, viewed 3 March 2020, <>.

Vitasari P, Abdul Wahab M N, Othman Am Herawan T, Sinnadurai S S 2010, ‘The Relationsip between study Anxiety and Academic Performance among Engineering Students’, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 8, pp. 490-497.

Author: yanks

half optimist half pessimist half realist

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