Main Article Content
Social Networking Sites, Social Media, Trust, Choice, Information Filtering, Information Overload
The use of social networking by college students has become increasingly relevant to their academic lives. Smartphones have added great potential by enabling an increase in the use of social networking and in the number of hours spent on such sites. Being online for a long time and being able to access different information from different sources at the same time could cause information overload. Students could face problems in filtering the information they receive and they might find it difficult to decide which sources they can trust and, therefore, which to select.
The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of social networking on college students. To achieve this aim, the research employs various methodologies which include descriptive/interpretive studies of the literature and previous studies carried out by academics and industrial institutions. It also utilizes surveys taken among university students. A questionnaire was distributed among 179 students at different universities and higher education institutes in the Sultanate of Oman in order to explore the influence on college students of social networking using their smartphones.
There are three main findings: 1) college students spend a long time on social networking sites, 2) college students are facing problems in trusting, filtering, and selecting all the different information accessed from social networking sites, and 3) social networks affect students in both positive and negative ways.