Coherent Research Strategies on Impact of Social Media on Children
IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON CHILDREN
The present project is aimed at applying the knowledge learnt and exhibiting the capacity of developing and designing the coherent research strategies for answering the research questions. The research proposal has been developed on the topic “Impact of Social Media on Children”. It is being seen these days the children are holding the mobile phone, tablets, laptops and other advanced gadgets most to the time and they are busy in chatting on various social media platforms. While some scholars see it as a change, some are of the view that it is damaging the customs and children are being alienated from the natural world (Charles, 2017). The systematic research is carried out on the topic in order to find the reality. The objective approach is taken to find real effects on the children by the medium of observations, direct contact and discussion with the children and some of the aged members of the society too.
2. General information about the topic
In present times, the social media has acquired the central place in human life. It is very difficult to find a person who is not connected with any social media. The various platform of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. claim to bring the like-minded people closer and for openly expression of their ideas. While there are various advantages are cited for the social media, there may be some shortcomings too. There are also raised the voices that the children should be allowed to access to social media and up to what extent. Whether the children should be granted permission from their parents or elders of the family for getting access to social media or not? It is not out of place to mention here that the parents or elders of the family or relations gift the children the smartphones, computers or tablets etc. which already equipped with the functions or applications of social media platforms. The question arises, as to whether it should be treated as permission for using social media by the children. The present research proposal focuses on both the negative as well as positive aspects of the social media on children.
3. Literature review
The social media is widely used by the children for getting connected with their friends, family members and relatives. It has been seen that till attaining the age of children, there happens the transfers and postings of the parents and the family has to get settled at different locations (Royant-Parola, et.al, 2017). It causes the changes in schools and friend settings too. It is a human tendency to remember past events and friends associated with it. In these conditions, the children are attracted towards social media for getting connected with their old friends as well as family members who stay away from them. Social media is also used as the source of entertainment by some children. When it comes to permissions from the elders or parents for the children to use social media, conflicting and contradictory statements are received from various corners. Some studies conducted in past have cited many reasons and instances in favor of permission to the children and said that children should not be prohibited from using social media (Stern, and Burke Odland, 2017). At the same time, some scholars are of the view that the children should not be allowed or permitted to use social media (Fuchs, 2017). A third vies is also cited by some scholars that the parents or elders should involve themselves in guiding the children for use of social media (Charoensukmongkol, 2018). The main crux of benefits or demerits of using social media depends on the purpose for which the social media is being used by the children. Some of the children are involved in attracting the attention by posting their pictures, some are using for entertainment and so on. The advantages and disadvantages, both are associated with the use of social media by children. When talked about the advantages, the scholars say that the children may explore their potential and attitude by use of social media, because they get opportunity to voice their opinions and expressions on social media (Stevens, et.al., 2017). The children also find the medium of expanding their friend circles and networks through social media. The social media give the experience of internet based life to the children. They have been seen to be compassionate, kind hearted and relationship-oriented.
When thought or talked about the disadvantages, the various scholars have pointed out about the changing habits of the children. Many of the children are seen busy in continuous browsing of various social media sites and they get addicted to it. This leaves all time impacts on mind. It also leads to bunking from educational institutions also. It has also been voiced by previous studies that the continuous attachment with the social media reduces the time for physical activities, exercises, involvement in games and sports (James, et.al., 2017). This also affects the school works and studies adversely. The score or grading the studies goes down. The health of the children is also badly affected due to extensive use of the social media. In some circumstance, the negative comments posted by some of the members/friends also affect the children negatively (Dennen, et.al., 2018). The doctors and eye care professional have cited that the long exposure of eye towards the computer screen or towards smart phone has the potential of affecting the eyes badly.
4. Research objectives
The research without objectives is like the tree without roots and for this reason, the objectives of the present studies are decided and defined. The objectives are linked to the hypothesis. It is used as statement of purpose of study. These objectives serve the guide for the research activities. The research objectives have the potential of driving the methodologies. The sufficient time has been invested in developing the research objectives.
The following aims have been decided for the present research:
- To study and analyze the advantages as well as disadvantages of having attachment of children with social media
- To study reasons due to which the children get addicted to social media
- To understand the social media’s effect children in terms of health and emotions.
- To find the solutions, if any, to deviate the children already addicted to social media
- To explore the extent of consent of parents and elders to use of social media by children
- To explore the possibilities of supervision and associated use of social media by children
In the present context, the following Research questions have been decided:
- Why the children are attracted towards social media?
- What are the benefits for children to get associated with social media?
- What are the impacts of association of children with social media?
- What are the advantages as well as disadvantages of social media attachment by the children?
- Is there possibility of metered or supervisional activity by children on social media?
5. Research design (methodology) and concepts to be used and/or the underlying theoretical perspective:
Research methodology may be defined as the specific techniques or procedures that are used for identifying, selecting, processing and analyzing the information in regard to research problem. All kinds of researches can be classified in two categories i.e. qualitative research and the quantitative research. Whereas the quantitative research deals in numbers and figures, the qualitative research is based on images or languages. It is based on interpretive perspectives. The present research is qualitative in nature and it is related to basic aspects of social life of children. The numbers are not important in the present research. Because the answers to the research questions can be found in better ways from the qualitative methods like interviews of focus groups i.e. children, parents and guardians, doctors and health consultants etc.
6. Proposed method(s) of data collection:
For the present research all the data collection will be done by the researcher and hence the primary data will be used for the research. A detailed questionnaire consisting of relevant questions will be prepared. The questions will be closed ended however the respondents will be free to add their comments additionally. The number of questions will be 15. The focus group as stated above will be the children, parents-guardians, doctors and health consultants. The study will be conducted on 60 children, 20 parents-guardians and 20 doctors-health professionals. The focus group or target respondents will be contacted personally by the researcher and the respondents will be presented with the questionnaire. The responses from the respondents will be recorded on the same questionnaire sheet and the responses will be collected by the researcher for further study and analysis. It is also made clear that the when some particular respondent is not available for direct or face to face consultation by the researcher, he may be consulted telephonically and the data will be collected by the researcher based on the telephonic conversation.
7. Proposed method(s) of data analysis/interpretation:
As stated above, the research is qualitative nature and hence the qualitative analysis will be conducted on the data collected. It is made clear that the data obtained through the telephonic conversation will be treated as par with the data or information directly given by the respondent. The data collected from various respondents will be analyzed in order to find the solution of the research questions or objectives.
8. Ethical implications/considerations of your particular proposal including, where appropriate:
- Obtaining informed consent
- Ensuring anonymity of research participants
- Ensuring confidentiality for research participants
- Avoiding harm to participants
- Any issues specific to the topic.
As a researcher all the prime duties towards the participants or respondents, colleagues, etc, will be duly taken care of. In the research questionnaire, there will be optional of disclosing the age and other personal particulars of the respondents, but the same will not be necessary. All ethical standards will be observed for obtaining the objective and real time data and making the research free from all sorts of biases. First of all, the participants will be informed that they would be part of the research as respondents and their responses are vital for result of the research. Hence, they will be requested for the giving their honest opinions regarding the research questions. The responses of the respondents will be collected only when they give their consent for being part of the research. In case, the respondent expresses his unwillingness for his/her participation in the research, the responses from the said respondents will not be collected and they will not form the part of the research. The questions framed for the questionnaire will be of such nature that it don’t traumatise or make the respondent uncomfortable in any manner. It will be kept in mind that the human beings generally hesitate to share their bad experiences especially on the fear of getting exposed. It is thus made clear that personal information of the respondents will be always kept secret and the anonymity will be maintained at all the levels of the research. It is once more clarified that no harm would be caused to anyone for being participant or respondent to this research and his/her freely consent would be obtained without use of any sorts of coercion or unfair pressure. The respondents will be well-informed regarding the research and the consequences of their participation. It will be also made clear to the respondents that being a third party and independent researcher, there would be no effect on their present status, etc. Further, as clarified above, the identity of respondents would be protected at all stages and the identity of the person, from whom the information was collected, shall always be kept confidential. The identity would never be left unattended anywhere such as even in computer files or additional drives etc. Finally, all the possible measures would be adopted for protecting the data obtained and making the research fully objective and acceptable to all.
10. Copies of proposed questionnaires, research project information sheet or other material appended to the proposal:
The proposed questionnaire will consists of following questions:
- When did you start using social media?
- How much time do you spend on social media on an average daily basis?
- How you were attracted towards social media?
- How many social media platforms, you use on daily basis?
- What type of electronic gadgets do you use for social media connections?
- Did you find increase in your social connections in use of social media?
- Do the social media connections have impacts on your studies or daily routines?
- Is there any change of time schedule on physical activities such as games and sports, daily exercises etc. due to involvement in social media?
- Do you feel that your health is affected in any manner due to social media involvement?
- Have you ever faced bullying on social media platforms?
- Do your feel your friends and connections supporting on social media?
- Do you receive accolades of your posts on social media?
- Do you use social media for entertainment?
- Do you feel that social media connections should be allowed to children?
- Are you in favor of supervisional use of social media by children?