عنوان مقاله [English]
Reading in the Networking Society of the 21st Century is no longer limited to reading printed sources. The scope of reading has been expanded to the internet sources that have changed the audience’s culture and reading habits. In this regard, this study aimed at investigating the effects of using social networks on reading habits of the students of the junior high schools in Ahvaz. In terms of purpose and type, this research is an applied causal-comparative (retrospective) one. The statistical population of this study consisted of 7113 students of both boys’ and girls’ junior high schools in Ahvaz. Using Cochran formula, the sample size was determined and from 364 questionnaires sent to all the students of the sample, 260 questionnaires were completed and sent back. Our data collection tool was a researcher-made questionnaire and the collected data were analyzed through SPSS. According to the findings, 54.2% of the high school students responding the questionnaires were not dependent on social networks. The results of the data analysis showed that, in terms of the habit of reading textbooks, there was a significant difference between the two groups of students, those dependent on the social networks and the independent ones, in favor of the latter. The results also showed that students were less willing to read such contents as e-books, e-journals, and novels and stories uploaded to the social networks. In contrast, they were more willing to watch the uploaded films while most students preferred listening to the music and chatting with their friends through different social networks.
It can be concluded from this study that dependence on social networks is not useful for junior high school students whose main occupation is studying and reading; on the contrary, it may cause more challenges in their reading. Additionally, as the social networks are dramatically expanding and affecting different aspects of human life, it is suggested that these networks be properly programmed so that the students who are using these technological tools can use them not only for communicating with their friends but also for accumulating vital information which is useful for both the students and the society. The value of the present study is the attempt made to compare and contrast the reading habits of the two groups of the students in terms of their dependence and independence on social networks. The results showed that the study status of those students who were not present in social networks was better than those who were. Also, the students who are present in these networks are mostly engaged in unscientific activities which negatively affect their academic performance; therefore, it is recommended that some necessary measures be taken to minimize this damage.