Document Type : Original Article



BACKGROUND: Social media has become a most inseparable part of young adults’ lives with the 
rapid development of information and communication technology. The study aimed to assess the 
use of social media and its association with academic performance, well‑being, and interpersonal 
relation of the health sciences undergraduates.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A descriptive cross‑sectional study was conducted among 
undergraduates in Faculty of Allied Health Sciences (n = 220), University of Sri Jayewardenepura, 
Sri Lanka. Data were collected using a pretested, self‑administered questionnaire and analyzed 
using descriptive and inferential statistics.
RESULTS: The response rate was 79.5%. All undergraduates (n = 175) had social media accounts, 
and WhatsApp was the most frequently used social media site (96.0%), followed by Facebook (70.9%), 
mainly for communicating (85.1%), entertainment (83.4%), and online learning (65.7%). Most 
undergraduates (72.0%) spent 2–5 h daily on social media sites and followed social media 1–10 times 
per day (54.9%). The majority of them wished to use social media for academic purposes (94.9%), and 
the most preferred site for academic work was WhatsApp (65.1%). Most undergraduates’ self‑reported 
Grade  Point Average  (GPA)  (46.3%) was  <2.9. There was a statistically significant association
between the mean GPA and frequencies of using social media (P = 0.02) (not daily [3.3 ± 0.3], 
1–10 times a day [2.9 ± 0.4], and more than 10 times a day [3 ± 0.4]). Perceived social media addiction 
and duration of sleep (P = 0.02), activities of daily living (P = 0.004), and study time (P = 0.02) were 
found to be significantly associated.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the undergraduates’ willingness to use social media for academic purposes, 
the frequency of using social media had a significant influence on their academic performance. This
highlights the importance of guidance on effective use of social media and social media addiction 
to improve undergraduates’ academic performance, well‑being, and interpersonal relationships.


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