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Original Papers

The association between the use of selected forms of social media and the emotional intelligence of undergraduates of a state university in Sri Lanka

Authors:

D. Keara,

University of Colombo, LK
About D.
Department of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
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P. de Zoysa

University of Colombo, LK
About P.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Background

Social media (SM) permit self-presentation and social interactions. Emotional intelligence (EI) is known to be associated with satisfaction with life and personal and professional performance. Youth are involved with SM which may have an impact on their EI.

 

Aims

This study aimed to assess the association between the use of selected forms of SM, namely Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and the EI of undergraduates in a state university in Sri Lanka. The study also evaluated selected correlates associated with the amount of time spent on SM and EI.

 

Methods

An online cross-sectional study was conducted among 110 undergraduates of a state university in Sri Lanka. A pre-piloted social networking questionnaire, specially designed for this study, and the pre-piloted Wong and Law EI Scale were used to gather data.

 

Results

Participants reported a mean of 3.3 hours on WhatsApp, 2.2 hours on Facebook, and 1.1 hours on Instagram, per day, during weekdays. The distribution of the means of each item of EI ranged from 4.83 to 5.21. There was a significant negative association between the time spent on WhatsApp and EI. The age and gender of the participants did not indicate any significant influence on the time spent on SM. The age and year of study of the participants were significantly associated with EI. However, gender did not have a significant association with EI.

 

Conclusions

This online survey found a negative impact on EI with one form of SM, namely, WhatsApp, however, more studies in this area are needed among university students in Sri Lanka to determine the exact impact of SM on EI and related factors.
How to Cite: Keara, D. and de Zoysa, P., 2022. The association between the use of selected forms of social media and the emotional intelligence of undergraduates of a state university in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 13(2), pp.13–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v13i2.8396
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Published on 31 Dec 2022.
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