Global Impact of Social Media in United Arabs Emirates


This research paper examines the impact of social media on teenagers in the UAE. Through primary survey research, it was established that social media has positive and negative impacts on teenagers. The research was based on a sample of 30 respondents through a mixture of direct interviews and questionnaires.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Statement of the problem

Social media has played a central part in the liberalization of communication across the global village. As the world steadily embraces the use of social media, teenagers are not left behind. These teenagers communicate and use social media to interact with peers. Thus, this study attempts to openly analyze the effects of social media on the teenagers of the United Arab Emirates through a survey targeting 30 teenage participants who are frequent users of social media.

Definition of terms

Social media: A communication tool that is accessible by computers, mobile phones, and tablets via the online platform.

Interaction: Exchange of information between two parties in the encoding and decoding of different symbols and elements of communication.


Null hypothesis: Social media has an impact on teenagers in the UAE

Alternative hypothesis: Social media has an impact on teenagers in the UAE.

Scope and limitations

The scope of the research is to establish the relationship between social media usage and teenagers in the UAE. The research limitation is that the sample of 30 participants cannot give the true picture of the percentage of teenagers using social media. This means that a large sample would have given better results.


The findings of the research have unlimited uses by parties interested in reaching teenagers through social media. This means that the outcome of the study will be significant to these parties in improving or maintaining high standards of reaching this population by integrating the recommendations to the current communication strategies used by the youthful Saudis.

Chapter 2: a Literature review

Academic views on the topic

Scholars in the field of communication media are still fully glued to the well-distributed channel of communication known as social media to predict and explain the underlying factors that enabled certain cultural influences to be more popular than others and how these cultural influences were integrated into the society as part of society alongside the preset norms and regulations.

The current position of social media among the UAE youths

Due to the entry of technological advancement in the world today, social media has been the most common means of social media communication among youths. In fact, more than 59% of United Arab Emirates families’ youths have access to social media and are literate in its use, whether positive or negative (Norman, 2008).

It’s been statistically established that youths spend more time in the social media watching news, commercial advertisements, blogging, and getting entertained than any activity, averagely taking a quarter of youth’s daily time. Social media communication has become affordable and very efficient in youth group interaction.

Positive effects of social media on youths

The positive effects are vital for the youth’s growth and development as the youth is basically at the developmental process in life (Kuh, 2009).

Exposure is the main positive effect since the youth is in a position to express him or herself with confidence and freely speak his or her mind without the fear of drawing controversy or jeopardizing the family relationship. Through social media, youths get exposed to the current issues that happen regionally and the world at large without having to engage in continuous face-to-face communication with people around them.

Negative effects of social media on youths

Despite the technological breakthrough in internet media communication, face-to-face communication remains the most reliable means of expressing cultural attachment and affirming family and friends bond. Family being a unit and an institution, face-to-face communication remains the most trusted and sufficient means of expressing views, strengthening the union, and creating mutual understanding among members of this unit.

People’s understanding of the dynamics of society is represented in detail by the trusted family and society face-to-face interaction. During these interactive discussions, an open free atmosphere enables people to express their independent opinion on issues touching social realities.

In relating to the above argument, it is in order to state that excessive preference of social media to interact will negatively and substantively put stress on existing society bonds (Kuh, 2009). Same as face-to-face communication, internet media can reverse a group’s view of life either positively or negatively.

If the content directed to an audience is demystifying, the final effect over a period of time is the same. However, this results in strains in the relationship among family members as time and attention allocated for family interaction is limited (Norman, 2008).

Opinion about the topic

In my opinion, the use of social media has more advantages than disadvantages since it is global, cheap, and very dynamic. This means that social media has created a fast, effective, and proactive global communication platform for all teenagers from different walks of life just by a click of a button.

Agreement/disagreement with the literature review

I agree with the merits and demerits highlighted in the literature review. Social media has created an ideal, global, and affordable communication platform for youths across the globe, and the trend is overtaking other traditional forms of communication in the UAE. However, social media has come with its challenges, such as addiction, acquisition of bad habits such as pornography, explicit language, and other unethical acts.

Chapter 3: Methodology

Type of research

The research will be conducted through a primary survey consisting of 30 teenagers. Since the proposed research study is focused, dynamic, and subjective, the researcher opted for qualitative analysis since it is flexible to accommodate different tools of data analysis.

However, the method is not accurate in managing the margin of error. Besides, it does not allow for asking open-ended questions that might capture the opinion of the respondent (Blaxter, Hughes, & Malcolm, 2005).

Research question

The research question is;

a) What is the impact of social media usage among teenagers in the UAE?

In order to answer this question, the semi-structured interview will be significant in identifying the frequency of social media usage among the targeted respondents (Blaxter, Hughes, & Malcolm, 2005).


The respondents will consist of 30 teenagers from the city of Dubai. The respondents will be randomly selected and will respect the gender balance (Blaxter, Hughes, & Malcolm, 2005).


The questionnaire for the study is summarized below.

Teenagers turn to social media out of boredom.

  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Teenagers express their feelings through social media.

  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Teenagers spend too much time on social media.

  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Teenagers can live without the existence of social media

  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Social media has effects on teenagers

  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Social media is important to teenagers

  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

The social network has negative effects on its users

  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

Timeline of the study The timeline for the study is summarized in the chart below.

Chapter 4: The study

Research question and hypothesis

The research question is; what is the impact of social media usage among teenagers in the UAE? The research hypothesis to prove is that social media has an impact on teenagers in the UAE.

Main ideas of study

The primary aim of the research is to establish the impact of social media on teenagers in the UAE in terms of how social media influence their behavior. The survey comprised of 7 questions on the youths’ perception of social media in their daily life. The 5 minutes long survey targeted both male and female participants.

Since all the answers were ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree,’ the research will be in a position to generate uniform responses for all the questions. The researcher will proceed to organize for interviews and drop questionnaires once the respondents give consent. The interview and questionnaires will have a space for recording general responses that are not included in the guided research questions (Blaxter, Hughes, & Malcolm, 2005).


The response rate was 100%. All the respondents filled their questionnaire survey forms on time. This is summarized in the tables below.


Generally, social media among youths provides a fertile ground for argumentative discussions on political, social, and religious aspects as the parties involved share unique ideas. In fact, their thoughts are well articulated to create desirable views independent from the societal conformity parameter.

However, the interpretation of messages discussed is not inclusive of the interface between the audience, the message, and the existing culture. This is due to the fact that the decoder may not have substantive information to make out since they fall in the same age group and may lack knowledge on the topic (Preiss, 2007).

With the audience consisting of mostly people of the same age group, there is a connector between the audience and the message. However, this connection lacks the aspect of cultural behavior practiced by this audience who don’t have time to acquire the same from the family or society.

Unless the message is integrated to factor in differences existing among the audience, the message is prone to misinterpretation or at the worst rejection by the society who will feel sidelined.

Social media has influenced how communication is passed among teenagers through the use of various channels on social media, as indicated in the findings. The channels used for communication include Facebook, tweeter, two go, and email, among others. These channels have enabled the youths to communicate easily with friends and family members in the shortest time possible (Burton, 2009).

Communication through social media is easier, cheaper, and faster as compared to other modes of communication. Communication among teenagers is important, so they should be guided and monitored by ensuring they do not use abusive language.

When it comes to education, proper usage of social media as reference material can help to enhance and develop creative thinking of teenagers when learning. Creativity can be enhanced if the teenager is taught when a reference material is to be used when taking research (Kuh 2009).

From my findings, it is apparent that addition to social media has also been blamed on poor academic performance, which translates into strain in family relationships as the family will develop the perception that excessive time is spent on social media than in studies. As a result, the face to face interaction will be greatly affected as the youth is likely to develop a rebellious attitude.

Excess in this area compromises the time that youths take consulting and doing assignments. In fact, most parents have faced a rough time in their quest to instill good studying habits among youths, as some are prone to studying while blogging despite protest from parents (Preiss, 2007).

Violence and aggression have also been identified as another negative effect of excessive dependence on social media as a means of communication. Since most of the youths who spend excessive time lack social etiquette and negotiation skills, they are easily angered, and responses may lead to abusive language and physical confrontation.

This generally makes most youths to grow up with violent and aggressive behavior. Furthermore, these youths are often forced to emulate such characters and attitudes they obtain from social media rather than seek guidance on the real form of family and society (Ott & Leverette, 2009).


The research methodology can be improved by increasing the sample to more than 200 to improve on accuracy in representing the position of the entire population. Besides, there is a need to carry out a pilot study to minimize the degree of bias that might exist in the findings.

Chapter 5: Conclusion and recommendations

Conclusively, from the above study, it is apparent that over-reliance on social media as a means of communication negatively affect face-to-face interaction among family members, friends, and society for youths. Socially isolated teenagers are the major users of social media due to passiveness and other minor reasons.

Here, the use of social media is largely determined by the behavioral patterns of the environment, which ignores them. Specifically, those who are weak socially in this group are likely to use this mode of communication that those that are socially active. It is apparent that the expression of culture and affirmation of relationships are greatly compromised by social media communication as limited time is allocated on the same.

Therefore, the family should discuss differences between desire and reality to tell the youths on facts about actuality and offer other alternative sources of information other than relying on social media.

This is achievable through the creation of a general face to face interactive discussion among family members that include views of their teenage members. In general, social media is an important tool for interaction among teenagers in the UAE due to its affordability, global coverage, and ease of use. As a result, teenagers prefer this platform to other traditional communication platforms.


Blaxter, L., Hughes, C., & Malcolm, T. (2005). How to research. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Burton, G. (2009). Media and society: Critical perspectives. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.

Kuh G.D. (2009). What student affairs professionals need to know about student engagement? Journal of College Student Development, 12(24), 39-67.

Norman, K. L. (2008). Cyberpsychology: An Introduction to human–computer Interaction. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Ott, B., & Leverette, M. (2009). Critical media studies: An introduction. London, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Preiss, R. (2007). Mass media effects research: Advances through meta-analysis. New York, NY: Routledge.

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