The Importance of Social Networks in Enhancing the Dimensions of Citizenship among Students in Saudi Arabia
The study aims to reveal the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among university students in Saudi Arabia and aims to test the significance of the differences between the averages of the role according to the gender variable. To do so, the descriptive approach was used, where a questionnaire was prepared consisting of 20 phrases distributed on five axes: knowledge related to citizenship, community participation, political participation, global citizenship, and digital citizenship. After verifying the validity and stability of the study tool, it was applied to the sample, consisting of 1000 students, who were chosen randomly, in 2021. Our results show that the level of the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among Saudi students came at a large level in the total axes of the study, the arithmetic mean was 4.43, and the results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences at the significance level (α = 0.05) between males and females in general average. One of the most important recommendations of this study is to increase the interest in educating students about dealing with communication networks; a set of proposals for future studies were also discussed.
Information and communication technology has become an essential part of our lives, and the individual today cannot dispense with it, because of its major and influential role in all sectors of life. The basic nature of the social communication process provided opportunities to enter the portal of the virtual world and communicate with all races and races and learn about various cultures.
The revolution of communications and technology contributed to the emergence of the virtual world, which affected the emergence and increase in the spread of the phenomenon of personal blogs and social networking sites, which are the means and mechanisms that enable many citizens around the world to express their opinions more freely. And there is a higher ability to reach many followers .
The success of social networks has redistributed the roles: the user has become an actor. Taken individually, a message is “inaudible” on the web, but within a community with the support of the group, it is otherwise. Everyone is now a potential source of information and can spread ideas or drive trends.
This world has become an essential part of our lives, and many of the necessary works and needs are carried out via the Internet, which opened another field in human life. With the emergence of multiple platforms used in the field of social networking, meaning social networks, there are many social networks including many different types that are constantly evolving, the most important of which are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and other applications, and the low cost of using the Internet has contributed to the increase in the use of these programs in the process of social communication.
Many definitions of social networking appeared  as “the media that we use to be social”. Social networking is also defined as “electronic networks that bring together a group of individuals with similar tendencies and tendencies, to communicate and exchange ideas and times, opinions and suggestions” .
It is clear from these definitions that social networking sites focus on the process of communication between individuals of different categories, genders, and places, which created a kind of cultural, social, and political communication between different peoples, so this communication that occurred between individuals contributed to the transmission of many values and trends, and it also affected the emergence of many behaviors that may not belong to the same society and at the same time contributed to instilling many positive values and behaviors such as respecting opinion and the other opinion, exchanging information, providing support and assistance, and building relationships, spreading good qualities, and this represents a major part of active citizenship in societies.
Social networks have become essential today. Whether it is Facebook, Snapchat, or even Twitter and LinkedIn, they have become part of us and our way of life. In fact, these online social platforms have taken over the codes of our society and each user makes personal use of them and shares the content they want there. As a result, there are some users who choose to do forms of citizen activism on social networks, thus giving a digital dimension to citizenship.
In fact, these social media have created a conducive environment where people feel like in real life. This situation thus promotes certain digital citizenship with a great capacity for awareness, organization, and action. On these platforms, there is participation that encourages Internet users to contribute and give their opinion, thus removing the barrier between the public and the media.
In other research, western culture is managed to bring about a change in Arab societies, so many living patterns appeared that did not exist in the Arab world, especially clothing, food, and even lifestyle, and these variables had a role in changing the values of society and the leakage of western values that Arab societies did not recognize .
Social networks affect the moral and behavioral aspects through what is published on these sites, and most importantly, it reinforced the materialistic tendency on the spiritual side and faith and the display of rituals that are not in accordance with the Islamic religion approach . Social networks were distinguished by many features through which they worked to attract many users, such as free use, ease of access, and shortening the time and effort in the process of communication between individuals inside or outside the community, which helped in spreading and using them on a large scale from the world, so today it has become a part of human life.
This progress in technologies led to a series of changes that interact with other variables, all of which follow from the technological pattern in society, and the change in the social structure leads, in turn, to a change in cultural values, beliefs, and ideology. In addition, it leads to the emergence of new cultural patterns, which greatly affect citizenship , and this effect on citizenship may be positive or negative, which greatly affects the homeland.
Citizenship is a tool that contributes to the progress and development of societies, as it reflects customs, traditions, values, and positive trends, and his rights and duties, and addresses his conscience to form a system of values, morals, and positive trends, which includes the political dimension, the social dimension, the global dimension, the cultural dimension, and the digital dimension , and it believes that values are the directives and controls of behavior, which are the guardian of the systems and the protector of the social structure, as its danger to the life of societies is great .
The concept of citizenship in its construction is based on a set of dimensions that represent the main pillar in the consolidation of citizenship in the individual, and these dimensions vary so that they are comprehensive and general in order to achieve the correct methodology in the real construction, which is reflected on his legal personality and his national representation, where the dimensions of citizenship crystallized as he sees it by some researchers . The concept of citizenship consists of two basic dimensions consisting of four subelements and the horizontal dimension consists of national identity, social and cultural affiliation, cross-continental, and the dimension established and consists of an effective rights system and political and civil participation and sees that these elements are interconnected with each other, while we give that citizenship has six dimensions and define them as follows: the political dimension, the legal dimension, the participation dimension, the dimension of identity, the dimension of social integration, and the dimension of cultural excellence .
It is clear through these research studies that there is a disparity in the impact of social networks according to the groups of society, while some studies revealed the negative impact of these sites on citizenship, while some emphasize the positive impact, but to what extent do these sites affect citizenship on Saudi youth?.
In the same context, the widespread use of social networks by Saudi youth comes in keeping with modernity and trying to take advantage of the available technologies in obtaining information and communicating with this world, which made it necessary to follow up on this issue and learn about it.
This contributed to the emergence of many issues and problems related to dealing with these sites in the Saudi society, especially with regard to the youth group who were affected by this and became affected by the movement of change due to the transfer of knowledge, information, values, and trends between peoples with multiple cultures, in light of the virtual world’s control over the reality of life which is contemporary, which affected the values of individuals and their national culture, strengthened the principles of democracy and liberation, and contributed to the formation of social and political trends different from the orientations of the society to which he belongs, which led to the emergence of several problems, perhaps the most prominent of which is the impact of technology on the values of citizenship. This made it necessary to study this problem in a scientific way and to identify its effects on the dimensions of citizenship, which is what the current study aims at.
This paper aims to reveal the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among university students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and aimed to test the significance of the differences between the averages of the role according to the gender variable. To achieve the objectives of the study, the descriptive approach was used, where a questionnaire was prepared consisting of 49 phrases distributed on five axes: knowledge related to citizenship, community participation, political participation, global citizenship, and digital citizenship. After verifying the validity and stability of the study tool, it was applied to the study sample, consisting of 1000male and female students, who were chosen randomly, during the year 2021. The results of the study showed that the level of the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among Saudi students came at a large level in the total axes of the study. The arithmetic mean was 4.43, and the results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences at the significance level (α = 0.05) between males and females in the general average. One of the most important recommendations of this study is to increase the interest in educating students about dealing with communication networks; a set of proposals for future studies were also discussed. This study is the first to examine the impact of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among university students in Saudi Arabia.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 presents a review of the literature examining the nexus between social networks and citizenship. In Section 3, we present the study problem and questions. Section 4 presents the study objectives and importance and exposes the study terms. In Section 5, we present the study community and sample. Section 6 demonstrates the empirical results and discussion. Section 7 presents the discussions of our study. Finally, Section 8 presents conclusions, empirical implications, and future recommendations and suggestions.
2. Literature Review
Educational research and especially international academic methods and programs have created numerous suggestions and methodologies for digital citizenship since its beginning. Researchers have moved similar further by increasing other descriptions such as democratic digital citizenship, global digital citizenship, and radical digital citizenship [10–12]. This process has been reflected in an evolution that, in the words of Heath, has shifted from conservative and more technologically constrained positions to more critical and active ones.
Various dimensions are considered essential in citizenship; for example, social networks have an impact on citizenship in all its aspects, as they are not linked to a specific dimension only, but have a comprehensive impact, whether positive or negative. In this context, we confirm that network social communication has an impact on the morals of young people and is included in unprofessional behavior , as other research studies indicated the impact of social networking sites on the social responsibility of the youth category, and they state that social networks contribute to building social relationships , while other investigations reveal that social networks have a negative impact on the achievement of university students, and this role played by social networks directly affects many dimensions of citizenship .
Its influence in the modern era has reached the level of the family aspect, as a paper emphasizes the negative impact of social networks on requests and their distance from family communication .
Several research studies have also revealed the reality of social networking and its impact on users and on a weak role of social networking in promoting the values of citizenship among students, while the students’ appreciation for the role of social networks in enhancing their citizenship values came to a large degree in general , and this is consistent with the study which revealed that social networks, through what they publish through their applications, have strengthened brotherhood among citizens, as it showed . The study found that social networks work to enhance and consolidate the values of citizenship, foremost of which are loyalty and defense of the homeland, and the right to political and community participation.
Also, another research reveals that social networking sites contribute to the promotion of the concept of digital citizenship to a moderate degree . This study indicates that the impact of social networks in promoting the values of citizenship was weak.
However, the results of a recent study show that the higher the level of confidence of young people seeking information using social networks, the greater their reliance on them as one of the sources of information that young people need .
The results of another study, which aims to identify the reality of the use of social networking sites by students at the College of Basic Education in the State of Kuwait toward mathematics, showed that social networks benefit students in that they are one of the sources of diverse culture, and they also help them to facilitate communication . These studies focus on the usefulness of social networks in the cultural awareness of students and that their use contributes to raising the intellectual and cognitive level of various groups of society, especially the students.
As for the studies that focused on the values of citizenship, they revealed multiple results. A study reveals that social networks contributed to students’ ability to dialogue with the opposite sex and enhance students’ use of social networks .
Another study reveals an important role of social networks in developing political and social awareness among Arab youth and instilling them with correct habits and behaviors . In the same context, a study reveals the role of social networks in political change in Tunisia and Egypt has a medium effect, and the results of the study showed that there were no statistically significant differences in the variables of gender and educational qualification .
After analyzing the previous literature, we elaborate on the research framework concerning the importance of social networks in determining the citizenship dimensions (Figure 1).
3. Study Problem and Questions
Citizenship is a legal characteristic and sentimental feelings toward the homeland, and it is embodied in a set of positive behaviors that express this belonging, so there is active citizenship of the citizen.
However, the recent development that the world is witnessing, especially in technology, has contributed to the positive and negative changes in the dimensions of citizenship. We need to take advantage of it on the positive side, which is reflected in the positive behavior of students.
Therefore, this study aims to reveal the impact of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students in Saudi Arabia, and considering this, the study seeks to answer the following questions:(1)What is the impact of social networks on enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students in Saudi Arabia?(2)Are there statistically significant differences between the degree of influence of social networks on the dimensions of citizenship among students that can be attributed to the gender variable?
4. Study Objectives, Importance, and Terms
This study seeks to achieve the following objectives:(1)Recognize the degree of influence of social networks on enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students.(2)Disclosure of whether there are statistically significant differences between the degree of influence of social networks on enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students that can be attributed to the gender variable.
Also, the importance of this study lies in the following:(1)It contributes to providing information on the reality of the impact of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students.(2)It provides those in charge of the education process with the impact of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship, which contributes to its inclusion in the educational system.(3)It opens the way for other researchers to conduct similar research and studies in other educational stages.
The terms of our studies are the following.
4.1. Dimensions of Citizenship
It is a set of foundations upon which citizenship is based, including “citizenship-related knowledge, community participation, political participation, global citizenship, and digital citizenship”.
4.2. Social Networks
It is a group of websites that provide many electronic services and focus on communication and communication between users, such as instant chat, text messages, e-mail, photo and video exchange, and the most important social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube).
It is one of the dental stages that a person passes through and is characterized by growth and development and the most affected groups by external data. It begins at the age of 18 years and ends at the age of 39 years.
5. Methodology and Sample
In this study, we relied on the descriptive approach that is commensurate with the nature of the research and its requirements, in its aspect related to the method of survey studies that have proven competencies in studying people’s attitudes, attitudes, and opinions on various issues, topics, and phenomena that they live in their daily lives.
Accordingly, the descriptive approach was adopted, which depends on studying the phenomenon, describing it accurately, and expressing it quantitatively and qualitatively in classifying and organizing information and seeking to understand the relationships of this phenomenon with other phenomena and reaching conclusions that contribute to the development of the studied reality. The study is limited to a sample of Saudi students for the time period in the academic year 2021.
The study population consists of students in the governorates of Saudi Arabia, and the sample was chosen randomly. The study sample consisted of 1000 students (men and women), who were randomly selected from various governorates of Saudi Arabia in 2021.
In this study, we relied on the descriptive approach, which is the appropriate scientific method for this type of research studies, which is based on studying the reality or phenomenon by describing it accurately, based on quantitative analysis, by describing the phenomenon through collecting field data about it using a questionnaire scale, with the aim of identifying the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students.
The study tool used in our paper is the questionnaire. The scale of this study aims to identify the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students. In its final form, the tool consisted of 20 paragraphs, divided into five axes, after referring to educational literature and previous studies. Additionally, the tool consisted of two parts as follows.
5.1. The First Section
It included professional data for the study community members and related to the variables affiliated and related to the personal data of the respondent in the study, which are Gender: it includes two levels (male and female). Governorate: it includes all governorates in Saudi Arabia.
5.2. The Second Section
It includes five areas (citizenship-related knowledge, community participation, political participation, global citizenship, and digital citizenship) that measure the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship and is done by choosing one of the alternatives (very large, large, medium, few, and very few).
5.3. The Scale Adopted in the Tool
The five-point grading scale according to the Likert system was used for the responses of the sample individuals in the five domains (5. Very large, 4. Large, 3. Medium, 2. Low, and 1. Very few).
For the authenticity of the tool, the validity of the study tool was measured by verifying the apparent validity by presenting it to a group of arbitrators specialized in the field of citizenship and then making the proposed modifications.
Also, the stability of the tool was confirmed by applying it to an experimental sample consisting of ten students (males and females) from outside the study sample. The stability was calculated by internal consistency (Alpha Cronbach), and the overall stability coefficient of the tool was 0.87, which indicates the stability of the tool and its applicability to achieve the objectives of the study.
For the statistical processing and to answer the study’s questions, the statistical program for the humanities (SPSS) was used, and arithmetic means, standard deviations, relative importance (ordinal), and t-test were used to verify the significance of the differences attributable to the gender variable. The statistical standard is shown in Table 1 to interpret the estimates of individuals in the sample.
6.1. The Results of the First Question
To answer this question and its text: What is the impact of social networks on enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students in Saudi Arabia?.
The arithmetic means and standard deviations were extracted for all the expressions of the questionnaire and the general mean, which were arranged in descending order from the point of view of students as shown in Table 2.
It is evident from Table 2 that, on the general level, the level of influence of social networks on enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students came at a significant level in the total axes of the study, where the arithmetic mean was 4.43.
The arithmetic averages of the study axes ranged between 4.55 and 3.99, i.e., at a large level, and the knowledge-related axis of citizenship came in the first place, where the arithmetic average reached 4.55, i.e., at a significant level, while the axis of community participation ranked second, with an arithmetic average of 4.49, i.e., at a great level, and digital citizenship ranked third, where the arithmetic mean was 4.12, i.e., a significant level, while the political participation axis and global citizenship are ranked fourth with an arithmetic average of 3.99, i.e., at a significant level. As for the results of the study axes, this paper revealed the following results.
6.1.1. The First Axis: Knowledge Related to Citizenship
The knowledge related to citizenship came in the first place, with an arithmetic mean of 4.87, i.e., a large level, and this gives an indication of the extent to which social networks have affected the development of many values related to general culture, where the phrase “encourages insight and ease of access to information” ranked first with an arithmetic average of 4.75, i.e., a very large level, which indicates the extent of the impact of social networks in spreading knowledge, and the phrase “helps to spread societal culture with the rest of the world’s people” occupied the second rank with an arithmetic average of 4.61. The phrase “contributes to the acquisition of critical thinking skills” ranked last with an arithmetic mean of 3.97, i.e., an average level (Table 3).
6.1.2. The Second Axis: Community Participation
The axis of community participation came in second place, with a mean of 4.77, i.e., at a large level, and this is due to the impact of social networks in building relationships and achieving communication and communication between individuals, which opened the way to increase social relations that today have become part of this system that cannot make the individual can dispense with it or stop using it in his social communication, and the terms of the dimension are similar, as the phrase “the speed of communication between individuals from different places, and multiple peoples” ranked first with an arithmetic average of 4.84, i.e., a very large level, while the phrase “enables to exchange views with others” came in the second place, with a mean of 4.74, i.e., at a great level, and in the last place came the phrase “enhancing adherence to the customs and traditions of society” with a mean of 3.61, i.e., at a medium level (Table 4).
6.1.3. The Third Axis: Political Participation
The results of the study revealed that the axis of political participation ranked fourth with a mean of 3.97, i.e., a large level, and this result is attributed to the influence of social networks that took a patriotic aspect and focused on the process of dealing with political events with wisdom, and this reflects the Saudi personality of the Saudi student, which indicates that the influence of communication networks was not great in the political role, but rather preserved the coherence of the values of citizenship rooted in the same individual, where the phrase “to cherish the homeland and show it in a positive way” came with an arithmetic average of 4.11, i.e., at a significant level, while the phrase “developing the youth’s capacity for constructive discussion and dialogue” came in second place, with a mean of 4.04, i.e., at a significant level, and the phrase “exchanging ideas that fortify youth politically” came in the last rank, with a mean of 3.84, i.e., at a great level (Table 5).
6.1.4. The Fourth Axis: Digital Citizenship
Digital citizenship ranked last with a mean of 3.92, i.e., a large level. This result is attributed to the fact that social networks contributed to the transfer of knowledge related to the digital aspect, which contributed to the formation of digital culture in the individual, and dealing with social networks became a framework of values, which controls behavior while using networks.
The phrase “contributes to the knowledge of the laws and regulations related to the use of technology” came in the first place, with a mean of 4.30, i.e., at a large level, and in the second place came the phrase “knowledge of duties related to the use of modern technologies” with an arithmetic average of 3.98, i.e., at a large level, and the phrase “helping to respect the privacy of others” ranked last, with a mean of 3.76, i.e., an average level (Table 6).
6.1.5. The Fifth Axis: Global Citizenship
Global citizenship came in third place, with an arithmetic average of 3.98, i.e., a large level. This result is attributed to the fact that social networks contributed to introducing the individual to global cultures and how to communicate with them, which created a part of respect and the consolidation of positive behavior in the communication process, Which made the world part of this contact between individuals of different nationalities and ethnicities. As for the arithmetic averages of scientific citizenship expressions, the phrase “helps to identify cultural diversity among the peoples of the world” ranked first, with an arithmetic average of 4.41, i.e., a large level, while the phrase “helps to build social relations with different peoples and races” came in second place with a mean of 4.25, i.e., at a great level, and ranked in the last place the phrase “promotes respect for the freedoms of others according to their sects, religions, beliefs and gender” with a mean of 3.83, i.e., at a great level (Table 7).
6.2. The Results of the Second Question
To answer the second question and its text: Are there statistically significant differences between the degree of influence of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students that can be attributed to the gender variable? To answer this question (type variable), arithmetic means, standard deviations, and t-test were used, and Table 8 shows that.
The results of Table 8 indicate that there are no statistically significant differences in the degree of significance (α = 0.05) between males and females, and how to deal with social networks, not to differ in influencing their national values.
The result of arithmetic averages and standard deviations of the questionnaire axes and the general mean of the study differs from the findings of studies concerning the impact of social networking sites on the youth category [23, 24]. It differs from another study , which revealed the negative impact on university students, and a study on the weak role of social networks . This result can be explained by the fact that there is an impact of social networks on enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students as a result of the level of awareness that students possess in dealing with social networks, in addition to laws and knowledge of digital citizenship that contributed to positively educating students in dealing with social networks; this means that there is a positive role in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship, which contributes to building a modern educational thought that develops positive values among students.
The empirical results of the five axes demonstrate that social networks have a role in transferring knowledge and exchanging between different societies and peoples, as well as having an impact on the ease of obtaining knowledge due to the speed of its exchange between different parties. These results present the same contributions as the previous studies which support the importance of social media in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship especially for transmitting knowledge and exchanging among various peoples in Saudi Arabia [4, 10–12, 17, 19].
The empirical findings of the arithmetic means, standard deviations, and t-test according to the type of variable are consistent with a study published in 2011 , the results of which showed that there were no statistically significant differences between the average responses of individuals in the study sample due to a variable of gender. This result differs from a study , whose results showed that there are statistically significant differences among the average responses of individuals in the study sample due to a variable of gender, in favor of females.
Since citizenship is the sense of belonging to the homeland and the individual’s affiliation to his homeland and making every effort to advance the homeland and achieve its goals, the use of social networks for a university student has a prominent role in consolidating and strengthening the values of citizenship for him, where Facebook can play its role through targeted programs that deepen citizenship, through publications that explain the achievements of the homeland and increase the spirit of citizenship and other means that would consolidate the love of the homeland, belonging to it and pride in belonging to it, and clarifying the rights and duties of the citizen. It also allows the promotion of good values of cooperation, solidarity, and advice and the importance of this factor in which the promotion of citizenship has been proven.
In addition, social networks play a major role in spreading culture and consolidating values, especially citizenship, loyalty, and belonging, which are considered civilized components so that they meet the needs of society, its aspirations, and goals and are harmonious in a manner characterized by honesty and integrity, as well as the importance of values (loyalty, belonging, and patriotism) and respect for the other. And a role in the formation of the national personality contributes to a large extent to building the national character, through publications and advertisements aimed at spreading the culture of citizenship and calling for adherence to national and national belonging and respect for pluralism (political, social, and intellectual) as a force factor that guarantees the unity and cohesion of society and encourages a culture of dialogue among members of society and between everyone who would immunize them in the face of challenges, for example, the presentation of national anthems as well as documentary series (the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), all of which play a role in promoting the values of citizenship among the Saudi university student.
While recognizing the value of the programs and curricula used in Saudi Arabia, we suggest that there is a need for citizenship curricula to highlight the real-life knowledge, values, experiences, principles, and personal interests and activities and engagements of students themselves. Motivated by academics from political knowledge, communication, science, and schooling [25–27], who appreciate how networked telecommunication technology (e.g., social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and others) supports original procedures of citizenship that are progressively participating, determined by terminologies of personalities, and connected to fluctuating commencements of literateness, we understand the necessity for a novel prototypical of citizenship empowered by the affordances of social networks.
It is similarly crucial for teachers and educators to support Saudi students to produce well-reasoned statements and articulate reasons to encourage or contradict a precise situation or procedure, which necessitates examining existing subjects and regulations and prudently building educational and influential literature, writing, and lettering. It is important for several particular persons to make contact with their delegates to encourage or oppose a specific strategy; there is a frequently strong point in statistics. Saudi students can utilize the affordances of social networks to strengthen their communication, connect rapidly, and place the time for sustained discussion with preferred viewers . While necessitating Saudi students to communicate with their legislatures and supporter for or alongside precise situations and regulations may not continuously be suitable in the schoolroom, educators can still authorize students to progress considerately and disapprovingly comprehensible and well-maintained influences to share with their legislatures and representatives external of faculty in habits that support Saudi students to connect their in-faculty knowledge with their out-of-faculty public contribution and citizenship.
However, despite the advantages it provides, which help to consolidate the values of citizenship among the university student, the use of social networks is not without several risks that negatively affect university students and their citizenship values, perhaps the most prominent of which are as follows: Weak security and privacy in the academic and administrative aspects and the information published on them. Cultural pollution and the collapse of social order when exchanging information between university students. Health problems and poor social and psychological adjustment when a university student overuses them. Intellectual violence and the exchange of terrorist ideas. During the public order in the presentation and handling of university information. Bad trends in displaying pages that are incompatible with university values, traditions, and national values. Spreading rumors among university students about academic and administrative aspects.
8. Conclusions and Implications
The paper examines the importance of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among students in Saudi Arabia. We test the significance of the differences among the averages of the role according to the gender indicator. To achieve the objectives of this investigation, a descriptive approach was employed, where a questionnaire was prepared consisting of 20 questions dispersed on 5 axes: knowledge related to citizenship, community participation, political participation, global citizenship, and digital citizenship, and finally verifying the validity and stability of the study tool. We use a sample composed of 1000 Saudi students (male and female), who were chosen randomly, through the year 2021.
The empirical findings of this paper show that the level of the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among Saudi students came at a large level in the total axes of the study with an arithmetic mean of 4.43. Also, we find that there were no statistically significant differences at the significance level (α = 0.05) between males and females on the general average. One of the most significant recommendations of this study is to increase the interest in educating students about dealing with communication networks in a set of proposals for future studies that were also discussed.
Also, it can be said that social networks, particularly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and YouTube, play an important and essential role in society, and the individual obtains information and opinions and helps him in forming clear concepts of phenomena and events, and social networks provide official and unofficial information and positions about all lived issues by routing information.
Additionally, this study is the first to examine the impact of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among university students in Saudi Arabia. Considering the importance of the empirical findings of the study, we propose the following recommendations and implications: Increasing interest in educating students about dealing with social networks. The optimal use of social networks to open a positive and constructive dialogue between students. Preparing an integrated program for employing social networks in spreading awareness of the concept of citizenship and belonging among students. Motivating students to improve the role of social networks in enhancing the dimensions of citizenship among Saudi people.
We recommend conducting a set of studies, which are as follows: A study on the impact of social networks on school students. A study on the impact of social networks on academic achievement among staff and workers.
Our study presents some limitations which can be presented as follows: We can increase the size of the sample. We can use other categories of people in Saudi Arabia other than Saudi students such as employees, administrators, teachers, and children. We can use other dimensions of citizenship.
The (questionnaire) data used to support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Conceptualization was contributed by M. B. L. (Monia Ben Ltaifa) and A. M. S. D. (Abdelkader Mohamed Sghaier Derbali); methodology, A. M. S. D.; software, A. M. S. D.; validation, M. B. L. and A. M. S. D.; formal analysis, M. B. L.; investigation, M. B. L. and A. M. S. D.; resources, M. B. L. and A. M. S. D.; data curation, M. B. L; original draft preparation, M. B. L. and A. M. S. D.; review and editing, M. B. L; visualization, M. B. L. and A. M. S. D.; supervision, A. M. S. D.; project administration, M. B. L. and A. M. S. D.; funding acquisition, A. M. S. D. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
This work was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, (grant number NA000196).
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