This study aimed to investigate the negative effects of social networking on the rural youth as well as explore ways to alleviate the use of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) by the youth in the Tshakhuma village. The study was conducted in the Tshakhuma village, Limpopo in the Makhado Municipality. The study used
a qualitative approach and face-to-face semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from participants in the study. A sample of 8 youths (i.e. 4 females and 4 males) participated in the study. The findings revealed that most of the participating youths from the Tshakhuma village were addicted to social networking, since they spent most of their time on SNSs. As a result, some important activities were reported to be neglected such as academic engagement because of social networking as part of socialising. The study revealed that social networking consumed most of the youth’s time. It affects their relationships with family members, friends, and teachers negatively. It is recommended that the youth should be equipped with skills to prioritise their activities and act in accordance with their time schedule. The government should propose a specific media policy that will facilitate the strategies to reduce the negative effect of social networking on youths.
Keywords: Academic performance, effects of social networking, social networking, rural youth.