INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN EBONYI STATE
Background to the Study
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
The act of interacting with others, of being social is a lifestyle process which is carried on as society itself changes. Interacting with one another is an age human activity which implies the relationship between human being and its social environment. Interaction has long existed before the invention of technology and this technology has changed into a new structure of the society. The process into this new technological age is what brought about the internet and social media in particular. Historically, newspapers were the most common of all media, but today, internet is regarded as one of theimportant element of modern society which cannot be ignored. We have a large community including a majority of youth and teenagers who use the internet for only social media (Boyd et al., 2013).
Social media sites first existed as an invention created in 1975 known as email, which is still used today. However, social media has advanced into using a profile to give information about user such as sharing of stories, photo as well as messaging to communicate with others. Now social media has become popular in 2004 when facebook was launched.
Internet was felt in Nigeria after the evolution of telecommunications especially after 2001 Digital Mobile Licensing (DMC) round by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) opened up the sector. Access to telephone became more profound and soon internet flagged off purely on commercial levels when several ISPs had the political and financial wills to open up for businesses, after due licenses by the NCC.
In Nigeria today, the number of social media user has grown from a pitiful 100000 in 2004 to more than 7milion in 2010 (Akpore, 2013). He further stated that access to social
media has grown with the reality of Blackberry and other modern devices deployed for internet connectivity, the number of users was doubled by the end of 2014. With the increasing rate of social media usage, it becomes necessary that they be education about the problem s and risk associated with the internet and social media in Nigeria (Abimbola, 2014).
Social media is one of the breakthroughs in information and technology in the 21st century because it facilitates the creation of different platforms of social interaction. It sprouted from the internet as a tool for publishing and also for connecting and supporting communication so much that it has become an increasingly popular component of our everyday lives in today‟s globalizing society (Pempek and Calvert; 2008). Social media are now one of the most significant and online tools for communication that links people together all around the world. It is an addiction to the online communicators that already affecting the human life. (Boyd, 2006).
Shresthaet al. (2013), referred to Social media as a means of connections among people in which they create, share, exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and network. This is in line with Asian (2010), who described social media as a virtual place where people find themselves and share vital information. For the purpose of this study, Social media is defined as an online location where people can interact with others about information, entertainment, news and which will be their own choice and creation.
The rise of social media sites has gained popularity in the world over the decades now, the sites have attracted millions of users world-wide. These users comprise of business, academia and governments. The concern of putting social media to use is those categorized as juveniles who are characterized by exploratory tendencies capable of subjecting them to both positive and negative values prescribed by culture, society and religious beliefs. For instance, about half of all the youths in countries like Britain, the
United State, Russia, the Czech Republic and Spain, where social media adoption was greatest are used because of its diversity. Social media are, for instance politics, social, academics, religion, sports, and romantic platforms (Boyed and Ellison, 2007). Due to this fact, many people in the world are changing the outlets where they search for news, information, business and entertainment. These social media sites let those who use them to create personal profiles while connecting with other users.
The earlier intent of social media is to facilitate communication; a lifelong process which continues as people and society change. According to Heald (2008), communication entails the interaction between human being.
The adoption of social media in the affairs of African people and Nigerians in particular is the provision of (among other things) opportunities and unlimited access to information across persons, countries and race. The social media operate on the internet, it has brought a popular revolution to the communication sector, such that persons irrespective of age and size have access to information and communication needed for business transactions, government activities, educational institutions, family life, social groups and the society at large. In other words, social media has made available such tools used for information sharing and interactions among different people. In the educational institution, social media has been adopted as one of the ways through which knowledge is shared with various students of different backgrounds. It has made it easier for people, especially the young, to have access to information and track friends. Significantly, however, it has revolutionized the way social interactions take place. For instance, through it, people seeks and enjoy the companionship of others online (Ibrahim, 2012). Social media has no restriction to membership and can be operated through mobile phones and computer devices.
The goal of social media is to encourage new ways of communicating, sharing information and providing equal opportunities for all members including secondary school students. Among the most popular social media sites includes: 2go, Friend wise, Friend Finder, e-buddy, Facebook, Chat, Nimbuzz, Orbit, YouTube, Classmates, Nayapals, Netlog. The most recognized ones in Nigeria are WhatsApp, Myspace, Skype, Facebook, Twitter,2go, Friendster, Blackberry messenger and so on (Embi,2012). The lack of restriction to membership with few instances that considerations are made on common languages, religious, sexual, nationality-based identities are not enough on the chain of socialization of the juvenile group, of which majority are in secondary schools in Nigeria, as reported in the 2006 national population.
Secondary school refers to intermediate between elementary school and college, which usually offer general, technical, vocational or preparatory.These groups are between the ages of 11-16 years. Research findings by Lenhart and Hitiling (2005) revealed that secondary school students log on 10 times more daily and engage in a variety of social behaviour including doing school work, playing games, downloading music, text message and chatting with friends. There are other negative use such as visitation to porn sites, lying and the use of the platform for fraudulent activities. Some use it to exchange ideas, feelings, personal information, pictures and keeping up with the latest events, socializing, gaining knowledge, learn about different and popular opinions and engaging in online dialogue with the human being in face to face happenings and for academic purposes.
The concern is therefore enormous to consider the positive and negative sides of social media sites. Lusk (2010) posits that online communities can accord students‟ academic assistance and support through access to virtual space which students can explore with friends having similar academic needs. Brdolf (2007) reported that students who may be reluctant to speak up in class find blogs and other interactive internet tools rewarding. On
the other hand, Wang, Chen & Liang (2011) showed that social media use is negatively associated with academic performance because about two-third of the students investigated were found using social media while in class or doing homework which distract and is detrimental to their performance. According to Kalpidon, Castia& Morris (2011), social media websites such as Facebook,YouTube and Twitter, has gainedpopularity, they are increasingly dangerous as they create models to students to procrastinate while trying to complete homework and assignment any time they log on. In a survey of 102 students, 57% stated that social media has made them less productive. The dynamics of social media on secondary school students has influenced their attitudes and behaviour. For instance, Loving and Ochoa (2010) reported that social media sites have proven to be universally addictive for secondary school students who tend to spend a considerable amount of their time maintaining social connections, making new acquaintances and broad base of friends during class hours thereby reducing the amount of time they devote to studies, learn from the societal norms and values that mould their characters.
In Nigeria, there has been concern about the possible effect of browsing on students‟ lifestyle, communication as well as their behaviour. Many parents are worried over their children‟s habit on Facebook and other social media sites because they are of the opinion that their children now hardly have the time for themselves and other responsibilities. Oji (2007) noted that the growing incidence of students using the internet not necessarily for academic‟s purposes, but for antisocial activities is increasing at, an astonishing rate. Worried parents quote delinquencies like fraud, pornography, blackmail, racketeering and so on as social crimes that their children are engaging in and they believe it negates all their hope for the prosperous future of their children.
According to World Internet Statistics (2012), of the total of 170,123,746 internet users, it is estimated that 5,860,240 are youths who used social media. This knowledge makes it important to undertake a study on the assessment of influence of social media on selected secondary students in Gwale LGA Kano State in order to reveal its sociological implications.
Social media sites have brought many positive implications to human life. The idea of the global village has been translated into reality through these sites by connecting millions of people from all around the world. Most of these media sites are designed to fulfil all aspects of life which include fashion, politics, music, sport, education amongst others. Social networking sites are modern interactive communication channels through which people connect to one another, share ideas, experiences, pictures, messages and information of interest. Social media is indeed a fascinating one for Nigerians, especially the youths. This is not surprising as it is generally acknowledged that the youths by nature are more disposed to social communication technologies. Social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, 2go, Badoo, Myspace among others, provide instantaneous access to information to youths at all times. In the same vein, almost two third of the youths in Nigeria use social media to connect to millions of people all over the world.
Notwithstanding the benefits of social media on youths, it has inadvertently given rise to moral decadence in Nigeria, especially among secondary school students. Ibrahim (2012) points out that students sometimes abuse the socializing tools by neglecting the informative and educational benefits that social media has to offer instead Nche (2012) reveals that one of such exhibitions affects matters of immorality displayed by youths in our schools today. Things they learnt not from school nor parents, but from social media because it has no restrictions. As a result, the issue of cyberbullying, fraud, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, lesbianism, examination malpractice, truancy, rape, alcohol abuse, school violence, drug abuse, texting, pornography, privacy, terror group, membership to secret cult and abuse of numerous kind are easily subscribed to and this would affect their behaviour, academics and social life as whole.
Akintunde (2001) observes that student‟s behavior is the most important aspect of his life to teachers, parents and society because their behavior portray the image and the name of the family in the sight of the community. This explains the reasons why most parents work hard towards bringing their children up to live reputable lives. Sum (2008) asserted that the closeness of secondary school students to social media network has made them develop new sets of behaviour as a result of peers and groups they found online. According to Long (2012) the decay affects child-parents, Students –teacher and weaken school tie relationship. Solanke (2012) cited that social media has derailed the attitudes of secondary school students as they no longer have respect for elders.
Habitually, these students are also seen moving along the streets with their mobile phones and other technological devices constantly and even in the face of a disaster in which people are maimed, injured or killed, youths rather than coming to rescue only care about taking pictures or recording of the disaster and the victim with their phones then upload their images on YouTube, Facebook or any online forums.
Social media has made some students in Nigeria, especially secondary school students to become careless in terms of dressing and develop poor writing skills because they use abbreviation in text messages, poor reading culture as a result of hours they invest in Face booking, prone to disasters, accidents, distracted from their studies and responsibilities to themselves, their families, teachers, friends and communities.
The aforementioned should not be allowed to continue because it will affect the entire fabric of the future generations. What can be done to remedy this trend, how can the gap observed by dearth in literature on the influence of social media on academics, as well as
the behavior of secondary school students with emphasis on Ebonyi state Government be bridged.
- What type of social media sites are secondary school students expose to?
- What is the influence of social media on secondary school students?
- What are the motivating factors that influence the use of social media?
- What measures can be put in place to curb the negative influence of social media on secondary school students?
The aim of the study is to assess the influence of social media among selected secondary school students in Ebonyi state Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are:
- To find out the type of social media sites secondary school students are exposed
- To know how these media sites has influenced secondary school
- To examine the motivating factors that influences the use of the social
- To recommend some measures on the proper use of social
The research provided an enhanced view on how social media sites such as Whatsapp, Facebook and 2g can be used as a medium to source for vital information that could be used for academic activities instead of chatting and whiling away time. This study enables proper regulation to be stipulated with the aim of censoring contents posted on these media sites and also will benefit the readers by increasing their knowledge on the influence of these media sites on education. This research was conducted to know the
level of exposure of students to these media sites and how it has helped their lives as a young adult.
It also serves as raw materials for other researchers in the covered area and other related areas. Lastly, this study contributed to the existing body of knowledge on the relationships between the variables under study.