THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE ON SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PORT HARCOURT
This Study Assesses The Influence Of Social Media Usage On Selected Secondary School Students In Port Harcourt The essence of this study was as a result of how much secondary school students are involved in this virtual world of social networking in Nigeria and the effects of these sites on students. The specific objectives of this study includes knowing the types of social media secondary school students are exposed to; to know the influence of social media sites for students, motivating factor that influences the use of social media and proper ways of using social media among selected secondary schools in Port Harcourt. A review of related literatures on the effects of social media on students was done so as to fill the gap others literatures failed to cover. The study adopts rational choice theory.A mixed methodology was used which is surveyed and in-depth interview. For the survey method, the data was obtained through the use of questionnaire, of which the researcher administered 250 questionnaires to the selected secondary school students. For the in-depth interview, 4 class teachers and 2 principals were interviewed. Furthermore, probability and non-probability sampling techniques were adopted by random selection of 3 schools from the two educational Zones in Port Harcourt and purposively interview 4 class teachers and 2 principals from the selected schools in Port Harcourt. The finding shows that the negative effects of social media outweigh the positive effects, the negative effects are distractions from studies, it exposes them to juvenile delinquency, lack of privacy, poor grammar and spellings, procrastination, indecent dressing, use of foul words, internet fraud, school violence, disrespect for elders, suicide and exposure to pornographic sites etc.
Also, the findings reveal that despite the negative effects of social media sites, they attested to the fact that social media broaden their knowledge on different subject matters. Again the study reveals that the majority of students used social media sites mainly for socializing. Further finding shows that the majority of secondary school student‟s login to their preferred sites on a daily basis. In line with this, the study recommends that most negative aspects can be controlled by reducing the amount of time spends on social media sites. There is a need for parents, teachers and the school authority to monitor their children’s activities closely to know what they do with their time; this will go a long way in reducing secondary school students‟ exposure to activities that will affect their behaviour negatively.Parent should avoid buying internet enable phones for their children in secondary school since it has been identified as one of the motivating factors that influences their use of social media. Also, school authorities should intensify effort to checkmate the kind of phones their students bring to school, and when they use it for lack of strict regulation in schools encourage the students to use the chat even during classes.