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INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS

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CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The world is today celebrating the improvements in communication technology which has broadened the scope of communication through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Modern Technology in communication no doubt has turned the entire world into a “Global village”. But as it is, technology like two sides of a coin, bring with it both negative and positive sides. It helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping abreast with world developments. Technology exposes mankind to a better way of doing things. Social networking sites include: Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Whats app messenger, 2go messenger, Skype, Google talk, Google Messenger, iPhone and Androids. These networking sites are used by most people to interact with old and new friends, physical or internet friends ( Asemah and Edegoh, 2012). The world has been changed rapidly by the evolution of technology; this has resulted into the use of technology as the best medium to explore the wide area of knowledge. The evolution of internet technology has led to its use as the best medium for communication. Whereby, two-third of the world’s internet population visits social networking or blogging sites, thus serving as a communication and connection tool. Social networking sites (SNSs) are online Communities of Internet users who want to communicate with other users about areas of mutual interest, whether from a personal, 2 business or academic perspective‖ (William ,Boyd, Densten, Chin, Diamond & Morgenthaler 2009). The millions of social networking sites have transformed the thought of global village into a reality whereby billions of people communicate through social networking sites. Numerous benefits have been obtained through distant communication through the use of social networking sites. Academic excellence or achievement plays an important role in an individual placement, be it in the academic institutions or job placement. Due to this, many people are concerned with the ways they can enhance their academic achievement. The emphasis on academic excellence which is also prevalent worldwide has encouraged many studies about the conditions promoting it. The role of academic achievement as one of the predictors of one’s life success and also in the aspect of academic placement in schools to higher institutions as well as the level of employability in one’s career is inevitable (Kyoshaba, 2009).

A direct relationship exists between Social media usage and the academic performance of students in universities. However the darker side within technological evolution has resulted in dilemmas such as the setback of real values of life especially among students who form the majority of users interacting through the use of social networking sites. Online social networking sites focus on building and reflecting social associations among people who share interests and or activities. With so many social networking sites displayed on the internet, students are tempted to abandon their homework and reading times in preference for chatting online with friends. Many students are now addicted to the online rave of the moment, with Facebook, Twitter etc. Today most youths and students possess Facebook accounts. The reason most of them perform badly in school might not be far- fetched. While many minds might be quick to blame the poor quality of teachers, they might have to think even harder, if they have not heard of the Facebook frenzy (Oche & Aminu .2010). Olubiyi (2012) noted that these days’ students are so engrossed in the social media that they are almost 24 hours online. Social networking sites although has been recognized as an important resource for education today, studies however shows that students use social networking sites such as Facebook for fun, to kill time, to meet existing friends or to make new ones (Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe 2007). Although it has been put forward that students spends much time on participating in social networking activities, with many students blaming the various social networking sites for their steady decrease in grade point averages (Kimberly, Jeong and Lee, 2009), it also shows that only few students are aware of the academic and professional networking opportunities the sites offered.

The advanced and improved usage of social media platforms such as Facebook has become a worldwide phenomenon for quite some time. Though it all started has been a hobby for several computer literates individual has changed to become a social norm and existence-style for students around the world (Nicole, 2007). According to Nicole, (2007), students and teenagers have especially recognized these social media platforms to be able to contact their peers, share information, reinvent their personas and showcase their social live. Facebook users often experience poor academic performance. Also Karpinski (2009) stated that social media has a negative association with students’ academic performance which is much greater than the advantages derived through the use of social media platforms. People around the globe have been addicted to the internet which has given rise to more students using social media more often than before. Nalwa & Anand (2003) advised and recommended that those who are addicted users love to use the internet to set back their personal and professional responsibilities in which the final outcome is poor academic performance. It was highlighted in the finding of Karpinski (2009) that social media platforms (Facebook, watzapp etc) users usually devote lesser time to their studies has to compared to nonusers did and subsequently has lower GPAs. It was also mentioned by Karpinski, & Duberstein (2009), that among the major distraction of current generation that social media platform (such Facebook, Watzapp etc.) remains a major distractions. According to Kubey, Lavin, and Barrows (2001), there is a correlation between academic performance and the dependency on social media platforms. Researchers have conducted different studies to find out the influence of social platforms users, for instance a study on ‘’impact of Facebook on undergraduates academic performance’’, stated that social platforms have negative impact on students.

Social information processing theory is an interpersonal communication theory which suggests that online interpersonal relationship development might require more time to develop than face-to-face relationships, but when developed, it has the same influence as face-to-face communication. This means, the more students use social media, the more they influence their disposition to studies, given the fact that friends from social media will begin to exert influence on each other.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The world today is a global market in which the internet is the most important sort of information. Since the advent of social media sites in the 1990s, it is assumed in some quarters that the academic performance of students is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. The educational system in Nigeria is faced with so many challenges which have certainly brought about a rapidly decline in the quality of education. There is a deviation, distraction and divided attention between social networking activities and their academic work. It is observed that students devote more attention to social media than they do to their studies. 6 Students’ addictiveness to social networks, students’ frequency of exposure to social network, social media network that the students are more exposed to and the influence of social media as a medium of interaction between students has been part of discussion in recent times and which have imparted on their academic performance. Instead of students reading their books, they spend their time chatting and making friends via the social media and this might definitely have influence on their academic performance, because when you do not read, there is no way you can perform well academically. It is a common sight to see a student chatting in sensitive and highly organized places like church, mosque and lecture venues. Some are so carried away that even as they are walking along the high way, they keep chatting. The manufacturing and distribution of equally sophisticated cellular phones has complicated the situation, as students no longer need to visit a cybercafé before they send and receive messages. Attention has been shifted from visible to invisible friends, while important ventures like study and writing might be affected in the process. This phenomenon has become a source of worry to many who believe in knowledge and skill acquisition. In recent times social media have been a major stay in the minds of students and the world at large thereby causing a lot of drastic measure by students, teacher and even educational administrators at large. It is therefore of great importance to explore some of the trending issues facing students’ academic performance as a result of social media. Students at all levels of learning now have divided attention to studies, as a result of available 7 opportunities to be harnessed from social media. Whether these opportunities promote studies is a question that needs to be answered. Thus, the problem this study investigates is the influence of social media networks on the academic performance of the students in Lagos state polytechnic.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study generally is to examine the influence of Social Media on the Academic Performance of students in University of Lagos. Specifically, the study seeks;

1.     To examine the level of student addictiveness to social media and the influence on their academic performance.

2.     To determine the social media network that the students are more exposed to and the influence on their academic performance.

3.     To ascertain how the use of social media has influence the academic performance of the students in University of Lagos.

4.     To ascertain the difference in students’ usage of social media network by gender.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions were raised to guide the researcher during the course of the research:                  

1. To what extent would student addictiveness to social network influence their academic performance?

2. Does the social media network that the students are more exposed to influence their academic performance?

3. How has the use of social media influence the academic performance of the students in University of Lagos?

4. Is there gender difference in the student’s usage of social media network?

1.5 HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY

The following hypotheses are generated by the researcher and was tested in this study:

1.     Ho: Students’ addictiveness to social network has no significant influence on their academic performance.

H1: Students’ addictiveness to social network has significant influence on their academic performance

2.     Ho: Student’s exposure to social media network has no significant influence on students’ academic performance.

H1: Student’s exposure to social media network has significant influence on students’ academic performance.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study is significant to the teachers, parents and students. This study will help the teachers of the school to know the influence that social media has on their students, so as to assist them to enlighten and create awareness to the students on the possible influence it has on them. The study is of significant to parents in the sense that they will know the possible effects these social media usage has on their children, so as to serve as watch-dog to their children on the usage of the social networking site. The study will enable the students of the senior level so that they will be aware that, apart from the social benefits of this socia

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