THE EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE (A STUDY OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ILE-IFE, OSUN STATE)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The advent of the internet in the 1990s led to major developments in the world of communication. Today the Internet has taken a firm place in people’s lives. It is difficult to imagine a young man who at least once a day did not check for updates in social networks and did not leaf through the news lines. The modern reality requires us to stay in touch and keep abreast of the recent happenings around the globe.
There is no doubt the emergence of the internet has immensely contributed to the introduction of social networking sites (SNSS). The coming into being of these sites revolutionized the world of communication and today we celebrate its improvement ranging from education to entertainment. Recent study have shown The evolution of the internet has led to its usage as the best of communication whereby two-third (2/3) of the internet world‘s population visit social networking sites (SNSs) thus serving as communication and connection tools. These networking sites are referred to as social media (Boyd and Ellison, 2007).
Social networking has become a common international trend which has spread its reach to almost every corner of the world. The use of Social media sites has exploded and evolved into an online platform where people create content, share it, bookmark it and network a prodigious rate. Among the prominent users of the social media are the students. There is no doubt Social networks has become an integral part of a students’ full life, and has taken most of their free time. There have been various views and opinions which recognize four major advantages of social media use in higher education. These include; enhancing relationship, improving learning motivation, offering personalized course material, and developing collaborative abilities (Wheeler, Yeomans and Wheeler,2008; Rifkin, Longnecker, Leach and Ortia,2009). Also, Liccardi et al (2007), argued that students are socially connected with one another and therefore share their daily learning experiences and do conversation on various topics through social media whereas Kuppuswamy and Shankar (2010), reviewed that social network websites grab students’ attention and then diverts it towards non-educational and inappropriate actions including useless chatting.
According to scientists, social networks are especially dangerous for teenagers, as they form a false impression that love and friendship are easy to conquer and just as easy to destroy. In addition, young people who are acquainted with the fast stream of Internet life, the truth may appear to be excessively dull, and they can have a go at, making it impossible to “restore” it by making imprudent activities. Some are supporters of the use of social media. They claim that the latter provide access to knowledge and help students exchange information quickly. Others think that students’ use social media primarily to communicate about everything except studies and that they only distract students from the learning process.
As we know, nothing interesting is ever completely one-sided, so it is for social media as it comes with both positive and negative effects. There is a correlation between social media usage and academic performance of students in universities. This Research will prove the heavy presence of social media usage among students. Wiley and Sisson (2006), for instance argue that previous studies have found that more than 90% percent of tertiary school students use social networks. It is also found out that, students use social networking sites (SNSs) approximately thirty (30) minutes throughout the day as part of their daily routine life (Nicole, Charles, and Cliff, 2007).This shows the level at which students are patronizing these sites and this may bring along both positive and negative effects on students as far as their academic performance is concern.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The internet is an interconnected computer networks that use the standard internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide. It consists of millions of private, public, academic, business and government networks that range from local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The advancement of media technology has had a great influence on the way people now communicate on a daily basis. The use of the social media among the youth of today is growing by the day and gaining more and more popularity among students. It is a way to make connections, not only on campus but with friends outside of school. Social networking is a way that helps people feels they belong to a community. Its increased popularity has raised concern over how the time spent and student activities on these sites could affect their performance in school.
However, the internet today is the most important source of information and the growing dimensions of the use of social media by students cannot be underestimated. It has been observed that students devote more attention and time to social media than they do for their studies and they cannot pass their examinations well if they do not learn (Osharie, 2015). Also, the study conducted by Maya (2015), revealed that the use of social media contribute to lower academic performance, low self-perceptions and less interest in college oriented carriers. Academic excellence plays an important role in an individual’s life; be it in the family, at social gatherings, at workplace, in an institution or even among peers. Much emphasis is placed on academic excellence because of the role it plays in an individual’s life as far as a successful life and respect is concerned in every part of the world. Due to this, many people are concerned with the ways that they can improve their academic performance (Kyoshaba, 2009). Studies have also revealed that social media affects students’ use of English. They tend to use short-handwriting to chat with friends and get used to it thereby replicating the same errors during examinations (Obi, Bulus, Adamu and Sala’at, 2012).
Today students at all levels especially tertiary level have been engaged in the use of social networking sites (SNSs). Therefore, this research seeks to investigate the effect of social media on the academic performance of students of Obafemi Awolowo University.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To find out how often the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) visit various social media platforms.
2. To determine how many hours the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) spend in social networking each day.
3. To uncover the various social networking platforms the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) visit each day.
4. To ascertain how the use of social media has affected the academic performance of students of Obafemi Awolowo University.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How often do the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) visit various social platforms?
2. How many hours do the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) spend on social networking activities?
3. What social networking platforms do the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) visit each day?
4. How has the use of social media affected the academic performance of the students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of social media on the academic performance of under-graduate students in the universities. To address the study effectively students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) would be assessed. The study would go further in helping researchers with more information on the effects of social media on student’s academic performance. At the end of the study this research work will be relevant in assisting students to understand the diversity of social media and ethical way of getting the best from social media and will also provide relevant materials for students and other researchers undertaking similar research.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to Obafemi Awolowo University. The essence of this research work is to primarily study the effects of social media on the academic performance of students. This research work will tend to focus on students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) for easy analysis of data. This will reduce cost and avoid complexity that may arise as a result of having a verge population. But since in most cases the characteristics of students are generally similar, the research findings would be generalized to include all undergraduates of Nigeria Universities.
Obafemi Awolowo University offers undergraduate and post graduate in fields of specialization spanning the humanities, the arts, natural science, social science, medical science, engineering and technology.
The university has 13 faculties and two colleges which include the postgraduate college and the college of health sciences which is administered in more than 60 departments.
1.7 OPERATION DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Internet: A computer network consisting of a worldwide network of computer networks that use the TCP/IP network protocols to facilitate data transmission and exchange. According to “Wikipedia” the internet is generally defined as a global network connecting millions of computers.
Internet can be defined as an interconnected computer networks that use the standard internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide. It consists of millions of private, public, academic, business and government networks that range from local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies.
2. Media: media are all those media technologies that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication. They are messages communicated through a mass medium to a number of people. According to “Wikipedia” Media are the communication outlets or tools used to store and deliver information or data. The term refers to components of the mass media communications industry, such as print media, publishing, the news media, photography, cinema, broadcasting, and advertising.
3. Social media: Social media are forms of electronic communication which facilitate interactive social networking base on certain interests. Social media include web and mobile technology. Kaplan and Haenlein (2010), defined social media as a group of internet-based applications that
Builds on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. The Oxford dictionary (2011), also defined social media as “websites and applications used for social networking”. Another definition of social media is that it is a ‘communication channel which is very popular, extremely fast and broad, has proven to be highly effective, as well as trusted by billions of people , to share and discover content concerning individuals, brands, information, entertainment and know how’’ (Dearborn, 2014). One theme that all these definitions underpin is that social media involves some form of communication between individuals over the internet.
4. Academic performance: According to “Wikipedia” Academic performance or “academic achievement” is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement. Academic performance also means the knowledge and skills that students have mastered in a subject or a course. It’s basically a measure of how well students have performed in the various assessment items set for them based on some educational criteria determined by professional educators
5. Students- Someone who is studying at a university or school. A student can also be seen as someone who is interested in a particular subject or academic discipline.