Background to the Study

Social networking is built on the idea of how people should know and interact with each other through the use of the internet. Internet is a very essential part of life from shopping to electronic mails and education. It has become one of the most important communication tools among people nowadays. It gives people the power to share, making the world more open and connected. Recently, there is a drastic increase of adults that are into online social networking site compare to January 2014 when the percentage was 74 (Ellision 2008). Social networking can be done for social purposes, business purposes and educational purpose. Social networking programs group   individuals by interests, hometowns, employers, schools and other commonalities.

Wikipedia defined social networking service as a platform to build social relations among people who share similar interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his or her social links, and a variety of additional services such as career services. Social network sites are web-based services that allow individuals to create a public profile, create a list of users with whom to share connections, and view and cross the connections within the system. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging.

There are over 219 social networking sites today according to Wikipedia. Some of the popular and commonly used ones are Facebook, Twitter, Google, Google+, YouTube,, Instagram,,  Whatapp, Blackberry messenger, Yahoo mail, G mail, Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, Habbo, NING, classmates, Tagged, myYearbook, Meetup, MyLife, Flixster, myHeritage, Orkut, Badoo, Gaia Online, Netlog Tuenti, IRC-Galleria, Xing, Ibibo,. Social networking hit really its stride with the launch of Friendster in 2002 founded by Canadian computer programmer Jonathan Abrams. It is used  as a degree of separation concept similar to that of the now-defunct, refined it into a routine dubbed the “Circle of Friends,” and promoted the idea that a rich online community can exist only between people who truly have common bonds. After Friendster was abandoned, LinkedIn took a more serious approach to social networking phenomenon and LinkedIn was formed for business people who want to connect with other professionals.   

There is much interest from schools and Universities in the potential of public social networking services and social media such as blogs to leverage or complement formal educational activities and enhance learning outcomes (Brennan 2001 & 2003; Notley 2010). Whilst e-learning frameworks are now integrated into most educational settings, the use of social networking services is less comprehensively utilized. Access to social networking services varies according to state and educational level with some states banning access to social networking services and social media services altogether (Notley 2009). Consequently there is a dearth of evidence on the impact of social networking on young people’s formal education (Anderson 2007). Nevertheless, pilot projects and research are being rolled out which highlight both the potential and the need for social software, services and practices to be integrated into school and higher education frameworks. Social networking services are also being used to extend opportunities for formal learning across geographical contexts. For example, students from University of Benin and Obafemi Awolowo University, learners from both schools use instant messaging and Skype to share information about their cultures and work collaboratively. Social networking service use between teachers and students can improve rapport and motivation and engagement with education (Mazer, Murphy, Simonds 2007).

Additionally, social networks grab the total attention and concentration of the students and divert them towards non educational, unethical and inappropriate actions such as useless chatting, time wasting by random searching and not doing their jobs which is reading. Also social network has introduced many attractive tasks like gamming, online addiction, advertisements etc. so that people can never get enough of these things. The social network addict becomes a useless node for parents, friends and other associated people. They cannot succeed because they have no sense of upcoming future and competitions in their careers. Most business education students nowadays miss classes due to arrangement they made with their friends online which could lead to missing of test if the lecturer decide to do one, and also they don’t meet the required percentage of attendance before exams which could lead to them not writing. After all these students cannot miraculous have good grades and this seems to be an issue which has affected the performance of business education students’ academic performance.


Statement of Problem

Social networking can be regarded as one of the means which has made knowledge to be easily access. It has increase the rate of learning process, and makes teaching and learning effective and efficient.  Online social networks have become increasingly popular in recent years providing a different and user friendly way to maintain social connections and share information. Leki (2014) assert that a shift is taking place in the focus of pedagogical practice on universities all over the world as students across a wide variety of disciplines are learning by making and creating rather than from simple consumption of content. The proliferation of e-learning systems in learning institutions has contributed a lot to the acquisition and application of new skills (Awodele, Idowu, Anjorin, Adedire & Akpore 2009).

The idea of using social media is to provide students with a variety of tools for independent work, reflection, construction and collaboration (Dalsguard 2008) . Social network also provides learners with value resources for using the web as a tool in order to develop their understanding and solve problems, whether in school, at work, or in their private lives. The objectives of business education as opined by (Njoku 2006) are: to empower individuals with desirable skills, knowledge and value to perform specific functions so as to become self-reliant, to help individuals appreciate the world around them and contribute maximally to the social and economic development of the nation. This can be achieved with the help of social networking in acquiring such skills and knowledge through the help of skills related videos in YouTube. Students use social media day in and day out to interact with their peers and even teachers about class-related subjects. Not only do they know how to interact with others on the internet, they know how to use basic and even complex functions in order to do so (Joseph Baker 2013). Their ability to access, analyze, retain and share information is skyrocketing and they often don’t even realize they’re developing these skills, the advent and dominance of social media has created a new breed of marketing, which has required professionals to build and further the field.

Education is very essential part of an individual’s life for every teenager education is more important than anything. Today students’ shows very much interest for using social networks but unfortunately social networks affect education badly. Technology is step towards betterment, no doubt but any technology which can provide ease of social networks can be dangerous for social network addicts. Providing ubiquitous facility of social networks is a straight invitation of addiction to any student as academic satisfaction is not enough for those students who suffers from social isolation.

The problem of the study is that students have not been able to integrate social networking into their academic learning process and these seems to be used for only their social life’s which has caused addiction problems for students in business education as they chat while lectures is actually going on and this would affect their performance.   


Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to determine how social networking influence business education students’ academic study.

Specially, it is to ascertain:

1.       The challenges experienced by business education students in the implementation of the use of social networking

2.       The ways to curb business education students’ addiction towards social networking

3.       The extent to which social networking sites responsible for business education students’ academic performance.

4.       The implications of using social networking sites by business education students

5.       The rate of usage of social networking sites by business education teachers affects their student attitude towards social networking.

Research Questions

          The following research questions are raised to guide the study:

1. What are the challenges in the use of social networking sites by business education students towards their academic performances?

2. Are they ways to curb business education students’ addiction towards social networking sites?

3. Is social networking sites responsible for students’ poor academic performance in business education?

4. What are the implications of using social networking sites by business education student?

5. To what extent can the lecturer influence business education students’ attitude towards social networking?


Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will be of immense benefit to all education stakeholders, particularly teachers, researchers, students, curriculum planner, government, and the public. It will create in planners, the awareness of such problems that may be encountered in implementing projects on social networking.

The findings of this study will be of benefit to the teachers as it will enlighten them on the need for social networking as it will make study carried out by them easy to find out and help update their knowledge that would be passed down to future generation.

The findings of this study will also be useful to the government and its agencies, as the government would want easy access to social networks by students and these could lead to government subsidizing the cost and also making sure internets connection must be a required before schools can be established.

It will be useful to curriculum planner as it will enable them to carry out a thorough assessment on the implementation, effectiveness and impact of social networking in teaching and learning.

The students will benefit because they will understand the concepts, usage of social networking and its relevance in proffering solution to daily problems in academic and application of the knowledge gain in their individual tasks in future.

The study will also be useful to research as a source of literature or related literature that adds to the available material for present and future research study.


Scope of the study

The study is focused on the impact of social networking on business education students in the department of vocational and technical education university of Benin, Benin City. This study is specifically to determine the influence of social networking has on business education student only.

The study is restricted to 300 and 400 level in the department of vocational technical education in University of Benin, Benin City