This study examines the Pattern of Instagram Usage Among Undergraduate Students of Delta State University, Abraka. The study was hinged on the Uses and gratification theory which is concerned with what Individuals derive from using a medium and how they use it. The research work was carried out using the survey method with the sample size of 200 drawn from the faculty of Arts, Social Sciences, Science and Education. Two hundred of the administered questionnaire was returned by the respondents, and the data from the questionnaire was collected, collated and analyzed using tables and percentage. The study showed that the pattern of Instagram usage mostly adopted by students was making new friends. Also, the study showed that the student spends moderate time on Instagram, thereby reducing the level of addiction level to the platform. The study also showed that the student does not use much of Delsu internet service to access instagram. It was recommended that the students should use the Instagram network more for supplements to classroom teaching and not only for making new friends and other purposes.
1.1 Background to the study
Instagram is an online, mobile phone, photo-sharing, video sharing and social networking services that allow users to take pictures and videos and share them on their social media platform (Frommer, 2010). He further stated that instagram which can be seen as social media platform is a mobile is a mobile, desktop and internet based photo-sharing application and services that allow users to share pictures and video either publicly or privately.
Stec (2015) also stated that Instagram is a photo-sharing mobile application that allows its users to take pictures, apply filters to them and share them on the platform itself as well as other platforms. In other words, Instagram is a platform where one can share photos, videos, audios and other things to the public. He stated that Instagram, a mobile photo and video capturing and sharing service, has emerged very fast as a new medium in spotlight in recent years.
Wagner (2015), said that Instagram which is now the fastest growing social media platform globally, provides users an instantaneous way to capture and share their moment with friends through a series of (filter manipulated) pictures and videos. Dimico, Millen and Duggan (2008) stated that since its launch in October 2010 by Kelvin Systrom and Mike Krieger as a free mobile application for the iPhone operating system (IOS), Instagram has attracted over 800 million active users with over 95 million photos uploaded by users per day and more than 40 billion photos have been shared so far. Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for approximately one billion dollars (Rusli, 2012). The extraordinary success of Instagram shows that photos and videos have become the key social change online (Rainie, Brenner and Purcell, 2012).
Joseph Barker (2013), say that there are benefits of using Instagram among student in Nigeria, which include; strengthening interpersonal relationship, education, individual identify and self- expression, social interaction/web engagement and informal knowledge and skills acquisition.
According to Instagram user demographic in Nigeria (2017), there are 3.6 million Instagram users in Nigeria. Only 40% are female, over 80% of all Instagrammer who live in Nigeria are aged 18-44 which are youths. The largest percentage of users in the age range of 18-29 is about 55% of online adults who use instagram (Fitzsimmon, 2017). Not only do young adults use Instagram, but they also rely on it as a form of self-expression and discovery (Fitzsimmon, 2017). Teens and age 20 and above are spending less time on Facebook and more time on social network like Instagram (Melanie Shreffler of smarty pants, a youth and family research form).
Instagram reaches a younger, more diverse audience than other social network. Instagram users skew much younger than Facebook users, which mean that every incoming undergraduate students are bringing with it a pool of Instagram users (Association of College and Research Libraries, Vol. 78, No. 8, 2013). Instagram is the most overall used social networking sites by undergraduate students (Jasmine, 2016). Research conducted by various scholars like Sheldon and Byrant (2016),Michikyan (2015), Heffner (2016), Manovich (2013), Silva (2013) and so on, have shown that most undergraduate students that uses Instagram are those with lower GPA’s than students with higher GPAs (Michikyan, 2015). However, students who are experiencing difficulties at college and who are not fully engaged in their studies are those who are most likely to turn to Instagram for distraction and entertainment or even to cope with their frustrations. Instagram allows student to either get connected with other students which can be very beneficial because it can allow them to discuss class materials as well as help them network (Heffner, 2016). Ahn (2011) added that the use of Instragram among undergraduate students can be deemed useful when it comes to making connection with lecturers and other course mates.
In Ahn’s study of Instagram usage, she stated that one of the impact of Instagram as social media network is social connectedness and cognitive abilities. A study by Ikehi (2014), found out that the highest users of Instagram within the academic system are youths between the ages of 18-29 are mostly undergraduates in Nigeria. In another study by Ahn (2011), she found out that Nigerian youth who are preferably students spend a considerable part of their daily life interacting through Instagram. Instagram is being used increasingly by students thereby promoting virtual learning environment for expanding learning among them (Hussain, 2005). In another study by Armstrong and Franklin (2008), they said that undergraduate students use Instagram in different ways to enhancing and strengthening their learning through collaborative activities. They further stated that the ever increasing use of Instagram by undergraduate student seems to be transforming through the way they acquire knowledge.
Karlis (2013), said entertainment, medium appeal and self- documentation have become more rampant usage pattern among undergraduate students who use Instagram. Students use Instagram as a way of escape and adapt to developmental stressor (Christos, 2010). Mishra (2009) also stated that undergraduates use Instagram to access advertisement on products and services posted on it.
Sheldon and Bryant (2016) asserted that the motive for using Instagram include surveillance and knowledge gathering about others, documentation of life events, self-promotion, personal identity, general coolness and displaying creativity such as photography skills. In another study by Rubin and Rubin (1982), element such as physical health, mobility, life satisfaction, interpersonal interaction, social activity and economic security are more informative than just demographics in explaining interpersonal needs for Instagram usage. On their part, Hochman and Manorich (2013), Silva (2013) in their study said Instagram provides a wide range of popularity to students and also act as a link to connecting students from different countries. Researchers have applied virtualization and cultural analytics on Instagram photos from different cities in the world to trace their social and cultural differences. It cannot be over-emphasized that undergraduate use Instagram for different reasons, which can be social relationship, businesses online dating, information dissemination, personal identity, and self- promotion (Whiting and Williams, 2013). Therefore, the pattern of Instagram usage can be said to be entertainment, businesses, social relationship, communication, enlightenment and social interaction.
However, this study focused particularly on the patterns of Instagram usage among undergraduate students, Delta State University, Abraka as a case Study.
Delta State University, Abraka is a Nigerian (Delta State) University which was founded in the year 1990 from the defunct Bendel State University.
The University was established in the year 1992, with its main campus at Abraka and a Campus at Anwai, Asaba. With 1995 Amended Edict, the University now has a campus at Oleh. The University runs at multi-campus system with three campuses within a distance of about 200km apart.
Currently with a student population of about 36,000 (In 2008/2009 session), the University offers a range of programmes from the full time. The current population as estimated by the institution registrar is about 16,900 population in the 2015/2016 academic session.
Certificate diploma and degree programme to weekend degree programme. The university also offers post graduate programmes up to a doctoral level.
A staff/student counseling centre, an e-learning center, students accommodation and sporting facilities amidst others are available support services. (Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/delta state university Abraka).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is a paradigm shift from other forms of social media which include Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Youtube to Instagram which has become one of the most popular forms of the new media. According to research by various scholars, there are different motives for instagram usage. Despite the various research carried out on the motives, need and social cultural differences for Instagram usage among undergraduate students, the researchers have not done anything on the patterns of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka. However, one may wonder how appreciable this part of the world and Delta State University Students, Abraka campus use Instagram for different purposes and reason, the pattern in which they also use Instagram cannot be overemphasized, therefore, this study sees it necessary to know the pattern of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka, the level of accessibility of Delta State University, Abraka undergraduate students to Instagram and the level of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka. However, the above mentioned posers have not been answered by previous research, hence this study wish to fill the knowledge gap which has not been carried out or done by any researcher on the patterns of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To find out the pattern of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka.
- To examine the accessibility of Delta State University, Abraka undergraduate students to Instagram.
- To ascertain the level of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the pattern of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria?
- What is the level of accessibility to Instagram by undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria?
- What is the level of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka?
1.5 Significance of the Study
By reviewing the available literature, collecting and analyzing data and making recommendations from the findings, the study will be relevant to stakeholders: Students and lecturers, universities and the researcher. It will enable the student to know the pattern of Instagram usage among students. The findings from this study will enable us to know the level of accessibility by undergraduate students of DELSU, Abraka towards Instagram usage.
Also, the study is significant to student and lecturers. This study will enable them to know the level of the usage of Instagram among students. Findings and recommendations emerging from this study will be of immense benefits to the academic community as it will expand the body of knowledge that has been done on Instagram. No research has been carried out on the patterns of Instagram usage among undergraduate students; this prompted the essence of this study.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Conceptually, the scope of the study is on pattern of Instagram usage among undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka. The geographical area of the study was Delta State University Abraka Campus. The students of this institution that are 18 years and above are the scope of the study. This is because that is the age range according to research that uses Instagram more. However, this study covered the pattern of Instagram usage among the students, the level of accessibility of Instagram to the students and the level of Instagram usage among the Students.
1.7 Definition of Terms
The following are the definitions of some operational terms which was used in the course of this study.
Instagram: This is a mobile, desktop and internet based photo-sharing application and services that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately.
Patterns: This is a regular and intelligent form or sequence discernible in the way in which something happens or is done. Chambers 21st century dictionary define it as a “model, guide or set of instructions for making something.
Usage: This refers to the action of using something or the fact of being used.
Undergraduate: University students who has not yet taken a first degree; someone studying for a first degree in a higher institution/establishment
Student: A person who is studying at a university or other place of higher learning; someone who is learning to enter a particular profession
Pattern of usage: This is the sequence in which something is used or done
DELSU: Delta State University.